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Feeling the kitty cat love one rescue and adoption at a time at Chesapeake Feline Association


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The best part of the Maryland Crab Cake Tour presented by The Maryland Lottery and Window Nation is being able to tell the stories of great causes and local people. Fellow Dundalk native Karen Burkhardt of the Chesapeake Feline Association shares her passion and love of cats and will be finding furever homes for these beautiful creatures at Adams Jeep in Aberdeen on Saturday, May 6th.


cat, kitten, feline, home, wife, adopted, harford county, pappas, chesapeake, love, friends, people, petco, saving, tnr, crab cake, life, adams, spayed, volunteer


Nestor Aparicio, Karen Burkhardt

Nestor Aparicio  00:00


What about wn St. Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. We are positively at the Greenbrier shopping center. I call this North Bel Air. I’m sure it has a neighborhood name, but it’s Bel Air. We’re at Pappas. We’re eating better in the neighborhood here. It is a brand new Pappas and I’ve had my boy Ken came out Mickey could shell a half of Bellairs up here having their first delicious crab cake at Pappas. And we’re in a plaza, you’re having some fun, we’ve had some great guests, and I’m going to be doing something with an old friend of mine right up the road here. And Adams cheap. We did a lot of shows at Adam sheep and my wife was battling cancer. We did swabbing at Adam’s sheep. Steve Michaels did a lot of ravens events. We had Eric Weddle up there and Steve Smith up there we had Dennis Pitt up there I remember Eugene Monroe was up there, Mike while yeah a lot of people but it’s a we’re gonna be doing something special on May the sixth for one of my loves which are felines and cats. Anybody that knows me knows of my love for Nala. My former Love of My dearly beloved kitty, Kerr Burkhart is here from the Chesapeake feline association to not just promote may 6 at Adams Jeep here common across the bridge from Cecil County to talk about your love of of cats. I read about you online. You’ve been at this for a little while you’re saving these beautiful creatures lives

Karen Burkhardt  01:22

I have well Chesapeake feline has been established since October 2009. And our mission has always been saving lives one cat at a time. And we go out into the community we have a shelter that has just adults only all our kittens go into foster care. We offer TNR services which TNR trap neuter and return okay and what we do is we do a lot with the community cats try to control the cat population. So we will have the cat trapped we will take it and it will get spayed or neutered. It’ll get a rabies vaccine in order to get her ear doc. When you see a cat that has a left tip of its ear missing that means that cat has already gone through TNR it’s already been spayed or neutered.

Nestor Aparicio  02:04

You mean a feral cat

Karen Burkhardt  02:07

a feral cat a community cat? Yes.


Nestor Aparicio  02:09

community that’s what you call community cats. Okay, cats.

Karen Burkhardt  02:11


Nestor Aparicio  02:12

Well, my cat loves stories. My wife loves cats always love cats. In the beginning of our relationship, we did not have a cat she wanted a cat. It was a it was a real problem in our relationship because she was something she really wanted to get what your child you know, and finally about seven, eight years and we’ve been married 20 years, seven, eight years in I said let’s go get a cat we went to Baltimore humane is where we adopted originally and adopted this beautiful adult five and a half year old, deluded Calico, named Kitty brought her home and loved her to the minute we lost her. broke our hearts. She died. We were on a trip with the Ravens at Wembley Stadium in 2017. She died while we were on our trip, which was devastating. We came home I made it 13 days Karen I mean 13 days without a cat. And I we had to get a cat so we adopted this beautiful kitten. She was this big. She had just been spayed. She had her little cone on her head. We thought she might have had a neurological problem because the comb was so heavy on her that she was moving a little funny. And I I went out to Baltimore humane brokenhearted after losing my cat. And I spent a day and a half out there in different cages with different cats trying to figure out if there was a bond with a creature. And we came out and I saw this little kitten. They just brought her out onto the floor. And she looked like kitty she had the same marking she had this Calico marking. And I picked her up. She was she was this big. I mean she was this big. And she had a cone on maybe this you know this big. And she she reached out and she kissed my nose.

