There is a fond recollection that goes back to November 24, 2010 when my husband and I went to the Cat House on the Kings. It is the largest no-kill facility in California located on 12 acres in Parlier, near Fresno. It is home to anywhere from 800-1000 cats at any given time with a few dogs scattered in between. If any of the animals are not ever adopted, it becomes a lifetime home for them.
They are allowed to roam free along the grounds and have various buildings where they go to get fed,
sleep and stay warm or cool during the seasons. Lynea Lattanzio is the founder who eventually turned her whole house over to the cats and moved into smaller accommodations on the property.
There are buildings with fenced in yards on the premises for special purposes. One of the buildings is the Senior Home which houses the older cats only. It has a nice yard where these elder felines can sun themselves and are not pestered by the younger generations. They can live out their lives in relative peace. This house has a private room and bath that can be reserved for overnight visitors for a donation. We spent the night there, a memorable experience.
The day we arrived, Lynea herself, gave us a tour of the shelter. It was awe inspiring! The following day we got up and then went around the house saying good morning to all the seniors.
When we went outside, an entourage of cats met us. I had never seen so many cats in one place. Being a cat lover it was close to being in paradise!
There was one cat who seemed attracted to my husband. He had a white tipped tale so we called him “Tippy”. Every so often we would notice him
among the cats and he always came up to my husband. We spent several hours going around walking by the various scattered houses while petting and socializing with countless cats of all sizes and colors. We talked with some of the volunteers and staff members and felt very welcomed.
Our last stop was the Kitten Facility which was in the Office Building. It was cuteness overkill! So many kittens, so much to smile and laugh at, so many we wanted to take home…
Too soon it was time to leave and continue our trip. Lynea came to say goodbye and we thanked her for the wonderful hospitality.
Sure enough, Tippy was present, too! We pointed him out to her and she told us he had been a kitten there and after seven years had never been adopted. It was hard to believe he was unwanted. We gave him a final pat and left.
Throughout the rest of the trip, and even after we had returned home to Texas, my husband kept mentioning Tippy. He went so far as to say we probably should have adopted him! I couldn’t believe, my husband, a former dog person, was smitten by a cat!
After I had developed all the pictures we were so surprised to actually see Tippy in almost all of them! We had been unaware of his always being near. Looked like he wanted to be with us, too.
Since Christmas was around the corner I thought it would be a wonderful surprise to get Tippy for my husband. I called the Cathouse on the Kings and discussed with Lynea the possibility of adopting Tippy long distance. It could be done, I was ecstatic!
There was all kinds of paperwork to be done, especially since he would be traveling interstate. This was accomplished, including the Vet release which had to accompany his carrier, as well as the air fare. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. It was too cold and dangerous for a pet to travel by air under those conditions in the hold, even if they did have a “special” area for animals. So, Tippy did not come for Christmas and my husband was none the wiser.
It was not until mid-February that conditions became amicable for him to travel. Tippy arrived on Valentine’s Day, the next best to Christmas, to a very surprised, and might I say, elated husband!