Laureldale woman knits to help keep shelter's cats cozy

More than 600 blankets donated to Humane Society

LAURELDALE, Pa. - Cats at a local shelter are staying warm this winter thanks to the efforts of a Berks County woman.

Frances "Franny" Cronan has knitted more than 600 blankets for cats and kittens at the Humane Society of Berks County in Reading.

"This was just something extra for me to do and keeps me awake while I watch television, which is nice," said Cronan, smiling.

The Laureldale woman began knitting the kitty blankets in 2010, when she was approached by a woman who saw her knitting at the Leesport Farmers Market.

"She said, '[The Humane Society] would love to have you knit for them," Cronan recalled.

After each trip to the shelter, she logs how many she's dropped off on a small notepad.

"Every time I look at this little book, I just can't believe that I've done so many. It's just unbelievable. It goes quickly," Cronan added.

Since her last trip to the shelter last month, she's donated 608 kitty blankets. Some of the blankets are still at the shelter, while others are now keeping cats warm in their forever homes.

"We send [the blankets] home with the adopters, so when they adopt a cat, they also get one of the knitted blankets to go home with," said Chelsea Cappellano, who is with the Humane Society of Berks County.

Cappellano added that the blankets help make the transition from shelter to home go more smoothly because the blankets are familiar to the cats.

Cronan said her friends donate yarn, and even strangers have left yarn for her at the shelter, and as long as there's yarn, she'll keep making blankets.

"It just makes me feel good to do something for these poor little animals," she said.

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