Strong visuals and concise words draw the audience in. A proven formula…and one I’m using to solve a personal problem. My daughter. We live in the country and she has a soft spot for the downtrodden. In this case it’s nine feral kittens who were abandoned by their moms. The neighbor whose property they were living on tried but couldn’t really take them on since she is elderly and they are darn fast…so one day earlier this week my back porch turned into a cathouse.
Alexis called and called, but all of the local animal shelters are full. It is kitten season.
In desperation I’ve turned to craigslist to find families to adopt the kids.
First trick was to get good photos of nine squirmy wandering kittens. I once heard that kids and animals are the hardest to shoot. I vote for kittens. After 30 frustrating minutes and more than thirty shots I ended up with about four usable shots. Mission accomplished.
Next was checking the prohibited ads on craigslist – hmmmm, no animal adoptions without a re-homing fee. I can do that. But keep it minimal.
At last, what might be the hard part (or not) for most folks. Writing the ad. Most of these ads read something like this:
Free cute kittens. Need a home.
Well, I want my ad to stand out and pull in some kitty lovers. And what do they tell you to do in journalism school? Personalize the story. Have a message for the audience. Put what’s important up top. So that’s what I did…and here’s the final ad:
Nine little farm kitties looking for homes…mommas left us in the lurch. Must go to loving homes that will get us fixed. We’re getting healthy again…twice daily face washes and lots of food, but we can’t stay here forever. We can each go it alone or be adopted in pairs.
Group 1 – I’m the oldest…a son of the legendary FooFoo, an enourmous long-hair Siamese mix. I’m a bit shy but willing to come out and purr if you treat me right.
Group 2 – We’re the twins. Both tortise shells and love to play together.
Group 3 – We’re the youngest. Three of use are little long-haired furballs; black and white. One orange and white tabby. One light orange…I’m called Pinkie cause I’m so pale. And finally there’s Bobby…the runt of the litter and also the most curious and adventuresome.
Small adoption fee gets you some food, litter, and a kitty. Please please only respond if you are serious. We are descended from family pets that were dumped in a farming area…many cats and pets left like this die of starvation before finding a way to fend for themselves or are eaten by coyotes or hit by cars. Thank you for reading.
Let’s pick this apart. First I state the problem/focus of the story: nine kittens need homes. Then I introduce the characters (and make sure they are memorable). Then the resolution and reasons why you should help out and why these kittens are basically victims of former pet lovers gone insane. Hopefully readers will identify with the personalities and photos and give me a buzz.
Like I need another nine cats.