Saving a Cat’s Life Just Took an Hour of My Time

My regular readers will know that I’m a foster parent for Gateway Pet Guardian’s rescued dogs.

Since I signed up in April, I’ve had 6 foster dogs in my home. I can only foster one dog at a time, so I’m always on the lookout for other ways I can help.

I have attended adoption events, picking up dogs from the Gateway shelter to bring with me so they can hopefully meet an adoptive family. I’ve attended fundraising events and carried around a puppy who was selling raffle tickets (I refuse to sell raffle tickets myself, but am happy to accompany a puppy that is doing so!). I spend time using this website and social media to get our dogs who need foster homes or forever families as much attention as possible.

And last week, I added a new experience to my pet rescue efforts.

I saw a plea on Facebook that a cat at nearby St. Charles City Animal Control had found a forever placement. Finding a home for Mark was a miracle since he is positive for the feline leukemia virus and these cats rarely get adopted.

BUT…there was a problem.

Clowder House rescued cat


Photo Credit – St. Charles Animal Control

Mark, an adorable white kitty, was out of time. Clowder House was prepared to take him in and care for him for the rest of his life, but he would end up being euthanized if there wasn’t a way to get him from the St. Charles Animal Control to Clowder House.

So I offered to drive him.

What is Clowder House?

Clowder House Foundation, Inc. provides lifetime care for your cat or cats when you are no longer able to do so. We offer a tranquil setting with plenty of cat toys, furniture and sunny windows for you cat’s enjoyment. Music, human love and companionship will be a part of your cat’s everyday life.

We are a no-kill, minimum-cage facility, and we make every effort to accommodate your cat’s special needs. We recognize each cat’s individuality and strive to make all our residents comfortable. Cages are used only for new residents until they become acclimated, or for sick or injured cats.

Clowder House also provides homes for abused, neglected and un-adoptable cats as space and funds allow. Rescued cats that can be socialized are available for adoption.

I had no idea that anything like this existed, but was excited to not only drive Mark to safety, but to get to see this cat haven.

St. Charles City Animal Control

It really was very simple. I showed up at St. Charles City Animal Control and told them I was supposed to be picking up Mark to take him to Clowder House. They pulled together some paperwork and put him in a cardboard carrying kennel and off I went.

Clowder House cat

I had no idea what I would find when I arrived at Clowder House.

I drove up to a large brick commercial building in the city and walked up to a door that had a dozen cats hanging out in the entrance area. After I rang the bell, a volunteer let me in and offered to take me on a tour.

I was overwhelmed. And very impressed.

Clowder House large cat room

Every nook and cranny in the building had cats. There were multiple rooms where cats roamed freely, and other areas where cats with health issues or who don’t get along with everyone were restricted so they could lead happy cage-free lives with other cats similar to them.

There really wasn’t a good way to get pictures to capture the vast number of cats in these large rooms. The volunteer showing me around said that there were over 200 cats currently living at Clowder House. She comes in every Tuesday to take care of the cats in 2 of the rooms. She cleans any messes, provides fresh food and water, and gives lots of cuddles and kisses.

Clowder House cat room

One of the rooms the volunteer who showed me around takes care of. She knows all of the cats by name that live in this room plus most of the others roaming around.  

Clowder House cats sleeping in cubbies

Clowder House cats cuddle together

Clowder House white cat

Clowder House cats love belly rubs

No area was off limits to the cats. Cats have even taken over the kitchen table and the bathroom!

Clowder House staff kitchen

Clowder House bathroomHuman and felines share this bathroom

Clowder House cat giving Karen Goodman a kiss

Before I left, my volunteer friend snapped my picture just as one of the kitchen kitties gave me a face rub.

How Can You Help?

As you can imagine, Clowder House is always in need of blankets, baskets, toys, cleaning supplies, litter, food and volunteers.

Clowder House wishlist

You can also do what I did, and help other pets get to safety.

If you are in the St. Louis area, join the Facebook group that lines up volunteers to provide transportation for dogs and cats going from shelters to safety. If you aren’t in St. Louis, there is probably a group for your area…just do a search for your city and “animal transport.”

Often the dogs and cats are being transported cross country and need numerous drivers to hand off the animals from one leg of the trip to the next, or to house them overnight on multi-day trips.

All it takes to help with the transport is a car, gas money and your time. What a great way to volunteer with your kids too!

