Ferndale Cat Shelter Moves into Bigger Space
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Jan 15, 2023)
Ferndale, MI – For the past seven years, stray, rescue, and abandoned cats have found a safe haven and new homes thanks to the Ferndale Cat Shelter, and their unique Ferndale CateFe concept. And now this cat-tastic haven has an even bigger home – moving across the street to the former Bubble and Bark site at 686 Livernois.
The new location is three times bigger than their previous space, with room for up to 30 felines to roam in a room specially designed for them to have fun, play, interact, cuddle, rest, and the other things that happy kitties like to do.
There’s a nice big area for grooming and medical exams, and pens for those that need isolation. And apart from the kitty spaces there is more room for people to play too, including a lounge area with free coffee and snacks, and event space for fundraisers and classes. There is even a modest gift shop, with locally made cat-themed items for sale to help fund the rescue’s efforts. A mural made by local artists Ann and Claudia St. Peter gives the final touch to the whimsical space, along with a plethora of scratching posts, platforms, and hiding spaces.
Founder and Director Deane Iovan gave Oakland County Times a tour of the new space as she and Manager Kevin Kearney did some final sprucing up in anticipation of opening the space to the public. The idea is for people to pay an hourly fee to spend time with the kitties – either using the CatFe’s wireless and working in a warm and fuzzy environment, or taking a more hands on approach by petting and playing with the creatures, which helps them get more socialized and ready for adoption.
The fees help fund care for the animals, including veterinary expenses, litter, and food.
Events are also part of the plan, including trivia nights, bingo, and yoga. The inaugural event is CatFe Bingo on Jan. 21. The event invites guest to “enjoy the new space and happy kitties as you struggle to keep the markers on your bingo cards while cats attempt to knock them onto the floor!” All ages are welcome.
Ferndale Cat Shelter also works with groups to do community service, including scouting troops and corporate day of service volunteers who come in to make shelters for “community kitties.” Sometimes labeled as stray cats or feral cats, felines that live outdoors in neighborhoods might struggle to find shelter in freezing weather. The shelters, made from coolers, help save lives. With the most recent batch, materials were donated by Frenz and Sons hardware in Royal Oak.
“Everyday I have loads of gratitude for this job, and all the people who help,” Iovan said. “There are aspects that can be challenging. Cats can die, they can get sick. Sometimes we see the worst, but we also see the difference this makes, and people working together to help animals.”
She said there is a lot of support from the community. “If you do good work, people will support you,” Iovan said. “That formula has worked for us.”
The shelter is always in need of funding and donations, plus they would love to have more daytime, weekday volunteers. Items needed include:
- Unopened wet/dry cat and kitten food
- Unopened prescription food
- Cat litter
- Towels and flat sheets
- New cat toys, beds, scratching posts, litter boxes or scoopers
- Cleaning supplies: fragrance-free laundry detergent and dryer sheets, glass cleaner, hand sanitizer, paper towel, kitchen-size garbage bags, Swiffer floor duster refills, q-tips, rescue disinfectant or Dawn dish soap
Iovan anticipates opening for visitors – by appointment – prior to the Jan. 21 Bingo event. Those interested in adopting a cat can sign up for a time slot, and will have their fee refunded if they adopt.
Check out their website for the latest information: https://ferndalecatshelter.org