Karen Burkhardt  03:50


Oh, that was it right? The end.

Nestor Aparicio  03:53

She’s home right now loving me up. She woke up to my legs this morning. Because she sleeps between our legs. She sleeps in bed with us. And we she is the mutual bond between my wife and I she is our loved child

Karen Burkhardt  04:06

by tie all the times that were out there. I’ll hear people say I don’t like cats. And I said you’ve never met the right cat. You know my husband is a dog lover. He’s converted to cats. That’s all we have at our house. Now we don’t have a dog and a cat you have care of my own. I actually have six but I am fostering we just had a cat in February that had to have a leg amputation. Champ and actually champ will be at Adam’s jeep. I’m gonna bring him there. He’s desparation go. Yes, yeah, he’s a great caddy seven years old, lost his foot to a fox when he was a kitten and just had some leg issues ever since. And when we took him in about a year and a half ago. We needed to address that. So he’ll be at Adams shape. So currently I have seven. So who knows at any given time it could go up.

Nestor Aparicio  04:51

Well, let me give me your story. Tell me about Chesapeake feline Association, what we’re doing on the sixth saving cats lives that either means something to somebody in the odds of people listening To me probably doesn’t mean something cuz they know what it means to me. And you do this work and my hat’s off to you. I mean, my dear friend Chris pica, his wife, Kate has dedicated her life to save an animal. She only works in animal she be a great person to work for an organization like she she’s done this professionally forever and ever and ever. I’ve been a part of a dog fast, the cat fast and all that stuff. But what you what all of you do is special because you think you save the cat’s life and the cat winds up saving you Well my wife was fighting for her life with cancer twice and 14 and 15 and I’m home with that cat and that cat Skyping with my wife that that cat saved my wife’s life, no doubt about


Karen Burkhardt  05:36

Oh yeah, well people think you know that we’re just a bunch of crazy cat ladies running around saving cats and you are sometimes, but you have to look at it too. We get a lot of people that come to us that need that emotional support pet they need they have anxiety or depression. So in turn, even though we’re saving these cat slides, these cats are turning around and helping these people that have issues. We have a great seniors for seniors program any seniors 65 or older can adopt one of our six year or older cats. There’s no charge we cover the vaccines rabies and distemper for life as beautiful and at any time if there’s circumstances change any cat that comes under the CFM umbrella we’re invested with that cat for life. We take all our cats back no questions asked. So you know the one thing we hear with seniors I’m always concerned if something happens to me where will fluffy go? Fluffy always has a home at Chesapeake feline association. So I think that’s a great program that we have because a lot of seniors you know, they live by themselves are lonely, they just want that companion. Case in point we just had a cat named Tassie who was adopted older gentleman in his 70s wanted to companion, Taz. He follows him around, greets people that comes into his house and sleeps with him every night. So you’d

Nestor Aparicio  06:47

say older gentleman in his 70s would describe my Sadly, my my father in law. My my wife’s father who loves cats. He lost his cat about eight months ago and readopted and then lost the next cat recently. And you know, it’s all he can do. And he’s in great health and Dan, my father in law, he’s gonna live to his 120 he knows that he I see late 70s I always joke about that, because he’s like, not an old guy. You know what I mean? But he loves cats. And he readopted again last week, and my wife’s got pictures and and it’s important to him. And I’m thinking how many people were like that, that it’s important would be important to me as I get older. I don’t think I’ll never not have a cat again, right? I don’t. I couldn’t go 13 days. We had, we have a wheel for our girl. We actually had friends by the house that they love cats. And they never seen a cat wheel. And we our girl we trained our girl on the big wheel and she gets on our thing in the middle of the night boo boo boo boo boo boo boo boo boo boo. She runs along but our cat is She’s special. You know, she’s part of the family. So yeah,

