How Catify Café & Adoptions All Started!
Chronological Story from 2 Cats to 17 and now the Vision for Catify Café & Adoptions!!
All of what you are about to read and see took place between 2010 up though July 2019
pertaining to the 17 cats, who adopted us (ok, 16 adopted us) that allow my wife and I to
live with them as long as we feed them, play with them, care for them, pay all the
household bills and most importantly, LOVE THEM, Some on their own terms! These
are very gracious cats !! ALL CATS within this story were all fixed (spayed/neutered)
and got the necessary shots/vaccinations shortly after we were able to secure/capture
them. NOW, we want to help even more Cats (besides the ones we already
adopted) by not only finding them "Forever" homes, but to care for them, and especially
nurture the ones who have been Neglected, Abused, Abandoned, Rejected because
people didn’t care or just had a very rough start to life for no reason or fault of their
own!! We want to show them unconditional love and care while they are in our care until
they are ready for adoption. Please consider helping us reach our goal of this Café,
“State of the Art” Veterinarian & Adoption Center.
PayPal Payment Link
HOW IT ALL BEGAN......
My wife & I had lost one of the best cats ever, a tiger cat, Kasey. My wife got her while
she was in Chiropractic College in Georgia. LONG story short, a stray cat came into her
friend’s apartment closet and had babies. Kris took one at six weeks, which practically
fit in the palm of her hand at the time. She raised it and it was the most loving cat and
always was there for her through thick and thin. I met my wife in 2004 and got to know
Kasey really well and we got along great. Kasey would often "steal" my bacon from my
hands as I would try to eat it and thought nothing of it, like it was hers to begin with.
Sadly, in 2010, she developed cancer and we had to put her to sleep, which took us a
couple of weeks to finally do it. It seemed that she was not suffering with pain during
those two weeks, just harder to breathe and she would constantly go off by herself into
little cubby spaces to hide. Finally, when we began to see her breathing more labored
and she stopped eating even her favorites, we took her to the vets and stayed with her
throughout the whole process of putting her to sleep. It was one of the hardest things
we ever did, as those who know, these little creatures become Actual Family Members
and it's a tremendous, heart-wrenching loss!!
On January 11th, 2011 we adopted TWO Cats from the Wayne County Humane Society
near where we live. We wanted them to be companions for when we were not at home
and at work. We named them Jethro & Ellie Mae. Both were found separately and
turned into the place where we adopted them from. Both had worm issues and both had
to be fixed. Jethro & Ellie Mae took quickly to each other and to us, and we were a
family in no time. In July of 2012, we moved from Creston, Ohio to Orrville, Ohio (25
minutes away) to my wife's home town. The economy and home sales had just tanked
and we were blessed with a very nice, large home, at a wonderful price.
A couple of months after we moved in, my wife was working in her office (our formal
living room) and noticed a young kitten, on our window ledge looking in. Here is where it really begins !! My wife called me over and when we got close, it darted off, not to be seen again. Well, until the next day, when we were looking in our back yard and saw her and TWO MORE young (sibling) kittens, eating our bird seed we had put out for the birds. They were very Hungry kittens, looking for anything to eat!
For the next several months, we fed "Our" growing kittens: Whitey, Stripey 1 & Stripey 2
(TWO looked identical with an ever so slight mark on one), tiger/tabby cats. They were
definitely feral, as they would run off if we got close. During that time as well, TWO
MORE CATS, Mama Kitty and Blackie showed up and we affectionately named them,
too (somehow, they seem to become "Ours" as soon as we name them! No matter how
generic the name is, it's just funny how that works!). After about six months, we were
able to get the first three captured, but not without Stripey #1 giving birth to THREE
AND Mama Kitty giving birth to TWO babies. Meanwhile, we took Stripey #2 and Whitey
to get fixed (females), but the non-profit pet care facility that did low cost spay/neutering
in our area, told us that we needed to put Stripey #2 down, due to FIV+ (Feline Aids)
status and that she was pregnant as well. The Doctor said it was best to put her and the
babies down while she was "out", in preparation for the spay procedure. We were NOT
Educated at the time about "Kitty Aids" (FIV+), so we agreed, since the "Doctor" said it
was best. This decision still broke our hearts to do that. It's years later now, and WE TOTALLY REGRET THAT DECISION, based on what we know now about kitties with FIV disease being able to have a relatively normal and fairly healthy life, especially if cared for
properly !! Later in this blog we will talk about a cat we currently have that IS FIV+ and is
just a great, awesome loving cat!
Stripey 1 & 2 & Blackie Mama Kitty & Babies Mama Kitty Babies @ 1 mo.
