Some cats are lucky to find a safe sanctuary at Brigid’s Crossing, a unique nonprofit cat rescue and holistic sanctuary in Naples Florida. At this no-kill, cage-free sanctuary, set on eight lush acres of tropical paradise, cats live an indoor/outdoor life with an extraordinary level of freedom and holistic care.
This Caturday is dedicated to the 200+ cats who call the sanctuary home.
On a recent vacation to Naples, Florida, I was lucky enough to meet some of the special cats thanks to Lisa Fleming who volunteers there. I’d interviewed Lisa for a review of her recent book Cat and Crow. We clicked as one does with birds of a feather.
When Lisa told me the cat sanctuary was founded by a fellow Canadian, Heather Burch, my intuition went into overdrive. What followed was nothing less than a series of life-altering synchronicity. I’ll spare you the details, but I’ll just say this: I have two dear new human friends and two hundred new cat friends.
The word sanctuary is from the Latin sanctuarium or a sacred place. To me, it means a safe haven and Brigid’s Crossing feels like coming home. I’ll be sharing more posts about as my connection to the sanctuary unfolds.
There’s no address for obvious reasons. Behind the fence in an old residential Florida neighborhood of towering palm trees, ponds and gardens, several homes and outbuildings are retro-fitted for the comfort and security of the feline residents who live close to nature. Many of the cats are special needs and there are facilities for everyone from feral, FIV+, FELV, elderly, hospice-care, adoptable or not.
Every cat is honored and given the best care including raw and organic food as part of a holistic treatment and healing model no less than visionary; drawing from allopathic, homeopathic and spiritual treatment protocols.
As soon as I entered the sanctuary, I felt at home with cats everywhere of every color, stripe and purrsonality. A welcoming committee of purring fur swished and sashayed in front of me. Some head-butted their welcome, scent-marking me as their own. Others peered from bushes or posed and preened feigning disinterest.
Parts of the sanctuary are designated for some of the cats to create their own clans; make their friends and live in harmony with nature. All new cats are placed in an 18-day quarantine and if needed, receive a spay or neuter. After a 30-day adjustment in a room, they are released into the general community.
I found it refreshing to learn behavioral issues are reduced to fraction of a regular shelter but there’s always one aggressive troublemaker and on that day it was Joy, a lop-sided, vocal torbie who swatted at every cat who crossed her path. She communicated verbally and with her body language loud and clear.
I instantly fell in love with her. She’d been rescued from a vet who had kept her in a small cage for over a year. Joy had plenty to say. Who can blame her for redirected intercat aggression?
We’ve had several healing encounters, chats and walkabouts since. This is Joy saying good-bye before I headed to the airport. She made huge healing strides in a very short time. I’m happy to report she’s improving day-by-day and I’m optimistic about her adoptability.
There are some remarkable cats available for adoption. Needless to say, Brigid’s Crossing goes out of their way to find the best homes in their vetting process to improve odds of a good fit.
As you can imagine, the cost of running a kitty paradise is costly and fundraising efforts are underway for Brigid’s Crossing, a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization. On March 24th, they are hosting a fun Wine For Whiskers fundraiser.
I’d love it if you “liked” Brigid’s Crossing on Facebook.