So…having received a pass from the state fire marshal’s office, I started to look for a contractor to do the conversion. The idea is to unify the two sides of the building into the cat club, with an efficiency apartment also carved out of the space. The short-term rental from the apartment will help support The Club (think Air BnB). This is possible because of the commercial zoning of the lot. The property also has a rear cottage that was totally renovated in 2016. It will be rented out as well.
Between the front and rear buildings there is a courtyard, which we will make into a cat-proof “catio” so that visitors can be with the cats in an outside environment, as well as the several visiting rooms that we will have inside the front building. There will be a reception room in the front, and a kitten room, where we will have one or two litters of abandoned kittens (unfortunately there’s never a shortage of those in NOLA) being tended to by our volunteers and staff. Kittens need to be fed every 2 hours, so there’s plenty of tending going on! They will be sequestered behind a glass partition to keep them separated from the public until their immune systems are robust enough for them to enter the general population of other cats at the club. My guess is that most of these kittens will be adopted before they ever get to that point!
We will have each kitty spayed or neutered when they get to 2 pounds of weight: that is the latest best-practices strategy that shelters use to make sure that no kitten goes to their forever home without being “fixed”. It is amazing to realize that cats can have their first litters when they are only 5 or 6 months old, and we all feel “better safe than sorry” when it comes to kittens having kittens.
All cats and kittens adopted from our facility will have all their shots, be spayed or neutered, and be clean and parasite-free. No adoption is ever final and if an adopter needs to return their pet for any reason we will rehome them.