Stripey # 1 and Babies Tigger - Smokey - Mojo Mama Kitty & Baby
Mama & Stripey Babies 5/14 Whitey 09/14 Smokey-Mojo-Tigger 09/14
At this point we now had: Jethro, Ellie Mae, Whitey, Blackie, Stripey #1, MoJo, Smokey,
Tigger, Mama Kitty and her two babies, (we did not name her kittens as we found them
a home to go to when they became of age to do so) ELEVEN cats up to this point.
Mama Kitty (pale gray in color) would love to roam in the woods behind our house, but
always took care of her babies. Shortly after we got her babies adopted out, she one
day went out to roam, and never came back. We don't know what happened to her and
feared the worst. We were very sad she was no longer a part of us and will always
wonder what happened!!
In the midst of all of this, a few months prior, we had had a "neighborhood" (very feral)
male cat show up, named CHUCK by the neighbors. Chuck roamed the neighborhood,
and we learned he was more than likely the "Daddy" of all of our girls, or at least one of
them. We learned in the process that a female cat can be impregnated by multiple male
cats. This would make sense with our Stripey 1, who birthed MoJo, a solid black cat,
medium hair, super soft with a touch of white, Smokey, with a uniquely shaped face,
and Tigger, a tiger cat. Chuck was always sweet with Mama Kitty and both Stripey’s and
very protective of them.
Chuck was a true Feral cat that could never be tamed to the point of being held or
picked up. I was able to finally, after months of gaining trust, be able to pet him...a little
bit. Boy did he love to eat and that was usually when I could get a few strokes in down
his back. We fed our cats well, and still do to this day. In the pictures below, the "white
stuff" you see on the bowls is "Fresh Rotisserie Chicken" that I diced up and gave to the cats
from time to time, and even to this day. Chuck hung out mostly at/near our place once
he found us, (as the other main neighbor who said they fed him, commented that he
basically stopped eating over there and they did not know why since he was still looking
robust. We shared with them that maybe he liked our restaurant better!! :-) One day, in
Late Spring of 2018, at night, we saw Chuck outside, walking very slowly and almost
limping, he came up to me and I petted his head then his back which was very wet and
smelly. He stayed on our deck on a blanket we had for him for about an hour and left.
The next morning, we saw him at the neighbors house at the end of the driveway, sitting
almost in the road (not like him at all) I went up to him and in the daylight, I could see he
was dying. We called around for several agencies to come and get him, but none would
and they just advised don't touch him. Sadly, he went off down to a drainage/runoff
area, never to be seen again. We figured that he came up to us that night to say
goodbye. At least for the few years he lived outside "with" us, he had great food, a
heated outdoor house, clean bedding and as much love as he would tolerate.
Chuck Upper Right Chuck Upper Right Our 4 Unit Heated Condo
Without Chuck and Mama Kitty, we are now at 8 cats. Jethro, Ellie Mae, Whitey,
Blackie, Stripey #1, Mojo, Smokey, Tigger. OH WAIT, did we tell you BOOTS just
showed up (yes, we named him), one afternoon while I was away from home? My wife
calls me to say there is a new cat on our deck and he was just skin on bones. "What do
I do with him?" my wife asks. I said: "Feed Him"!! And then there were NINE. Boots,
"with a hint of ADHD", was and is a very sweet and lovable cat. Boots was one we did
not have to earn his trust and he was not a Feral like the rest were (except Jethro &
Ellie Mae). He was happy for a home and waltzed right on in! Over the next few months
and a couple of vet visits, he turned out to be a very loving, very handsome, healthy & awesome cat!!
Boots Boots "Modest" Boots
So, we're good with nine cats now !! Right ?? Oh, Nay Nay !! Here comes cat # 10. One
Monday morning as my wife is walking into her office with her hands full, barely able to
just open the outside door, and IN WALTZES, from the cold outside, Abby. Abby
decided to check out my wife's practice, went into all the exam rooms and finally wound
up in our billing office, hopped up on the counter and curled up on top of our warm
laptop and took a two hour nap. Abby was different from most cats, uniquely
independent, and mannerisms of a dog. Over time we have called her a "Dat", which to
us means "a dog caught up in a cats body". She is just so cute and overly adorable.
Plays fetch like a dog, back and forth over and over. Wags her tail like a dog and does
so all the time, and clearly answers to her name every time when we call her. Initially,
she had a very rough start, weakened immune system and sick along with two types of
worms causing her many issues. After a week or so from a Vet Visit, she was all better!!
