Written By: Sue Bowman
Forgotten Felines & Fidos,Inc. began in 1994. It was shortly thereafter that I came up with a silly dream:
Some day these amazing creatures will have a place to live, where they will always be safe, not just from other animals but especially from humans. Humans who hunt, torture, harass and kill them just because they are cats.This place would be a large building with plenty of windows, fresh air, beautiful scenery, cushy beds, and plenty of food and water everyday. A regular kitty heaven right here on earth!
A woman named Eileen told me that I should focus on this dream and if I never lost focus this dream would come true. On January 31, 2000 FFF purchased 27 beautiful acres of property. Spring, Summer and Fall were spent turning the house into a workable shelter. Michele and I called contractors, learned all about building permits and little technicalities that we really didn’t want to know existed.
FFF volunteers are one big family so we ended up going with a family theme for our construction. Brothers Bob & Ray Seidel were chosen as our contractors and Glenn Guinther and his brother Dan became our excavators and plumbers. Bob told me that construction would begin on November 6th. I let Bob in on my dream and my hope that all the cats would be home for good in Germansville for Christmas. I guess dreams can be contagious because Bob hired more men and the building took shape rapidly. As Bob and Ray were nearing their completion, Paul Cope became almost a permanent fixture. Not only did Paul do all the electrical wiring, but he did vet runs, lined up inspectors, disinfected cages and even hauled trash. I am sure his understanding wife Debbie thought we were trying to kill him.
December 15th, our crew of painting volunteers were called to action. Robin, Steph and Wanda, Jill with family and friends, Debbie, Therese, Nancy, Linda, and of course Michele all grabbed paint brushes and rollers and made it happen.
Mark, of “Floors by Mark” and his partner came one morning at 8 am and worked straight through until 2:30 am the next morning to put down tile squares. Keith “Critter Control” Galvin built the dividing walls and partitions and hung the enclosure doors and Dave Sheetz built the plenum for our heater. It was now December 22nd, could this really happen?
Around 7 pm on the 22nd the technician would not hook up the furnace because of a minor change that had to be made in the pipes. Home for Christmas would never happen. We stood there in shock and disbelief as the technician walked away. Could that be it? Had the dream we all began to believe in come to an end? Then it happened. The technician who just left called and stated if we could make the correction he would come back the next day and hook up the heater. Our friend Jim Trach left Pen Argyl 6:30 the next morning and had us in compliance by 8 am. The morning of the 24th the caravan of cars left Moorestown with carriers and cages to bring the cats home for Christmas. At 2:46 pm on Christmas Eve the last cat entered their new home.
I could not finish without giving special thanks to our late President Dick Bowman who gave us direction and pulled us up when we faltered. Fifi Phillips who cleaned, fed and medicated in Moorestown so that we could stay focused down here. Pella Windows who so generously donated the windows for the barn. Nancy Motsko who donated all the interior doors.Michele, as I weakened from the sheer enormity of the project, she strengthened. She and friends Jack and Paul have finished the dividing walls for the next group of cats.Dave Sheetz and Greg Plastow studded out 2 more rooms. Tom Ostroski who spackles for a few hours every week and his wife Jane who helps socialize the cats.
Everyone has done so much for Forgotten Felines and yet I was given the title of shelter administrator. Maybe because once, a long time ago, I had a stupid, silly dream.
Now I bet you are wondering where are the FIDOS?? Because of zoning, when we do receive a Fido they go into foster care with one of our loving volunteers until they find a permanent home.
Our other former residents…