Community News

Onetime abused cat throws party to give back to his community

by: Kate Karp
Published: August 8, 2022


SEAL BEACH...When Benny the Cat was brought to the Long Beach animal shelter, his nose was swollen, his jaw was broken and misaligned, and his teeth were off center. At only 6 months old, Benny was a victim of severe abuse, and the shelter staff were sure he wouldn’t survive.

It’s nearly five years later. Benny has retained a crooked mouth and a walk that’s slightly wonky. He’s also in great health and more than content with his lot in life. On Saturday, Aug. 27, Benny will be celebrating his fifth birthday, and he’d like to invite everyone to the party to help him thank the community that helped him to survive and thrive.

“I think how Benny shouldn’t have survived to his first birthday, and yet, here we are, celebrating his fifth birthday,” said Beverly Leifer, Benny’s doting human companion. Leifer had fallen in love with Benny when she met him at the shelter and took him home after his extensive surgery, which Helen Sanders CatPAWS rescue paid for.

The following years saw Benny and Beverly not looking back but instead paying it forward. The little cat has enjoyed four birthday parties, which raised thousands of dollars for Helen Sanders CatPAWS, the shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Services and a local women’s shelter, which made him somewhat of a poster cat for the link between domestic violence and animal abuse. This year’s celebration of Benny, the lives he’s impacted and the suffering he continues to overcome. The event will feature live music, food, vendors, raffles, games, kitty-themed prizes and a special appearance by Benny himself. Adoptable kittens from Helen Sanders CatPAWS will join in to win some hearts.

Benny the Cat’s Fifth Birthday Fundraiser will take place at the Marina Community Center, 151 Marina Dr., Seal Beach, California. Tickets are $20 each and are available at or may be purchased at the door. Kids 10 and under are free! All proceeds will help Helen Sanders CatPAWS rescue more at-risk cats from public shelters and find them loving homes, support spay/neuter efforts, fund the DIY kitten-care kits that save the lives of newborn kittens, and save many furry, little lives. Come celebrate the life of a wonderful cat!


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