This is Abby
TEN is a good number. Our new LIMIT. No More!! And then there were TWO more, at
once. Tortie & Koal. Again, at our office, on a cold winter day, early afternoon are these
two little younger kittens, so we thought, that were actually older (about a year old). Just
underfed and one stunted in growth. These two, started at my wife's office by pacing
back and forth in front of the doors where people came in/out. Running a few feet away
when people came but then coming right back. Approximately, 7 hours later when the
office closed, they were still outside, looking in, so we coaxed them into the glass
enclosed foyer, they started purring and doing the figure 8 in our legs and then we
brought them home. They too had some health issues, mostly respiratory and eye
infections. Two weeks later they were back to good health, and so we are at an EVEN
DOZEN !! The wife & I have a serious talk, or should I say, SHE TOLD ME..... "NO
MORE CATS". Ok, so NOW the Boss has laid down the LAW!!
Tortie Koal (Top) - Tortie (Middle) Koal
WELL.... I guess LAWS are meant to be BROKEN!! One day, in our back yard, was this
part tiger / mixed breed. For a stray/feral, he did not seem to act like a normal cat.
Sneakers (yes, we named this one too) did not respond to noise and was easily
frightened off when he was finally aware someone was there or close by. One
afternoon, he was sitting on top of our outside grill in our backyard, (I was inside the
house looking through a window when I saw him) so I went out the front and attempted
to sneak up on him from behind his back. Stepping on twigs and small branches,
crunching them as I went, he never budged or looked behind. I got within about 3 feet of
him and clapped my hands loudly, that got his attention and he ran off. After about a
month of earning his trust, I was able to get him inside. After a vet visit, we learned he
was about 3/4 deaf, and has Feline Aids (FIV) which is "Kitty Aids". Only transferred
usually by a direct bite from Saliva. So what do we do with this one? I was under the
impression (5th paragraph above from the top) to put him down. We just couldn't do that
to him, and our New Veterinarian that we had now been using for the last few years at
this point, educated us HOW to incorporate him into our family and that he could live a
normal life with some help. So Initially, we caged him (Cage Size: 4' X 3 1/2' X 3'). But as
he tamed down, and we got to KNOW him and what FIV is, he now only SLEEPS in his
cage at night and is out with 12 other cats from 6:30am until 11:30pm daily, and we have
had no problems. As of Jan. 2022, we are considering doing away with the cage as he
truly gets along with all of our other cats fine. Sneakers is one of the most loving and
appreciative cats we have. EVERY TIME when I go to scoop his litter box in his cage, he has to come up and be next to me and LOVE ON ME by marking me with kisses and gentle
head butts. So I guess a DOZEN is now a BAKERS DOZEN (13)!!
So now that we are at a Bakers Dozen, things KIND OF slowed down, when we
experienced some trouble. To start, Garfield showed up (he was not the trouble, he was
just #14), but he did take close to a year and a half for me to earn his trust. At first, if I
got just within eye-sight of him, he was gone like a lightning bolt, but he always returned
for the food. Within six months, I could get within 10 feet of him and we would just talk.
Within a year, he was sleeping up on a chair we had just outside our door on our deck.
(covered deck chair with two heating pads for the winter months). Finally, Winter of
2017 and we were getting 10" of snow, I knew he would not survive if he wandered,
which he did every day regardless of outdoor conditions. So, after six inches of snow
had fallen, I put food out on our step and squatted at the door talking with him while he
ate. As he was eating and took a moment to look in the other direction, I grabbed him
and tossed him into our sun room where 5 other cats love to hang out at. Surprisingly,
within a couple of days it was like they were all one big happy family as Garfield got
along with everyone right out of the gate.
The TROUBLE I spoke of began summer of 2016 when THREE of our indoor/outdoor
cats were majorly injured within 10 days of each other from roaming out in the woods
behind our house. Even though we are in a nice neighborhood, sometimes some not so
nice people hang out in the woods, and not everyone understands/cares that
cats/dogs/animals can feel pain and hurt just like we do. Three of the cats came home
with their right front paws injured/fractured, causing them to badly limp around for several
days, and one for several weeks (she (Stripey) was still wild enough to not be able to get her
crated and to the vet). We decided after the third one was injured, this was definitely not
coincidental or "natural"! We at this point grounded all of our cats and they now live inside our home permanently. That was a big culture shock to some of them and we wanted them to be happy, so we did build a Large 18' long, 8’ Tall by 5’ Wide outdoor free standing habitat
where they can go out our sun room window into the unit and be outside, but protected.
They do love it and spend as much time out there as possible, even on cold days.
Our Free Standing 18' Long by 5' Wide by 8' Tall Outdoor Habitat
Cat # 14 - Garfield
Short Video of the Outdoor Habitat we built to protect our cats from harm.
