Everyone has different versions of their dream home. Personally, my dream home is three-bed, 2 bath something in Ballsbridge. For others, their dream house could be a villa in Tuscany or a cabin in the woods. Still, others would love a houseboat in the canals of Amsterdam. And for some feral and stray cats in Amsterdam, a houseboat is actually where they live! Mic reported that De Poezenboot, or The Catboat, is a floating shelter for about 50 cats in need. Guests are welcome to visit them for free.
Founded in 1968, cat lover Henriette van Weelde made the decision to buy a Dutch sailing barge and convert it to a home for the growing number of cats she was rescuing. Eventually, the number of cats surpassed the space of the barge, and she eventually upgraded to a Dutch houseboat. It’s been docked in the canal ever since. The houseboat is fully equipped with the creature comforts that cats need, such as heating in the wintertime, as well as beds, litter boxes, and scratching posts. The cats have full access to the houseboat’s outdoor deck area all year round. There was even a fence placed around in order to keep them from potentially getting at the baby ducks swimming in the water.
Weedle passed away when she was 90-years-old in 2005. However, the shelter continued to run after her death, and today it is managed by Judith Gobets and a number of volunteers. Gobets worked with Weedle for many years. Besides providing food and care for the cats, the volunteers are sure to bring all the cats to the vet for spaying/neutering, microchipping, and vaccines.
Tourists, as well as locals in Amsterdam, are allowed to visit The Catboat for free and visit the feline residents. They have visiting hours between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM every day except for Wednesdays and Sundays. If visitors feel inclined, they are welcomed to make a donation to the shelter. Additionally, The Catboat does have some cats who are up for adoption!
Watch the video below:
Who else would love to start a cat boat of their own? I think I’d like to change my dream house now.
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