Nine-month-old Moony lives in a one-story house with 87 residents.That is, 87 cat residents: Moony is a stone-gray kitten.
Jodi Johnson is the president of Four Paws, a non-profit organization that provides shelter for cats.
“We got our non-profit status in 2002, so [Four Paws has existed] about 11 years,” Johnson said.
Johnson and Carlson said Four Paws is not like other shelters. They do not euthanize healthy animals and they are the only non-cage shelter in Idaho.
“I vowed to make a difference,” said Bobbette Carlson, one of the creators of Four Paws and mother of Jodi Johnson. “It’s not just for cats, but for people … they can come and socialize. Some people say they want a female gold cat and leave with a black and white male … we try and match them.”
Johnson and Carlson said all who work at the shelter are volunteers.
“People need to be educated on the treatment of the animal … we work here to educate,” Carlson said.
Everyone who works at Four Paws works directly with the cats for much of their care.
“We can do a lot of things here,” Johnson said. “I had to learn how to give shots.”
Johnson and Carlson know all 87 cats by name and they keep a scrapbook of the backstories of many of the cats.
“Every cat has a special story,” Carlson said.
Johnson said there was one point that they housed 126 cats, but they prefer to keep 65 at the shelter.
“When an animal needs help it’s hard to turn them away,” Johnson said.
One of the cats, Rusty, is an orange tabby that has been at Four Paws for six years, which is the longest of any other cat.
Johnson said they have cats from the ages of 9 months to 10 years.
“The older they are the harder they are to adopt,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that Four Paws still does well with adoptions.
“Last year we adopted 86, and the year before that 121,” Johnson said. “So far this year in January and February we’ve adopted 8.”
Johnson said Moony is one of the youngest cats they have at Four Paws.
“She was brought to us by a college student who said it was crying and crying outside her apartment,” Carlson said.
Carlson said the first thing they did for Moony was have him vaccinated, which is something they do for all new cats.