10 Responses

  1. JaneEllen says:

    We used to watch Animal Planet where they go to rescue animals. I had to stop watching it as I was upset and angry with what I saw people did to their “pets”. I’ve also seen it in our next door neighbor in KY. I finally told him off, not my job but I had to tell him what I thought of his treatment of his animals. They would go off in summer leave a dog out with no shade, no water no food. The dogs were kept on a tether so couldn’t get out of the heat. I would buy dog food and cat food to feed their animals when they left them. When the animals got away they always came to our back deck.
    My hubs used to say there was an invisible sign on our house only cats/dogs could see that said a sucker lives here, come on up. I was always like that when our kids were still home. I’d come home with puppies and kittens all the time and the kids would say, Oh Mom not another one. When our female had puppies (10 of them) I never wanted to give them away. They’d be 3 or 4 months old and I’d have to be absent when somebody came to get one. I’d have every stray dog and cat at my house if I could.
    We have a dog we got at a PetSmart adoption day in Grand Junction and a kitty that showed up at our yard one day in KY, determined to be our kitty. We still have him, think he’s about 11 or so. Our dog is 5 now, got him at a year, he is so wonderful, a black lab/border collie and so bright, loving. We feel so grateful to have him.
    They are our furry kids and we love them so much our kids are jealous.
    My Mother in law once told me I loved my dog more than my kids. At that time we had a black cocker spaniel we got at 4 months old at the shelter in Helena, MT. She lived to be little over 14 after moving with us to KY then to CO.
    There’s a cat shelter outside Grand Junction, CO (we live about 18 miles west of there out in country) that is very well populated, they do same as one you showed photos of. It’s very well thought of and I’m so glad it’s there for so many kitties. It’s wonderful of you to take that kitty where he could live out his life with love. Good for you.
    Our neighbor here has hunting dogs. It’s been below zero here during the day as well as at night, those dogs are always outside. My husband told me to mind my own business. When it comes to things like that it’s very hard for me to do. I don’t know how anybody can do that. Him and girl friend are gone alot and those dogs have to go without food and water for 2 or 3 days sometimes, in summer also. I’ve thought of calling humane society to report him. I know they’re not my dogs but keeping them out in weather like that and making them go without food and water to me is horrible, he doesn’t deserve to have them. Forgive me for saying too much. Happy holidays.

    • Karen Goodman says:

      A kindred soul who loves them as much as I do. Thank you for everything you’ve done over the years!

    • Valerie says:

      You should not punish yourself for caring about the wellbeing of someone’s pet if they don’t have the wherewithal to do it themselves. If the dogs are being kept outside without basic shelter, food and water for extended periods, then you are will within your rights to report them.

  2. Charlotte says:

    I’m certain I was meant to find you today. Saw your blog post title appear in the SITS Saturday Sharefest and felt compelled to click. So very glad I did 🙂

    I’m also a foster mommy (my bf and I just took in a lab mix named Maywood) and it’s a tough job sometimes, but so incredibly rewarding and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You’re ahead of us by a few dogs, and I wish we had more space to take in more (we’re only in 400 sq feet, which suits us just fine now, but it’s hard with more than one pup). That being said, there are always things we can do to provide comfort to animals. I love that this beautiful cat sanctuary exists. What a wonderful place (and I wish there was something like this closer to where I live!).

    My dream one day is to open a sanctuary of my own. Thanks for all that you do and for using the power of social media to spread the word about the importance of animal adoption/fostering!!!

    • Karen Goodman says:

      I’m thrilled to meet another foster parent! I’ve met such good people since I got involved in rescue work.

      I just got home from an adoption event. I was originally going to take my current foster dog, but since she has a really promising application pending, I decided to get a dog out of our shelter that needed some exposure. That is one thing I’ve really enjoyed doing…picking up dogs from other foster parents or our emergency shelter and taking them to adoption events. It lets me spend time with dogs that wouldn’t get along with my dog so I can’t foster them.

      Just keep doing what you’re doing. One dog at a time is all I do too.

  3. Valerie says:

    I had no idea there was a FB page for St. Louis Animal Transport. I’ve offered my services to one of the local rescue groups to help with transportation in the past but have not ever had the chance to do anything. This page will give me a broader exposure and I hope I am able to help. These are the kinds of things I would do more often if only I didn’t have to work for a living.

  4. What a great place and I’m so glad you were able to take Mark to his new home.

  5. Susan says:

    Both of my 2 dogs have been rescue dogs. Thank you for all you’re doing to support shelter pets. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday on Organized 31.

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