Stray Cat Blues No More

Any of you who have visited SWCC’s office will know that you have to climb a long set of covered outdoor stairs to reach our door on a little landing at the top. What you may not know is that the wall at the top of these stairs, next to our office door, blocks off another set of stairs which descend into mysterious darkness on the other side. It was from this hidden stairway that a stray cat emerged one day in late winter. He was like a little ghost, darting away behind the wall when we opened our door, giving us barely a glimpse of him. Our office manager, Kathy, felt sorry for the cat out in the cold, and put some food out for him. A couple of days later we noticed that he had company. Two other cats had joined the first, and as we kept feeding them, we realized they were here to stay.

One of the cats, the female, easily warmed up to us, would let us pet her, and eventually was invited in to share our warm office space. But we always put her back out at the end of our day at the office. The other two cats were both males, and although one seemed to be slowly warming up to us, the other remained very skittish and distant. We carried on feeding them for a couple of months, and visitors would comment on the cats outside on the landing and have a smile over the female curled up on our couch. We weren’t necessarily going to name her, but Emily McGiffin, our Development Director, came up with an appropriate name that we all liked. So she’s called Misty River, named for the Misty River Art Gallery that shared the space with our office.

As winter warmed into spring, however, we knew we had to make a move and do something about finding homes for this trio, especially since it was becoming obvious to us that Misty was pregnant. So we came up with a plan that included the help of a big-hearted local gal named Nicky Wolfenden, who not only got funding to have the two males neutered, but also took them to the vet in Smithers for us. When they had recovered from their surgery, Brian Huntington, our Associate Director, took them up to Bearclaw Lodge in the Kispiox Valley to start their great new life as barn cats. They’ve been keeping the barn free of mice and and the horses company. Meanwhile, Kathy took Misty home so that she could have her kittens in a safe place. Three healthy kittens were born on May 11, and all went good homes when they were old enough. Kathy and her family have totally fallen in love with Misty, so that’s where she’ll stay (and yes, she is now spayed).