Saving cats is Samantha Person's #bestmedicine. She runs a no-kill, cage-free haven for homeless cats in Corpus Christi, Texas, called The Cattery. The Cattery doesn't just look for new homes for cats; they focus on finding a perfect match in temperament and personality.
Samantha and her husband, Scott, started The Cattery in 2007. "I wanted to start a different kind of shelter," Samantha explains, "one where cats were not kept in small cages and had the freedom to show their true personalities to potential adopters."
The Cattery separates cats by age group: They have rooms for kittens, teens, and adult cats. Potential adopters can go into the rooms, sit with the cats, and work with an adoption counselor to see which is the best match for their home. The program is truly unique, and the cats thrive at The Cattery while they wait for their new homes.
"We also have a program called Meet Your Match (by the ASPCA)," she explains. "Visitors can fill out a short survey, which assigns them a color. The cats have been personality-tested beforehand and have also been assigned a color. The cats with the same color as the people should be a perfect match."
Samantha has a lot of rescue stories near and dear to her heart, but one of her favorites involves a cat named Virginia. The Cattery took in Virginia, her mom, and her littermates, but Virginia had a lot of health problems. One of her legs was dead and had to be amputated, another was partially paralyzed, and she was incontinent. The vets thought the kitten may have had an umbilical cord wrapped around her waist in utero. Samantha fitted Virginia with an altered baby onesie, since she had to wear a diaper.
"Because of her disability (which she didn't know she had), she stayed in the kitten room her entire life," Samantha says. "She became the 'mom' to all of our kittens that passed through the shelter. She groomed them, made them feel at ease, and taught them kitty manners."
Virginia passed away this year at only six years old. In a traditional caged shelter, however, she probably would have been put down due to her disability.
"She was able to live her life here, was loved by many people and kittens, and served a great purpose," Samantha says. "She will always hold a special place in our hearts, and we are honored to have been able to give her a second chance at life."
The Cattery runs smoothly with the help of its employees, devoted volunteers, and generous donations. "We always need people to help clean, do administrative tasks, and help with adoptions and general care of the kitties," Samantha says. "We also need monetary donations! Becoming a member of our Pet Pals Program (which involves monthly giving) sustains the shelter and helps us continue our mission."
To learn more about The Cattery and how you can help, visit their Facebook page or website.
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