Although the man of the hour could not be present because of illness, Thursday was proclaimed Jerry Henderson Day by Thomasville Mayor Max Beverly.
Henderson is founder and president of Miss Kitty Feline Sanctuary and Cat Adoption Center and the impetus behind the Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic adjacent to the sanctuary.
More than 100 people gathered on Miss Kitty grounds to hear Carol Jones, Miss Kitty board chairman and clinic executive director, read the proclamation.
The document pointed out Henderson’s “magnetic warmth, sincerity and sense of humor” and his role as a perfect example of kindness to animals.
Henderson is cat’s best friends and man’s best example of a humanitarian, the document proclaimed.
The Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours followed the proclamation ceremony. Those attending toured the clinic, which opened in June, and the no-kill sanctuary.
Outdoor Miss Kitty runs debuted Thursday. Mason Hodge designed and made wood pedestals, connecting walkways and other catty features for the runs.
Felines, who enter runs through small doors leading from the Miss Kitty building, took different views of the addition. Some frolicked on walkways and stairs, others staked claim to pedestals and others basked lazily in the openness of the runs. Long, carpet-covered benches made perfect places for cat to sharpen their claws.
Hodge’s construction donation was his Eagle Scout project.
“All of the wood structures were part of my project,” Hodge explained.
Hodge, who was allowed complete creative freedom, worked from a list of cat run needs.
The 18-year-old Thomasville High School offensive lineman and Scholars Academy senior, hopes to attend Georgia Tech and major in engineering.
Hodge likes cats. “They’re nice, low-maintenance animals,” he said.
Cat-oriented artwork on display Thursday was created by students in Thomas County and Thomasville City school systems.
Jones awarded ribbons and prizes to winners in a three-way tie for first place in high school grades:
• Sophie Anderson, 12th grade, Thomas County Central High School (TCCHS)
• Hakeem Stevens, 12th grade, TCCHS
• Carlyn Rose Autry, 11th grade, Scholars Academy
Other high school winners are:
• Second place, Camille Sowell, 12th grade, TCCHS
• Third place, Lauren Caulder, 11th grade, Scholars Academy
Middle school winners are:
• First place, Mallory Bennett, sixth grade, Scholars Academy
• Second place, Bailey Gunter, sixth grade, Scholars Academy
• Third place, Kelly Brewer, sixth grade, Scholars Academy
Pre-K winners are:
• First place, B. Everett
• Second place, Amani Curry
• Third place, Morgan Harrison
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820