I get a lot of questions about our cats, so here is the whole story. As you may know from our website, we are owned by two cats, gray tabbies adopted from the SPCA 15 years ago, who live in our quarters and don’t go into any guest area of the Inn. One of them is pictured to the right – he’s camera shy and looked away as I snapped the photo. This one is Beavis and his brother Toonces (after the driving cat on SNL) looks just like him, only a little darker gray and a paunchier profile. They strictly stay indoors. Update: We lost Toonces in June, 2008, to feline myeloma, after a good life of 16 years. Beavis left us after 19 1/2 years in October, 2012. A new stray Maine Coon, Toulouse, was happily adopted by one of our guests in the fall of 2009.
When you visit the Inn, you will discover that we have also been adopted by a larger family of outdoor cats – eight of them, in fact. Most of them were born next door under our neighbor’s porch but they were not taken care of – they remained unneutered and somewhat feral, and their numbers grew accordingly. We spent most 0f 2007 trapping, neutering and vaccinating the entire family – 13 cats in all – and finding homes for the 6 kittens still young enough to be easily adopted. The remaining 7 cats, plus an abandoned already-neutered cat, now live in our neighborhood, mostly in our neighbor’s backyard and our garden. They are in various stages of socialization but all of them are skittish with new people. There are three calicos, three orange tabbies, one black and one tuxedo cat – all of whom live outdoors all the time. The local group Spay Today and Hillside Veternarians were most helpful in selling us coupons to reduce our costs in the neutering and taking the trapped kitties on short notice for their surgeries. Our friend Christine helped immensely in placing the kittens with excellent adoptive parents. Our outdoor family has suffered some losses and their number now stands at four – three orange tabbies and one calico.
Rusty, pictured to the right, was our first adoptee and is the friendliest. He, along with some others, have taken to sleeping on our front porch and trying to convince our guests that they belong inside the Inn. We have tacked a little note on our front door to let everyone know that they can’t come inside, no matter how much they try to convince you otherwise. So, if you are allergic, please be assured that neither the inside or outside cats have been in any of the guest areas of the Inn.
Jeanne & Jim at the
Thomas Shepherd Inn B&B in Shepherdstown, WV