Karen Burkhardt  07:50

they are they are true family members, you know, they’re with you through thick and thin through births, deaths, what you know, everyday occasions and the one thing about our organization, which I’m very proud of his we’re all volunteer, none of us get paid. We give our time freely to do what we do. And we have a great group of volunteers that without them we really couldn’t do what we do. And you know, we’re affiliated we have the partnership with the Petco here in Bel Air and the Petco in northeast. We have volunteers that go in there take care of the cats talk to anybody that wants to come in and try to get them adopt to try to get them adopted. Yes, we

Nestor Aparicio  08:22


fall every time we go into Petco we fall in love with a cat right yeah, we’re in a pet store.

Karen Burkhardt  08:26

You cannot How can you not? Yeah, so and you know at Adam sheep we’re going to be there promoting what we do every adoption that a doctor will get a t shirt it’s kind of like I gave you here today

Nestor Aparicio  08:36

nice just be feline Association. That’s what we’re promoting. Yeah,

Karen Burkhardt  08:39

yeah. So yeah, we


Nestor Aparicio  08:40

love cat. Well give me used to you. You said it before we went on the air because I don’t Green Room. Anybody. Everybody knows that about me. Your Dundalk boy.

Karen Burkhardt  08:48

You know? Well, I’m an Army brat slashed on that girl. My dad used to go to port Oliver. Okay, that’s what kind of got us into Dundalk. And I just grew up there and judo. Look, I know I actually went to Patapsco. Oh, you want to show the Patriot

Nestor Aparicio  09:07

many other side of wise Avenue right over there.

Karen Burkhardt  09:10


Hey, throw out throw on the only thing you got enough. Tell

Nestor Aparicio  09:12

everybody. Well, we got two things going for you. Now. You got you got constants and you got drug city on your side. You have to cross over to stricker side to get to you guys you got to cross Patapsco

Karen Burkhardt  09:23

Yeah, well, the one thing I wanted to say is the fact that you mentioned about your first cat that you had that she was like five and a half. I love that you went to the shelter and adopted an older cat. There are so many great cats in these shelters who are older, that get overlooked people always want the kittens or the cats to come up to you. We didn’t want

Nestor Aparicio  09:39

a kitten we almost adopted a pair. And believe me we struggle we went home that night and thought should we have this was a mother and a son. And they were three and one they weren’t old. And we were going to take the pair and the kitten Kiss Me You know what I mean? Like I mean literally that’s What happened? Like we just didn’t? Wasn’t my wife was like, I can’t know. Oh my god, you know, we’re gonna have to train it. And my wife has just done. Like, just I tell her every day, because this cat is so awesome. Our cat is so awesome. Yeah, but


Karen Burkhardt  10:15

I gotta tell you two really quick, feel good stories. So we have a wonderful, wonderful volunteer who’s gotten us on social media Tik Tok, and I don’t understand it, but she’s gotten us on there. And we have gotten to have our long term cats because we are a no kill facility. And a cat that comes in our care and stays with us until it’s adopted, or as they say, goes over the rainbow bridge. So she put Foxy and gray Belle both on Tiktok foxy had been with us, I believe it was 2767 days. Oh my Yes. We got a wonderful adopter for her. She sent us a picture when she got home. And foxy was just she wasn’t the cat that would run up to you and went a lot of attention. But she was a great cat. But she would always get overlooked because she was that cat that would not come up to you. And gray Bell was the same way, you know, great cat, but she just would not randomly just walk up to you. And they were overlooked because of that. So foxy was there 2767 days and I think gray Bell was there a little over 2600 days, both have gotten adopted and actually gray Bell had over 62 applications for her. So it’s crazy how social media is. And

Nestor Aparicio  11:24

well, let’s continue that. Let’s continue that. Let’s find some more people that Yeah, yeah,

