Last October, we officially launched our Barn Cat Program sponsored by First Choice. This long awaited program is a solution to the increasing number of feral cats that are extremely fearful of humans. These cats are not able to adapt to a home with a family, they prefer what they have probably always known; being free! Adopting into a more rural setting where they will have the freedom to roam a vast area while having access to a warm and cozy place to rest is ideal for these cats! They are also very important in farm life as they can keep small rodents away. It is therefore, in our eyes, a perfect match!

We had the pleasure of receiving news from Johanne who adopted Cleopatra and moved her into her barn located in our Eastern Townships region;

I learned about the existence of the farm cat program on the Montreal SPCA’s website and I immediately checked the website of the SPA de l’Estrie. To my great pleasure, this program had just been created in the Eastern Townships, in my area!

My adoption request was quickly processed by the SPA team. They clearly described to me what is required to take care of a farm cat as well as my obligations. I made a donation of $200 to cover the cost of sterilization which, however, is not mandatory, but knowing that the SPAE survives in part on donations and that the shelter is currently overflowing…a little money can’t hurt!

The return home went well. As suggested by the SPAE employee, we isolated her for two weeks in a bathroom of the barn. This way, the other cats and dogs could feel the presence of their new roommate under the door with curiosity! We decided to name her Cleopatra, because in Egypt black cats are known to protect homes!

After two weeks, we opened the door, but she did not come out until two weeks later! She seemed fine in her environment full of shelves to rest on!

To this day, Cleopatra has not yet gone outside despite us leaving the doors open, but she walks around freely, and seems to have adopted the second floor of the barn. She is no longer afraid and does not “screech” when we get too close! The others have welcomed her and I hope she is doing her job as a hunter!

I am happy to allow a cat to live freely without invading her or trying to change her behavior. I like the concept of allowing her time to go at her own pace. Now she purrs when I approach and is relaxed!

Thank you Johanne for giving a second chance to an animal in need! You have made all the difference for Cleopatra.