For the last two and a half years our Derry Township Community Cats program has been homeless. We’ve done our work out of the garage of one of our founders for a year, and then out of my garage and basement. Not ideal places for us or for the cats. Too cold many nights, too hot many days. Not enough space or good lighting. And for those of us who live where the cats are housed, no way to escape the program at all. There have been times when we’ve housed up to 25 cats at a time in our homes.
We – and the animals who live with us fulltime – are pleased to say that these days have now come to an end. Tomorrow morning, we move into a place of our own – the Cat House. With the more than gracious help of several entities, some business and some governmental, we have a wonderful building to house the cats in and do our work. We should be able to help around 30 cats at a time, more if we need to. We have a place for sick cats to stay and recover that isn’t in our spare bedrooms, though I’m sure the really sick ones will still find their way to my home infirmary.
The best part is that we have space again for all of those who want to volunteer with us, and there have been a lot of them, and we are so incredibly grateful for that. We have some new board members who are full of ideas and energy, and those of us who have been doing this for three years and are just a bit fatigued are very excited to have their new thinking and experiences to help us move forward.
The last couple years have been really hard for the core group, but the future looks exciting and full of promise. Some of us were close to throwing in the towel last year when someone from our municipal governing group saw what we did and sat everyone down and made this building happen. It sounds silly to keep saying that we are grateful, but we are…for so many things.
So tomorrow, a whole bunch of volunteers will meet and fan out to the homes where all of our stuff has been stored and we will bring it all together in one place, and we will finally be home. I am so excited I probably won’t sleep a wink tonight. Kid at Christmas Syndrome.
These are some photos of the newly renovated building, taken by the contractor with his phone. Not great quality, but you will get an idea of the space where the cats will hang out. They have a big, bright room with a huge picture window and tons of natural light. A tile floor for us – easy to clean. And heat for cold days or nights, and a window air conditioner for hot summer ones. A large storage area in the back of the house for our traps and other equipment. And a large front porch…I have a dream that maybe someone will donate a picnic table or an outdoor table and chairs for us to relax in sometimes after cleaning and feeding all the cats, or while we’re waiting around for trappers to bring cats to our cool Cat House. It is Christmas in March, and we have all the present we could possibly want.