So where were we? Oh yes, Garfield. I was very thankful that we were able to get him
inside as we were running those two heating pads, that were wrapped in towels so that
it would be just warm enough and not too hot for him while he was living outside.
Running them 24/7 as we did racked up the electric bill. So, I thought, "Finally, that's
done." WELL... four days after Garfield, Skidders showed up. This guy was exactly
that..... Skiddish. He would NOT go into the heated chair, even though I changed all the
bedding to new, clean towels. Skidders would not even go into a brand new heated box
we built for him. It is now, at night time, in the SINGLE DIGITS and my wife and I are
highly concerned, especially for his delicate ears. He would sit on a snow melting mat
we put out, but that did nothing for his head. After a couple of days, we were able to
grab him in during a feeding on the steps by our door like we did with Garfield, so this makes Cat Number 15.
Skidders - Cute, Adorable and Lovable
Skidders personality type is always CURIOUS !! He just has to get into your space to
see what's going on. One thing he is notorious for is, if another cat goes into the litter
box to go potty, he'll walk right up to them and it's like he's asking: "Whatcha Doing?",
not giving the other cat(s) any privacy. During the day it's not so bad, but at night, he is
in a cage, right next to sneakers where they sleep overnight and the other cats have
some privacy!! Otherwise he, like Sneakers, is free to roam/play with the others
close to18 hours a day. As of January 2022, we are going to try to do away with
his cage as well as since he is getting older, he seems to be mostly better with his
At this point I have broken my wife's law (about no more cats) THREE TIMES. Well,
since I am a habitual law breaker, what's one more, right?? Actually, for the first six
months of 2019, I thought we must have finally got all the cats from the neighborhood
as no more showed up, which I was actually thankful for. To take care of just 15 cats, at
regular costs for food, cat litter, toys, cat trees and bedding and vet bills for when they
get sick or need care, it runs approximately $1000 to $1200 per month, sometimes
more. For November 2021, we had THREE cats with dental issues that ran almost
$1000 alone for those three dental surgeries. We keep approximately fifty, 38LB Boxes
of Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat litter on hand, we use approximately 20 cans
of quality moist food per day to help keep them hydrated better; dry food we use the
Purina Cat Naturals, Purina One Series, Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo brands. Then we
use Vetriscience Lysine and Multi-Vitamins to keep their immune systems up. For the
most part we have very healthy cats.
SO, July 2019, shortly after the 4th of July holiday. This skinny, gray cat showed up at
our house and was hanging out near where we feed birds. I saw this cat for about three
weeks, but every time I got near it, it just ran off and would not come back until I left the
area. I had not put any food out for it as "I Thought" this cat must live in the
neighborhood somewhere. In hind sight, I should have put food and water out for it.
Finally on the 3rd Saturday, after dark, I went to retrieve our bird feeders because if we
don't the raccoons will knock them down and run off with them. As I rounded the back
corner of our house, I am hearing a cat crying at the top of it lungs. I had no clue it
would have been that same gray cat that had been hanging around, but it was.
This cat was just sitting under an evergreen tree at one of our tree lines on our property.
After about 10 minutes of coaxing it out, it finally came to me, allowed me to pick it up
and carry it into the garage. As I was carrying it, I am thinking: "WHAT am I going to tell
my wife?? Honey, LOOK WHAT I FOUND !" I called for her and she came to the
garage, she looked at Grayson (yes, we named him) and as I explained what had just
happened, my wife said: "AWWWWWEE". Unfortunately, we do have a Rule/Law in the
house that NO cat comes inside until after it has been cleared of illnesses by a vet. So
we had to keep it outside until Monday, not knowing if it would stay or not. We fed it a
3oz can of moist food and another one on Sunday morning as fortunately, Grayson
stayed in the flower beds by our house. By Sunday afternoon, he was following me all
around the perimeter of the house, never leaving my side, just like a little puppy dog. He
made SEVERAL attempts to try to follow me inside the house just breaking our hearts
with its poor, pitiful rejection look and cries.
Monday morning rolled around and YES, he was still there. We called our vet right when
they opened and we were able to get in before noon. To our SURPRISE, the doctor
said he had not eaten for potentially 3-4 weeks, partially dehydrated, about 4 lbs
underweight (due to being TALL and LENGTHY he only weighed 9.75lbs and should have been 14lbs. Today he is almost 15lbs) This was due to him being DECLAWED, (he could not catch birds or other animals he was hunting) and he was also already fixed. We looked for well over a month at lost and founds and called places, but no one claimed Grayson, so here is cat# 16. This cat is the most appreciative, loving, soft and a Complete Ham for pictures.
