Cassandra Rendell is a mother and business owner in Bath, Ont., but over the last year, she has taken on a new title — a feral cat caretaker.
Dozens of cats have taken over the backyard of Rendell’s business in Bath, and she says she’s been taking care of them for almost a year.
Rendall recalls last year seeing multiple new cats each time she would glance out of the back window of her shop.
“When we start our day, we come out here and we give them their kibble and wet food,” said Rendell. “There’s usually one that’s around who’s ready for her breakfast and if we’re not around, she’s at the window.”
Rendell runs Bath’s The Lodge coffee house with her friend and business partner Lauren Gamble. Rendell says when they noticed the cats coming around, they called the local OSPCA to pick them up, but they wouldn’t take them because the animals weren’t spayed or neutered.
“The cats that were outside in back of our backyard here at the coffee shop wouldn’t be picked up by the OSPCA, so they need to be re-homed.”
Heather Patterson, a local cat lover, has stepped in to try to help by starting a Facebook group called, For the Love of Ferals. Through the group, locals can help stray cats in Bath by providing them with food and medical attention.
“They have very short life spans — upper respiratory, eye infections are common and most are full of worms,” said Patterson.
Patterson and Rendell say the overwhelming number of feral cats wandering the streets of Bath are due to a neighbouring resident, who is allegedly hoarding more than 20 cats in their home.
CKWS tried to reach out to the homeowner, but they were unavailable for comment.
Patterson says the community needs to deal with the influx of cats now, before the problem gets out of control. According to Patterson, cats can have three litters per year, with seven kittens per litter, which means every unfixed female cat can have 21 kittens a year.
“You can see how quickly things get out of control.”
Patterson says to neuter the cats will cost $250 per animal. Despite the various funding events both Rendell and Patterson are organizing, they’re asking for residents of Bath to pitch in.
Rendell and Gamble will be hosting several events such as “Yoga for the Cats” in hopes to help pay for a portion of the surgeries.