Cat sanctuary helps cats and seniors find companions

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 6:48 PM EST
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ST. ALBANS, Maine (WABI) - Even on the greyest day in Somerset County, there’s a spot in St. Albans that is light, warm and full of life. could say nine lives.

Spirits Place cat sanctuary helps cats from all backgrounds have a place to call home.

”I started Spirits Place in 2016 in order to address the need of unsocialized community cats, feral cats in the state of Maine. Our goal here is to change minds and attitudes about these cats. Every cat matters,” said Lee Palmer, founder.

Palmer says this isn’t a typical shelter, nor are these typical cats.

“Cat by cat, case by case. We work with animal control and other organizations to make sure like do you know the difference between an abandoned pet that needs to get to the shelter immediately, and an unsocialized animal that’s good on the street,” Palmer said.

Palmer says it’s been a true place of restoration for the cats.

“We can let them be nothing’s forced upon them. We’re not under pressure to move them and move them out. Obviously, we’d like them to go on to a better life, but if they can’t, they can chill here,” Palmer said.

Volunteer Liz Breault also works with other organizations in the area, and had an idea to bridge one together with Spirits Place.

“I recently agreed to take an elderly woman’s cat. So, she knew that her time was limited. And she was concerned. So, I was talking to Lee about them so how sad it is. A lot of people are so concerned about what will happen to their cats when they go. Lee and I worked out this program which we named “Furever Friends”, and I got a small grant from the Maine Community Foundation to finance it,” Breault said.

Adoption is free, and the grant funds can assist folks with some basic expenses, like litter or a carrier. Funds will also be used for vaccinations and check-ups for the adopted cat.

And if anything happens to the senior, there is a plan.

“We agree that if anything happens to the senior, they go into a nursing home or hospital that we will take the cat back to the shelter and find another home for it. And it has been very successful and really, really heartwarming to work with these people. They want a loving companion. And it’s just really, really been a wonderful program,” said Breault

Proud cat adopter, Doug Fernald, says his cat, Pablo, has been a purr-fect match.

“I had lost my cat beforehand. Fourth of July weekend, and I was very lonely and sad. So, someone told me about Spirit Place and I called them, and went, and came home with Pablo. It was had to choose. But, when they uncovered him from the blanket. He got down. I knew he was the one. And people say, Oh, it’s so good to see you laugh again,” he said.

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