Crosshaven Cat Home ‘Purring’ with Delight Writes Ciaran Dineen
It has been an incredible couple of weeks for cat lovers Owen Collins and Elaine O’Brien of ‘Our Cat and Kitten Foster Home’ in Crosshaven. Having only moved into their new home a few months ago the couple have taken on a noble but incredibly time-consuming task of fostering abandoned, feral and unwanted cats and kittens. While many of their additions have come from relatively local areas in Cork the pair have also taken acquisitions from both ‘Cork Cat Action Trust’, as well as ‘Munster Lost and Found’.
The animal lovers have five cats of their own and have fostered cats and kittens regularly over time but their compassion and interest in fostering has grown significantly over the last two months. “We both have a passion for animal welfare,” Elaine says, “We started out fostering four kittens that needed a loving home and we grew in size from there,” she adds. Despite already having full time jobs each, with Owen working as an apprentice electrician and Elaine working for a biological pharmaceutical company, the couple have taken on what is arguably a full time job in itself.
Advertising their voluntary service on Facebook about two weeks ago has ‘capitulated’ (pardon the pun) them into the local limelight as their page has gained well over 1,000 followers in such a short space of time. “We set up a Facebook page to help awareness on animal neglect but also to allow people to see what it is we do,” Owen says. “We currently foster 17 cats and kittens. We neuter, de-flea, worm and vaccinate all of our cats and kittens before they are adopted.”
The time and effort that the couple put into the care of the animals is invaluable but there is of course a substantial cost for homing the cats, along of course with the vet bills. Every penny spent comes directly from their own income but over the last week ordinary local people have been incredibly generous with donations coming in the form of money, food, toys and housing for the animals. The amount of kindness from the local area has astonished both Owen and Elaine, “It’s amazing. We never expected the response we have gotten. It has vindicated our decision to do what we do. People can amaze you,” Elaine explains. Their next goal is to raise enough money, through both their own money and donations, to purchase a cat friendly shed in order to expand their capacity and all contributions are welcome.
The reaction of the community is greatly appreciated by the couple but more importantly by the cats and kittens, who have stolen the hearts of anyone who has seen them and their playful antics in videos on the home’s Facebook page. Owen and Elaine are always on the lookout for potential homes as there is never a shortage of cats and kittens in need of their help. They are always looking out for the best interest of their fostered cat or kitten and therefore ask for monthly updates if a cat has been homed by a family.
The pair are very responsive to messages on their Facebook page if you have an interest in donating to their cause or homing a cat, but if social media isn’t your thing then you can email Elaine at email@example.com. Keep up the good work guys!