One thing noticeably missing from the DC Metro is cute cat pics. If one group is able to raise $30k, that could all change.

The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service-Washington DC – C.A.T.S. for short – has launched a crowdfunding campaign to target one DC Metro station and replace its advertisements with adorable cat pics. In September of 2016, a British version of the organization launched its first metro “takeover” at the Clapham Common Tube Station in London, England. Almost 700 people raised the equivalent of almost $29,000 to put cat photos in the station’s ad locations for two weeks. Though not officially connected to its British counterpart, C.A.T.S. now wants to takeover a small DC Metro station, perhaps Dupont Circle or Cleveland Park. With $30,000 of contributions, they estimate being able to fill at least half of a station with cat pics. “But if we raise more than our goal...we could take over the whole station or maybe a station domination (wishful thinking),” the organization writes in its Kickstarter pitch.
Nicole Adams, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is behind the effort and hopes the project can bring a smile to people's faces. "I’ll take the challenge because it's fun," she explains, "and it's different and no one would ever expect to walk in the Metro station and say 'Why are there so many cats here?'" The randomness of the whole project is what makes it so appealing. There is no political message behind #CatsNotAds. [caption id="attachment_333" align="aligncenter" width="680"]cat pics DC's Metro could look like this[/caption] However, the group will be working with the Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County and the Charm City Animal Rescue to feature rescued and adoptable kitties in the advertisements. Large donors contributing between $500 and $3000 will also get the opportunity to have their own cat(s) featured in the Metro ads. The group writes that the whole point of the cat pics is to help distract Metro riders from all of the stresses of daily life.
“It may be a silly project, but it's a distraction from the chaotic lives we live. It's a way to step out of the norm of ads on the Metro...away from convincing us to buy a brand new car, or looking mighty fine in a brand new pair of jeans...or politics."
Taking over an entire Metro station is no easy feat. In 2016, Texas A&M paid more than $150,000 to take over the advertisements in Metro Center for five weeks. So far, C.A.T.S.-Washington has raised over $2,500 from 79 donors. If the $30k goal is not reached by May 4, the project will not happen. Nicole is hopeful that the internet will come through and fully fund the project. "The internet is pretty much run by cats," she says. "So why not join in the fun?"  

Not quite a cat, but Bao Bao the Panda has officially been resettled in China!