We didn't start out as "crazy cat people" - we really didn't. In fact, we had two cats - Princess and Frisky when we moved into our townhouse development all those years ago. It wasn't long before we noticed the first cat outdoors. It was the night before garbage day. What WAS that on top of the neighbors can? A raccoon? It couldn't be a cat! But it was... And there were more.
We couldn't stand to see them eating out of garbage cans. They looked neglected, tired, hungry, sad. We had food to spare and we started sharing. And so it began.
It was too much for us to catch and spay/neuter these cats one at a time - but we tried for years. After a while, and after finding homes for many many kittens we enlisted the help of a rescue group and in 2010 sponsored a TNR ultimately trapping and fixing nearly 60 cats/kittens in the complex. We found there were 2 other "feeders" and we provided shelter in 3 areas in the nearby woods for the more "feral" cats and got homes for the friendlier cats and kittens. We took in a few with special needs. We already had our blind epileptic cat Angel who also has inflammatory bowel disease at the time. Frisky had sadly left us at age 18 to cancer and Princess at nearly 22.
As time went on our feral clan really learned to trust us. We could eventually pet them all. Some started hanging out by our home and we cut a flap door into our garage and provided heat in the winter and fans in the summer and turned the garage into a cat palace for those who would come.
A few years later one of the feeders moved and no one would take over feeding her group - so the task landed on us. We now had nearly 40 to feed and they soon became family. There's always more room in our hearts. It took a bit getting used to opening 196 cans of food each week and 2 huge bags of dry though... (not including the special diet food we use) but eventually EVERYTHING becomes routine!
Some have left us due old age and illnesses including cancer and some just sadly disappeared. Our hearts are broken every time. We currently have 26.
We have several with cancer - some in remission - all happily doing well! We have some with FIV with a variety of health issues that we are treating. We have several who are blind and one who is deaf (due to surgery to remove a malignant ear canal tumor). Many have had surgery - for urinary blockages, for teeth extractions and more. We are in this "all the way" and we officially became a 501c3 a few years ago.
We have faced many many challenges over the years - not everyone loves the cats as we do. People have said and done hateful things... When we lived in our townhouse people tore down our shelters from the woods... Left hundreds of crushed moth balls at our feeding station... Threw rocks at the cats.... Put mouse traps all over the area in hopes that the cats would step on them...
Once the townhouse association (who knew we sponsored the TNR and sat silent as we were the only ones finally doing something about the overpopulation of cats) sent us notices to enforce a feeding ban. They asked us, after years of feeding the cats just off townhome property and according to and in compliance with the township guidelines, to immediately STOP feeding the cats or we would be fined and risk retribution... We hired an animal rights lawyer and ultimately WON, but it was a breaking point. We started to look for property - it was time to move and take all of the cats.
We built a sectioned barn just feet away from a home that we built for ourselves. We are happy to say that the cats have settled in nicely to indoor living and are comfortable in their new environment. They are treated to air conditioning in the summer and hear in the winter, lots of space to run, climbers to climb on, beds to sleep on, toys to play with, and of course many litter boxes in every room!
Because it is just the two of us we don't have as much time working full time jobs AND caring for the cats as other larger groups do to host large fundraisers. We are hoping now that we moved that we will find more time to host some events or be more creative in finding ways to raise money for our special furry family. The medical bills and cost of food and litter is quite overwhelming. But you can't put a price on love - and we love them. They are our family and they count on us. We cannot let them down - and we remind them every day that they matter - EVERY MEOW matters........
Have a specific question about our rescue or a specific cat? Write us!!