Talk to the Paw and meet Mr. Grayson !!
So Where is cat # 17 you ask? SPOOKY is cat # 17 with a floating number. Spooky
actually came to us with Kris's mother (now 82) when she moved in with us due to health
issues. That was her cat and she resides upstairs in her large bedroom with two very
large closets & bedroom to play in. Spooky has a three window area to be able to watch outside, get fresh air and sunshine along with seeing people walk up and down the neighborhood which she loves. Unfortunately, she is a much older cat, and starting to get cataracts in her eyes we suspect, as you can tell by the pictures. She has always been a "One Person Cat" and does not want to integrate with other cats very well.
Our mothers cat, Spooky.
About late August, 2019, I had this idea to act on what has been building for a long time, on how neat it would be to be able to have a place to adopt cats out. I know there are MANY cat adoption agencies already. Reality has finally set in and we realize that 17 cats is our max. So I can now help other cats through this organization we have formed by coming along side of other "Rescue Shelters" to help with their "Over Crowding". We ourselves will not rescue as far as our organization is concerned, as we will not have that type of facility we are structuring. Initially, we were looking at only a Cat Cafe with Cat adoptions with a 5500 Sq. Ft. building and just big enough to fit three operations under one roof which would of also included Cat Boarding.
There are really just four places in Ohio and 58 in the U.S. that are a "Coffee House & Cat Adoption" type facility as of October 2019. In Ohio, Gem City Catfe in Dayton, Kitty Brew Cafe in Mason. affoGATO Cat Cafe in Cleveland, opened in January of 2019, and has already adopted out 241 Cats this year so far (at the time of this writing). Eat Purr Love Cat Cafe in Hi (Currently Closed at time of this posting) is also among just a few places like this that exist. All four of these are a Minimum of 75-90 minutes up to 3+ hours away from where we will be located.
There are NO Cafe's that we found that also would have a full time DVM's (doctor veterinarian medicine) and have a type of facility (all under one roof) that could do x-rays and blood labs onsite (if needed) as well, to speed up the process of treating our furry little felines quicker so they would not have to suffer from the condition they would have come in for. We also want to provide a "Waiting Area / Lounge" for those parents who wish to stay close to their babies (cats) while they have surgery and to keep them informed throughout the process.
PetSmart of Wooster, Ohio has been very gracious in getting our supplies we need for our own cats, and staff there has promised to also assist with our operation. In talking with staff at several pet stores who are close to the adoption arena, they have all said something like what we would offer is highly needed. We are currently planning on having up to 5 Veterinarians on staff to implement all of our programs and keep up with the demand. We can even potentially become a 24 Emergency Clinic within a year or two of opening.
What will make us different? Why will we succeed when we get funded enough to open a facility? There is a big need in our area for a Low Cost Facility and there was one in one county over in Medina who no longer does Spay/Neuter, that was QuickFix. Secondly, Our Attitudes, Genuineness, Knowledge, Care and Love we have for cats, along with our Strong Business Plan with 8 Revenue Streams that should allow us to be a Self-Sustaining Non-Profit Organization!!
We understand that the overall laws on animals is that they are "Property". That is not how we feel, nor how we will operate. They are like "Family" to us as we will treat them as such. These cats, and other animals can feel "Happy, Sad, Depressed, Sick, Aches & Pains, they Bleed, get Cavities / Bad Teeth, Infections and much more JUST LIKE us Humans!! If we could save them all, we would. However, that is not reality!! But, for EVERY CAT that will pass through our facility, we will will make a huge difference in their lives and to them personally !!
We do not know who you are (reading this post) or where you are from. We are not asking you to stop supporting any animal shelters or facilities in your area. But if you have extra, if you would like to help us make a difference here in NE Ohio, perhaps you even donate in honor of a cat you have, Your donation will GREATLY help us meet our goal for our Building & Property. We so Greatly Appreciate Your Donation and support! Feel free to email us and we will do our very best to respond as soon as we can. THANK YOU for your Time & Consideration. All Contributions are Tax Deductible with our 501c3 Organization!!
Please visit our Facebook Page and "LIKE" and/or "Follow" us and we will start to update there as to what all is happening and keep you posted. You can also BOOKMARK our BLOG Pages as we will have Monthly Updates Starting in January 2022, that will be updated on a monthly basis. If you have supported us, we want to say in advance a BIG THANK YOU!! Please feel free to stay a part of our family and watch us grow, all because of YOU!!
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Catify Cafe & Adoptions, Inc.
P. O. Box 21
Orrville, OH 44667