Karen Burkhardt  11:28

we still have some long term cats at our facility. They’re looking for homes. Now. If you do our if anybody ever wants to come to our shelter, we are located in northeast Maryland. We do not let kittens into our facility. They all go into a foster home. So we only house adults at our facility. And he can you’ll see them at Petco. And a lot of the foresters we have will invite you into their home if you ever want to do a meet and greet. Sure. So yeah, we have some longterm cats, they can go to our website, Chesapeake Feline, And you can get a pet finder and you can see some of the cats we have available for

Nestor Aparicio  11:59


adoption. Now why are you crazy cat lady, I just get back to the beginning of this, you know,

Karen Burkhardt  12:02

I think I got it from my grandmother, she always loved cats. And there was just something about him and you know, people that say, oh, cats or you know, I don’t like them this or that. You really have to understand a cat. And I think

Nestor Aparicio  12:13

Jackson Galaxy helped me tremendously. There you go. So my wife before we had a cat when I was against having a cat. And the only reason I was against having a cat I love cats. It was the commitment of I want to go to Hawaii for 10 days, what am I going to do with the cat is the commitment of I want to go away for the weekend, whatever, you know, like you can leave a cat at home for a day or two maybe and have some friends stop by. But to sort of the long term responsibility. You know, I had a child when I was 15. So I’m very responsible person, there was a point where it’s like, I don’t want response employees for years, right? Like all of that. So that was my issue with it. It wasn’t about not liking a cat. But when this cat came into our life, the first day the cat came into my life really changed me and people around me know that about me. And they say we didn’t think you would be like a cat person or whatever. The notion that we were going to save a cat was very important to us, too, for my wife as well, like, we went to be more humane to adopt the first time because we were going to say the cats like that was the most important thing that was in her mind. But all oh my god for three years leading up to it, she would have Jackson Galaxy on TV on the weekends. Kind of preparing in her mind, and me watching it as to what cats would be like. And she bought a book. She bought the Jackson Galaxy book. And we kind of finger through it a little bit when we got the cat about how to think a little bit like a cat and it changed everything for me. And I’m a good cat parent now but I don’t expect it to be like a dog. Wags they’re not

Karen Burkhardt  13:46

they’re not like a dog but they do show compassion. You know, people say well catch, you know, they’re aloof, whatever. I hear so many stories of people coming up and telling me about how their cat has helped them through an illness like you Oh, and your question, perfect thing. My husband got in a car accident, really bad car accident years ago and I came home and he said I was having a really bad day. My back was killing me. And at this time we had a cat named Tigger. And he said Tigger came in bed and lay it against me right where my back was hurting. It was like she kind of knew it. So cats have that instinct just like dogs do. Yeah. So they make great pets.


Nestor Aparicio  14:20

What’s its optimality

Karen Burkhardt  14:23

so we are going to have cats at Adams shape when we come. We’re going to have I don’t know five kittens because we don’t have any young kittens at the moment. Kitten season is here upon us. So we’ll be getting them left and right any minute. But we will have some adults from our shelter. Like I said, I’m with

Nestor Aparicio  14:40

my wife, dad. It’s cheap. We’re going home with all your cats. I mean, I’m telling you right now,

Karen Burkhardt  14:43


I’m telling you, champ is a great cat. He’s been at my house. And so I’ve had him, you know, isolated from my cat. So I’ll go in there and sleep with him from time to time. And when I’m in bed, he’s just totally touching my face wanting to be close to me. He’s a great cat. And so what I would say to anybody listening is that whether it’s a dog or a cat when you go into a shelter facility, Do not overlook the shy that we call them why? wallflowers don’t overlook those animals because those animals have so much love to give. They just are a little bit more shy. But when you get them home and out of the shelter environment, dogs or cats, their personalities just bloom, you know, and even I’m surprised at some of the cats that we’ve had that when they’ve gone home to you know, their forever homes, and the adopters contact us back and with updates. And it’s like,

Nestor Aparicio  15:31

oh kitty home the first six months, she was a six, she was five and a half, almost six years old. We took her on the first six months, she was just with my wife, like it was you know, it was I would take whatever I could get and then six months in, it just changed Winter came and she became much more close. Right. And then that never changed the day she died. I mean, she was like, but like a different cat. Totally different cat.

