In mid February Alley Cat Project got a call from Julie looking for two “barn cats” for St Francis House. This is a day shelter that provides people with meals, clothing, and house hold supplies. They are open 5 days a week and full of volunteers and clients during those times. Evenings, nights, and weekends they are empty. The building is full of supplies. In recent years they have had a growing mouse problem and Julie convinced the board that some resident cats were the best way to control the mice.
We immediately thought of Sammy and Maggie. This pair came from a feral colony in Shoreline and have been with us for about 5 months. I felt particularly responsible for them as I made the call to not return Sammy to his colony. Making decisions about the lives of cats is the most difficult part of this work. I want all cats to have great lives. Often we do find very good homes but I always agonized as we wait for the right adopter to show up. We worked with Sammy and Maggie but they never reached fully adoptable status. Sammy remained shy. Maggie would always come to me for pets but was more interested in socializing with our other cats than with us humans.
I took them down to St Francis House on Tuesday. There is an upstairs room with kitchen and back office that sees little human traffic most times of the day. They get this as their sanctuary. Once established there they will have full run of the building and get to choose how much they interact with people. Though empty on the weekend, during weekdays the building is full of nurturing people. Among the staff and volunteers there are several excited to have cats coming to live in the building. Sammy and Maggie will have a large and interesting indoor space to live in, a job to do, and time to develop relationships with the people around them.
While Maggie was sitting in the door a mouse ran right in front of her! In the daylight! She got very interested.
Sammy is shyer and it will take him longer to settle into his new environment but ultimately he will be the real mouser of the two.