Are you on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn? Or are you one of those not-so-techy people who would rather take a stroll in downtown Canton? No matter where you’re at in cyberspace or in the arts district, you won’t be able to escape Okey’s Promise. Artist Vicki Boatright, a.k.a. BZTAT (pronounced Bee-Zee-Tat), and Okey, a gray-and-white cat, found each other one evening in a parking lot behind her building. The two kept seeing each other around downtown Canton. But Okey wasn’t a city cat, and downtown Canton is a dangerous place for stray pets. One evening, when BZTAT almost hit her with her truck, that the artist felt she had to rescue Okey from the streets. Okey’s behavior suggested that she had been abandoned and abused. Now, the artist and the kitty are on a joint mission to create a painted mural raising awareness of animal maltreatment, child abuse and domestic violence. In addition to her work as an artist, BZTAT is a mental health counselor, and has been a strong advocate for children’s needs for over 19 years. Over the past few years, she has also become more involved with animal charities. BZTAT wants to educate those who don’t consider animal needs a top political priority, but she’s also troubled by a deeper issue: a connection between animal abuse and child abuse. “When there is violence towards animals, there is likely violence towards children and others who may be defenseless,” reads one of her fliers. “Where there is poverty, there is an abundance of unwanted pets due to animals not being spayed and neutered.” The artist added that animal-rescue organizations sometimes call child welfare programs to report neglected children they saw while rescuing endangered pets. “Abusive people will often get to their victims through animals,” said BZTAT. “Children develop a relationship with an animal, and the abuser will exploit that relationship, often harming the animal to hurt the child.” The mural “Okey’s Promise” will soon be up in Canton’s arts district, a positive piece of artwork that features a child with a dog and a cat. The hope is that the mural will serve to remind society of those most vulnerable. To fund the project, the artist started a crowd-sourced fundraising campaign earlier this year through Kickstarter (kickstarter.com), where she exceeded her goal, raising $5,133 to date from 85 funders. This won’t be the first public piece of art on display in downtown Canton by the well-known pet portrait artist. Her mural series, “Downtown Cats,” was installed on the HEAP building in downtown Canton last summer, among others. And, as a noted social-media maven, it’s likely you could run into the artist online. She’s highly active on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere. In fact, that’s where people all over the world followed the rescue of Okey. “Through these avenues, I connect with a lot of people who are involved with pet rescue organizations,” said BZTAT. “It’s a real passion of mine.” She gets Facebook, Twitter and blog followers involved with the process by taking pictures and posting on what she’s doing each day. “I’m a big advocate for artists using social media,” she said. For those who would like to get involved, visit www.okeyspromise.com and read how. You can also follow the Okey’s Promise Facebook page.