Cat Sanctuary With A Difference

cats-talking-humor-cat wisdom 101-caturdayThe Cat Wisdom 101 gang had fun (except for Merlin) while I was in Florida.

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.

Brigid's Crossing-cats-cat wisdom 101-cat behaviorist- Layla Morgan Wilde

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.Brigid's cross-cats-sanctuary-cat wisdom 101-behaviorist-Layla Morgan Wilde

 

Brigid's Crossing-cats-cat wisdom 101-Layla Morgan Wilde

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.

brigid's crossing-cat-sanctuary-florida

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.

Brigid's Crossing-cats

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.

brigid's crossing-cat-sanctuary-joy

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?

Brigid's Crossing-cats-holistic-cat behaviorist-Layla Morgan WildeBrigid's crossing-cat-joy-holistic cat beahaviorist-layla morgan wilde

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.

Bridget's crossing cat-sanctuary

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.

24 thoughts on “Cat Sanctuary With A Difference”

  1. Layla… such a neat trip you made. Loved the tone of the Cat Sanctuary you visited. Having it in Florida really is ideal… cause the weather stresses are much lower than in the Northern States. It looks so beautiful…
    Bless those people for the caring energy. It SURE DOES take a lot of energy!
    And you their cat behaviourist!! Marvellous.

    Hugs

    Also… loved the idea of the UV light PetMate water fountain. They haven’t been the easiest things to maintain when some in the house eat wet food. So the bacteria reducer is brilliant.

    Wanna get me one of those!

    Thanks for your wonderful shares!

    🙂

    1. Mary, yes, it takes vision and energy. Heather Burch is a visionary and I’m blessed to know her.
      Re: The natural bacteria reducing UV Light is a the best feature about the water fountain.

  2. Cool Place !!!! and Fantastic kitties !!! They can make friends ? That’s pretty amazing for me cause I can’t…tee…heh….and Seriously I do love all photos
    Good Post, Thanks to share with us
    xox

    1. Mr. Puddy, they do make friends, and you have lots of friends!
      @MTVA, yes heavenly and humane in the best sense of the word.
      @Deb, thanks for the kind words and support 🙂

  3. Layla, what a fantastic post. I loved hearing about this wonderful place. Like Brian, I so wish we had something like that around here. Or I wish I had the money to do that. I have the acreage but not the money to build the buildings. What fun that must have been. Thanks for this great report.

  4. this was thoroughly enjoyable Layla! thank you for introducing us to such an amazing place!

    The cats and the grounds appear to be immaculate, the entire acreage has a storybook feel to it.
    It is no wonder the kitties fell in love with you, you ARE a cat!

    I have liked their Facebook page thanks to you and I look forward to reading about future updates. Kudos, this was superb!

  5. What a wonderful place!! I visited Naples couple years ago..I wish I knew about this place. So great each kitty get a good care. It’s truly a paradise!

  6. What a lovely post and concept Layla. How wonderful that you got to share in a part of it. I hope one day that many more of these places will be created for cats – if I ever win the lottery, I can guarantee you I will start one immediately!

    I think I live a couple hours away from this place – I hope one day I can meet Lisa and stop by to visit and chat with the cats as you did.

  7. What a great place. Would they accept humans on a room-and-board basis only for humans willing to care for the cats?

    1. A slice of kitty heaven for sure!
      @Brian, it begins with a wish and a vision.
      @Milo & Alfie and Jan, you’d love it!
      @Tinch,they have staff and volunteers.
      @Thanks Deb and Dan. I’m still actively involved.
      @Chey, it’s quite the concept and vision.
      @Tamago, I too wish I’d known when I visited last year.

  8. This is what it’s all about! This is a place where the cat is viewed as a whole not just as a body that needs a home. I know that many shelters work with very limited funding,staffing,volunteers space and huge over populations of cats but I think that the basic concepts of this shelter could be applied to many more.
    I would love to like the shelter on Facebook but they have decided that I can no longer access my account without providing a cell phone number (of which I have none and would not provide it to them if I did) and no way to contact them to do anything different so like a cat I will not bow to their demands! I’m stubborn that way!
    I am so very glad that there are such beautiful people in this world that see the creatures of this planet as truly unique beings with hearts and souls! All our Kitty love to all out there that care so much and help in whatever way they can!
    Super loud PURRRRRSSSS to all….Skeeter,Izzy and Kat >^**^<

    1. Kathy, I’m very excited as cat behaviorist to be working with this new holistic model of shelter/sanctuary and the brighter future for all cats.
      @Katie, your comment made mine!
      @Ingrid, you would love it. And yes, Joy has tortitude in spades!
      @Max, thank-you!

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