Brigid’s Crossing Foundation: Q & A With Lisa Fleming

Our cat Odin is a nominee for Cat Ruler of the World, a fun contest for a cause. If Odin wins, the grand prize will benefit Brigid’s Crossing Foundation, The Nation’s Premier Holistic Cat Sanctuary & Adoption Center TM. Founded by Heather Burch, the verdant 6 acre, no kill, no cage and safe haven for homeless cats is located in Naples, Florida.  

brigid's crossing foundation-cat-sanctuary

One of the volunteers who works tirelessly for the sanctuary is Lisa Fleming, author of Cat & Crow, An Amazing Friendship. I first met Lisa at the sanctuary last winter where I instantly understood her passion for this unique cat shelter.

Q & A with Lisa Fleming

Lisa Fleming-cat-portrait-Jose Maria Castillo

LMW: Tell us a little of how you became involved with Brigid’s Crossing?

LF: I had heard about Brigid’s Crossing was looking to volunteer, and be part of an organization where I knew the cats were well cared for, treated with respect, and didn’t live in a cage. And to know the only reason they wouldn’t be there the next time I arrived, would be because they found their forever family, was fantastic! The first time I was given a tour, and upon leaving the well protected, cat security fencing gate, a cat came running,chattering, and meowing away, after me.  The staff member looked at me, and the cat, still pacing my every move thru the fence, and radioed a volunteer, to please come for her.  She said that had not happened before, since I was a complete stranger to all of the cats, that day. I knew then, that the sanctuary was where I needed, and wanted to be.  Their furred faces have touched my heart, and the sanctuary, has become my home away from home.  Now, 50 kitties come and greet me when I arrive!

LMW:How is Brigid’s Crossing different from other cat shelters or rescue groups?

LF:Brigid’s Crossing’s motto is ‘Healing the Circle of Life.’  They care about alllife, and helping the cats, that have been, abandoned, abused, blind, deaf, feral, stray, and surrendered.  We receive many calls from other shelters to take their cats that are not considered to be adoptable.  With loving hands and hearts, they are healed, transformed and adopted.  Heather has been treating FIV cats for years, and so they too, are welcomed, and live in separate houses outside of the property, with their own cat care staff; specially trained in their treatment program.

Heather, and the cat care staff, are the true heroes.  I have learned so much from everyone, as I watch them pureeing squash in the blender, and other healthy mixtures for cats on special diets.  The food served to them is raw: either beef, chicken or turkey.  Natural water from a purifier is the only water they are served.  The attention to every detail, is standard operating procedure.  In keeping with the holistic nature of the sanctuary, natural remedies are always chosen first, over prescription medications.

LMW: What’s the most remarkable recovery of a cat you’ve seen at the sanctuary?

LF: Centurion. An FIV who was going to be put down at a shelter.

He is our Miracle, and such a joy! How profound, that as I went inside to find my camera, to photograph the Brigid’s Crossing special Tote Bag, when I came back out, our volunteer photographer, Mila Bridger, found him right next to it.

Mila-Bridger-Brigids Crossing-Centurian

Note the 2 black ears sticking up from behind.  That’s Sammy!  Centurion knows, that there certainly is power in his purr!

LMW: I feel in love with Centurian when I met him and he is a big reason why Brigid’s Crossing was selected as our shelter choice.

LMW: Why do you think cats are becoming more popular as pets?

LF: They now outnumber dog owners for the first time! They are soft and snuggly, extremely loving, highly intelligent, and have such fascinating purrsonalities. Cats are good for our health!  How can you not laugh, when watching playful kittens!  Simply petting a kitty, can ease stress, and calm your heart. They are the purrfect dose of happiness.

LMW: Despite the increased popularity of cats especially in social media, misconceptions about cats continue. What key message would you like to share with our readers about cats?

LF: That cats are so independent, people think they can leave them all alone, even for a day or two.  This logic is simply criminal. Placing large bowls of food, when a cat used to receiving 2 small servings a day, and overeating, can kill.  A cat kept inside a locked home, is not safe; anything could happen, including a fire, and I feel there should be laws in place for this type of abandonment. If you know anyone who is leaving their pets unattended, you can report them to your local animal control, or law enforcement agency.

For more information, visit Brigid’s Crossing Foundation  and like their Facebook Page

Donors, donations, sponsors and volunteers are always needed and necessary to continue rescuing and saving lives.

To learn more about Lisa Fleming, please visit her Cat and Crow Facebook page.

Voting for the Cat Ruler of the World contest begins the week of September 9 and readers get only one vote. Stay tuned to Cat Wisdom 101 for details. Odin’s next campaign debate will be on September 4. Our blog post about Layla’s first visit to the sanctuary.

Our regular Thursday feature Vet 101 will return next week.