Karen Burkhardt  15:54

Oh, yeah. So you have to you know, and when you go to any facility, trust what the people they are telling you. They’re telling you what’s a great cat. Tell you about its personality. take that for what it is because we see the cats all the time we know their personalities. So if it’s a great cat in a shelter, it’s going to be a great cat when he gets home.

Nestor Aparicio  16:12

All right, well, we’re adopting them out. It’s just big feline Association. We’re going to be on May 6 and Adam Schiff, my pal Steven everybody up there. We’re right down the road. She’s right across the bridge up in northeast up in a pest Hollywood casino and a Barstool Sports will be there as well. Draft week so we got a lot going on around here. So brought to you by the Maryland lottery. I’m gonna give Karen a chance to win $10,000 here to throw back to the first ever scratch off here. Remember this from Dundalk back in the day right? Wow. Give the website again for everybody so they can find you and a phone number whatnot for anybody just listening wants to be part of but come out to Adams cheap on the sixth as well. You can actually meet the cats


Karen Burkhardt  16:49

right and we’re going to be there from 10 to two on that side. By the way, Mike border is going

Nestor Aparicio  16:53

to be there from 11 to one that day. I’m going to be there in the morning.

Karen Burkhardt  16:57

All right. And Mike what he’s doing for us. Anybody who knows Mike, he’s a Hall of Famer for the Orioles. He is actually going to be doing donation or I’m sorry, signing autographs, and with each autograph, always asking us for donation of food or organization, which I think is great. But if anybody wants more information about Chesapeake Feline, it’s Chesapeake Feline, Or if you have any questions you can call us at 410-507-0664. We are an all volunteer organizations so that phone line is not mad but you can leave a message and a volunteer. I’ll get back to you.

Nestor Aparicio  17:29


Dundalk coming together in Harford County. We’re at the Greenbrier shopping center. We’re at Pappus right now I got my crab mallet from moraski Global. This is my my break crab mallet. I’m gonna start using that When did 866 90 nation buy to get through free five year 0% financing. They put us on the road as does the Maryland lottery on the 27th. We’re going to be back downtown Captain Larry’s in Federal Hill then on the 28th back downtown again at fade Lee’s at the old Lexington market not to be confused with the new lights in the market. I’ve been getting recruited up here to Harford County. I’ll be back up here in May and June during the Maryland crab cake tour as well. We’re having some fun. I gotta get a crab cake in here. Barry Glassman former Harford County executives gonna be here. We’re gonna talk to him about Annapolis a little bit. He’s been down in Annapolis since he left Harford County as a lobbyist but now recreational cannabis all sorts of things going on laws being made. So we’ll be talking about that as well as the friends here Pappas and their new location at Pappas crabcake yet

Karen Burkhardt  18:25

I’ve had not at this location but we are saying for dinner and I am going to get a crab cake tonight.

Nestor Aparicio  18:30

First Harford County Pappas crabcakes gonna be delicious. Oh, yeah, I’m looking for this place has been mobbed since it got here because I mean, like I live near a couple pappases So I’m like, you know, I mean, but if you’re in Harford County my friend Ken’s like, always wanted to try one but I didn’t want to drive all the way down there. So I said all right, he’s here at the bar. A lot of friends out in Harford County. It’s good to see everybody out here. And a big appreciation our friends at Pappas for sponsorship. Justin’s here, his parents were here the Orioles were here Adele Beckham was on TV. We’re having some fun. It’s springtime, on Nesta. We are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. Make sure you can find us on May 6 up in Bel Air north and Adams cheap with our friends from Chesapeake feline. Stay with us.

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