One of the first things Emily Bott and Dylan Loewke noticed when visiting a historic home was all of the cats resting in the front yard. The property appeared to come with 15 barn cats, which piqued the couple’s interest.
Bott told The Dodo, “We asked our agent if the cats were going to be left behind, and we were promised that they would all be gone by the time we moved in.” “As soon as our offer on the house was approved, my boyfriend asked that the cats remain on the property. I was first nervous because I had never had a cat before. I worked at the local humane organization at the time, so I knew I could at the very least get them all spayed/neutered and perhaps rehome them if necessary (spoiler: it was never necessary).”
The cats had been given dry food by their former owners, but that was about it in terms of attention. Many of the cats were sick, and none of them had been vaccinated. The pair soon moved up to ensure that all 15 of their new kitties received the care they need. After that, it was time to acquire their trust.
“At first, there was only one cat, Valencia, who was nice enough to approach,” Bott said. “She’s the queen bee in our hive. I could tell there were a few others who were intrigued and interested in us, but it took months (and in some cases years) for them to trust us enough to approach them and even pet us! I sat in my driveway several hours giving treats at them, feeding them catnip, and playing with toys.”
Living with so many barn cats has been a blessing, according to Bott. “Every time I walk outdoors, they welcome me right away. A couple of them will follow me nearly everywhere on the property, and if I shake the treat bag, they will all come to me. To get my mail, I have a full team that walks me down the driveway. When Valencia sees my automobile on our street, she will sprint down the driveway.”
Since moving in, the couple has adopted Tofey, a new barn cat who has fit in in with the rest of the herd. They’re hoping to one day open their own animal shelter so they can continue to help animals in need — and it’s all because to their cute barn kitties.