In a very noble act, one retired train conductor from Long Island, NY, has taken in and adopted more than 300 stray cats. Chris Arsenault was inspired to begin giving these needy felines a second chance in life after his son passed away.
Chris began his quest back in 2006 following the loss of his 24-year-old son, Eric, in a motorcycle accident. According to his website, during his grief, he ended up encountering a cat colony that had 30 sick kittens. And that is when it struck him – he had to do something to help them.
Chris took in all the sick kittens from the cat colony and brought them to his home and began to nurse them back to health. But it didn’t stop there. Chris then converted his house into a haven for stray cats, calling it Happy Cat Sanctuary.
He wanted to do this in honor of his son’s memory, and after stumbling across the cat colony, he “knew saving cats was his calling.”
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Since its founding, the sanctuary has grown in numbers and now has around 300 cats. They all have their own tragic backstory. As Chris shares on his Facebook, many of the cats have been rescued from deplorable conditions such as hoarding locations, condemned houses, and even from situations in which they’ve been trapped and used for dogfighting bait!
But now, each cat can rest easy in the safe haven.
Chris has taken on many different projects in order to build it up to a wonderful place for cats to live. He has installed plenty of cat doors, heated outdoor structures, plenty of cat towers, and he’s even built an area where the cats can gather to watch the chickens! There are other structures for the cats to enjoy, such as ramps and perches.
And during the wintertime, they all have access to the warm inside of the home, but for those wanting to brave the cold, there are the heated areas outside. He really thought of everything.
All the cats that come to the sanctuary are spayed and neutered. They are also regularly taken for vet checks. Plus, they’re given plenty of love and attention. And the best part is that both cats and kittens are up for adoption too!
Chris shared with CBS NY that when it comes to bedtime, he is never short a dozen cuddle buddies – many of the cats want to join him in bed. As he put it, it’s the unconditional love that these cats seem to pick up on.
They know that he’s trying to help them, and that is something that they show gratitude for. We think it’s an absolutely wonderful thing that he’s doing for the stray cats of New York.
Check out the video below:
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