Having a pet is a big responsibility because you have to make sure it has everything that it needs, and you must also have time to play with it. However, it’s nothing compared with this man that lives with about 300 cats! And before you jump to conclusions, saying that he’s a crazy cat person, we’re here to tell you otherwise.
Chris Arsenault is in his right mind and his house in Medford, New York, is a cat sanctuary. It’s a sad story, but at the end of the day, this man is our hero!
20. Twelve Years Ago
It was 2006 when Chris Arsenault, a retired train conductor, saw a bunch of cats in need of saving. This is the year he decided to take them in and nurse them back to health. But before that, a tragedy hit his family…
19. The Loss of His Son
Arsenault lost his son in 2006. His name was Eric and he died in a motorcycle accident after the vehicle malfunctioned. Terribly grieving his son, Arsenault saw one day about 30 sick cats and kittens that lived in the outdoors, near his neighborhood. Something had to be done…
18. A Tough Decision
He took the sick cats and kittens to his house and then his mission started. The cats immediately gave back all the love and comfort he needed in that difficult time. You won’t believe what he does a few months after that!
17. Other Cats Needed Help
‘I knew there were many others out there like them who needed help too’, said Arsenault. That’s when he decided to buy a property in 2007 and he then ‘went into it full-time.’ His work would be tough, but in the end, it was all worth it!
16. The Perfect Kitty Care
Being retired, Arsenault could spend all his time caring for cats and helping some more. So, he got the property and he named it Happy Cat Sanctuary. Locals knew all about him and whenever they saw cats in danger, they would give him a call.
15. Where Did All the Cats Come From?
Arsenault said that most of the cats were strays ‘or brought in from hoarding situations’. Only a few cats came from owners that could no longer keep them. After the first years, Arsenault had under his care almost 70 cats. But he was just getting started…
14. His Home Welcomed All Types of Cats
Some of the cats he rescued were semi-feral, and that meant they were not great for pets, but some of them found a home. He kept the others that weren’t completely domesticated and gave them food and a place to live in harmony. Then this happened…
13. Receiving a Huge Donation
Arsenault’s sanctuary became famous and an anonymous kind person donated to the sanctuary $200,000! He renovated and expanded the place to help accommodate more cats. And that’s not all!
12. A Comfy Home
The indoor cat house and huts are all heated and have an air conditioner and the yard has a fence, tree structures for the playful cats and hammocks. All the 300 cats that live at the Happy Cat Sanctuary are indeed happily roaming the place. The next photo is amazing!
11. They Have Plenty of Space
‘It’s so big that even if a cat isn’t that fond of others’ company, he can claim whichever area he likes as his own,’ said the man. And we all know that cats can be a bit mean when it comes to having a territory, but Arsenault is doing a great job!
10. A Clean and Comfortable Space
‘The most important thing to me is that they’re comfortable and that everything is kept clean’, continued Arsenault. He is very lucky to also get volunteers that help him around. One can only imagine how much time it takes to care for all the cats!
9. The Day Starts at 7 – 8 a.m.
That’s when Arsenault and several employees come to take care of the cats and clean after them. They clean litter boxes and water dishes every morning. Then breakfast is ready and the cats couldn’t be happier! This is what Arsenault said…
8. Amazingly Patient Cats
‘They get so excited when I come in in the mornings.’ But the cats have learned to wait for their turn: ‘We have a great system and everybody waits very patiently.’ Except for this ginger cat… And that’s not everything the sanctuary has!
7. A Medical Ward
The sanctuary also has a medical ward, where sick or injured cats get more attention and space so that they can recover. Unfortunately, Arsenault has had his share of injured cats that got away from dogfighting rings, car accidents or sick cats.
6. Traumatic Experiences
Other cats Arsenault has saved over the years were brought after they were shot or poisoned. And many of them would never find a home, being too traumatized to fit in. But the Happy Cats Sanctuary has a place for them. This is what Arsenault said…
5. ‘That’s OK’
‘When we take a cat in, I know there’s a chance that they may be here for the rest of their days. But that’s OK…’ He’s happy to know that he could save them and they will stay at the sanctuary no matter what. And that’s not all!
4. Decreasing Feral Cat Population
Arsenault not only saves cats, cares for them and gives them a place to live or finds them a family, but he also has a program ‘trap-neuter-return’. This way, he has helped to decrease the number of stray cats in all Suffolk County.
3. Getting Calls About Kittens
‘When we do get calls about kittens, I take them in until they’re adopted out’, said Arsenault. He also works with ‘All About Cats’ from Freeport to have the kittens adopted out. So far, hundreds of kittens and cats found forever homes.
2. ‘When You Love Animals, It’s So Worth It’
‘It’s really rewarding being able to just see the cats happy and healthy climbing around on tree structures or basking in the sun,’ said Arsenault. He will not ask for ‘anything better’ because he gets to see these happy cats!
1. Adopt a Cat
After Chris Arsenault got picked by the first 30 strays he continued his mission. If you want to check out more about the sanctuary, visit the sanctuary’s Facebook page – HappyCatSanctuaryINC or check out their website. You’ll see hundreds of happy cats waiting for a home of their own.