Sunday, June 12, 2011

Did someone say cats?

Two of my faves, who quickly flopped by my bag for a tickle or two
 So, I spent a belated birthday with the Boy and some dear friends (A&J, Lovely Lorie & the Bradman, Ana and Avril) in the wilds of Richmond - and if you know Richmond, you will know that it's not most people's first choice of birthday destination...with good reason.  Sorry, Richmond lovers!

We started out at Lu Lu Island Winery ("Richmond's Largest Winery!"- who knew Richmond even HAD a winery?)  for a wine tour and tasting, and it was great - we had  a lovely tour guide, and tasted all 17 wines - and frankly, what's better than 17 wines at 11am on a Sunday?  We followed that with lunch at Le Tapenade (very nice! Many gluten free options!!)...but the most fun part was yet to come:  The Richmond Cat Sanctuary....
She reminded me of someone...I wonder who....
The sanctuary is home to 700 (yes...SEVEN HUNDRED) cats that have been rescued, given up for behavioral (usually pee related) or health problems (Feline leukemia, Feline AIDS), feral cats, aging name it.   The place is comprised of a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces,  beautifully landscaped gardens, trickling fountains, and hundreds of extremely relaxed, happy, well cared for felines.  These cats are not up for adoption (a few are, but very few), most of them are considered unadoptable due to behavioral or health problems, but as a 'no-kill' facility, their goal is to give the cats somewhere happy and safe to live out their lives.   One thing is for sure, the cats love having visitors.  We had a great tour by the woman running the place, and she told us about the cats and their individual stories and personality traits.  Interesting, sad, funny, and moving stories, and friendly, grumpy, shy, imperious, cuddly and sweet beasts.  And yes, cat people can be a bit weird, but it was hard not to be touched by how happy the cats seems, and the overall calm quiet feel of the place.  Literally, everywhere you look, on every available surface, there was a cat.  Or two.  Or three.
A very unique cat - they think she likely has a chromosomal issue, her face is very flat, with small eyes very far set, a deformed tail, double claws and other weirdness - and the sweetest personality ever.  There is a list of 27 people wanting to adopt her, but she's not going anywhere.

I realize that what I've just described would be considered hell by those who have allergies/fear cats may be able to read their mind/think cats are the root cause of earthquakes/expect cats to take over the world with their amazing psychic powers.  And it was pretty weird, but in the best way possible.  We will be back.  And next time, with a pocket full of kibble.


The Boy said...

Today was quite lovely and the cat sanctuary was a very loving, and moving place as described above. Being a cat lover myself, I was in seventh heaven and wanted take several of them home. Even the most cantankerous feline would warm up to you; they would give you as much love in return that you were giving them.

What a super day! xoxo

Tracy said...

You know I sneezed just looking at these pictures! Looks like an amazing place though. And a great day. xoxo