24 thoughts on “Brigid’s Crossing Foundation: Q & A With Lisa Fleming”

  1. Hi Layla,

    Brigid’s Crossing Foundation sounds like the ideal place for a cat to be.

    Lisa Fleming sounds like a wonderful cat hero.

    I like the details of how they run things there. They are definitely an organization that I will consider donating to.

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

  2. Great interview. I can relate as I feed 21 outdoor neighborhood cats. When I walk outside and starting calling “Babies”, the cats jump out of hiding and run towards me. I feel like Cinderella. Not the prince part. But at the very beginning of the movie, when she starts singing, all the creatures of the kingdom scurry and fly to her. Actually,the cats are my princes. They bring me such joy and unconditional love. Their absolute trust in me uplifts and inspires me everyday. I would encourage every person to volunteer at a shelter or care for a feral colony of cats.

    This is such a worthy contest as readers learn more about the plight of homeless cats and their unique essence that we need to protect.

    Thank you Layla, Lisa Fleming, Deb Barnes and all the Cat-idates for educating the world about cats!

  3. What a great job they are doing! Hurray for rehabbing “unadoptable” kitties! We’ve adopted a couple of those kind of kitties too, and how rewarding they are.

  4. Every shelter,every sponsor,every volunteer,every employee,every blogger and most especially every cat is a winner in every way!
    Maybe the sponsors will see how great all the shelters are and spread the joy even more. Just remember for every shelter that is being mentioned here there are thousands everywhere that aren’t. Please love,help and support your local shelter in any way possible.Even “kill” shelters can be made better places with the strength and support of volunteers and donations. There are many ,many cats that never make it to a shelter, do what ever you can when ever to help them.
    We all love cats ,of that there is no doubt!
    Fight on cat-idates! Lead the charge for us all!!
    MEOW!!! Skeeter and Izzy >^!!^<

  5. It warms my ♥ how all of you wonderful women dream up such creative cat contests…all to help those that need it most. I’m grateful to all of you, and to all the rescue’s who pour all of their passion into providing protection, and a safe haven for those without a voice. Meow to you all♥♥♥♥♥♥
    Fondly, Lisa Fleming. The kitten that I had recently adopted in the painting is Shadow. So the artist titled it: ‘Me and My Shadow!’ This painting ended up helping our local Humane Society, at a silent auction gala in Naples. The higest bid for a sitting with the bidder and their pet…love when that happens!

  6. ODIN !!! this holistic sanctuary ROCKS N thiz iz an awesum post; whoa..trooly grate pick sures but we R lovin de main pick sure on “about our sanctuary” page !!! saweet 🙂 cat grass..flowerz….dirt for diggin in sum pots…..mom evened clicked de “employmint” link even tho we iz like a mazillion miles away !!! we hope all de shelters come out az winners; this iz gonna be a tuff vote 🙁

  7. Great interview. I sure wish we had a sanctuary like that nearby. I especially appreciated Lisa’s cautioning against leaving animals untended when their caregivers go away; it’s shocking how some seem to think that’s perfectly OK! (It also begs the question — people who wish to adopt cats should be vetted thoroughly before the animal is surrendered.)

  8. I just love the Zee and Zoey bunch for having “rule the world” contest to help kitties like this and this shelter sounds amazing. I don’t know of any other kitty place that serves holistic food and medicine. Thank you for being a champion of them, Odin!

  9. Wow! We love her attitude and the style of the shelter. It would be so cool to be able to volunteer in a cageless shelter (we try at ours but on the offsite places, we can’t–and the boys in their room are kenneled at night).

  10. What a great innerview. My Auntie volunteers and fosters for another great rescue in Naples, FL, Brookes Legacy. They take animals off death row but they don’t have a facility. All their animals are fostered until adopted. My main charity is A Call 4 Paws, which is a facility much like Brigid’s Crossing, with many acres for cats to roam and houses with heat/AC for the elderly and injured. I’m proud to be a member of this campaign for a cause.

  11. I have been following Brigid’s Crossing for some time and am so impressed with what they do. My ultimate dream come true would be if I could open a sanctuary like this one day myself. Huge hugs to Heather Burch for creating this cat haven.

    I am humbled more than words can express as to the significance of this contest and I am so proud of all of the Cat-idates who are participating. All the shelters are so worthy and it is such a privilege to be able to give them the spotlight they deserve.

  12. What a beautiful post, Odin. Reading about Brigid’s Crossing warms our hearts and gives us hope and inspiration in everything we do. Bless them and the amazing work they do.

    We are honored to be part of this Campaign For A Cause Contest. All of the shelters make a significant impact on the lives of so many cats in need.

    For once we’re relieved we don’t have to vote.

    We wish they ALL could win.
    xo, Katie & Glogirly

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