When Hank wandered into Marta’s garage seeking shelter from the snow she took one look and knew he needed help. Not only was he dirty, tired and ravenously hungry, Marta noticed that his front paws just didn’t look right — almost like they’d been singed.

 “How far had he walked on his poor little feet?” she wondered.  “And what had happened to him?”

Wanting to help, but feeling like it was more than she could handle on her own, Marta turned to the Cat’s Meow.

The Cat’s Meow is a cat rescue and adoption organization, focused on helping cats and the people who love them. Since 2004, Cat’s Meow has helped thousands of cats find their way off the streets and into loving families. Admission priority is given to stray cats and kittens who have been either lost or abandoned and have no one else to care for them.

Every cat receives basic medical care: spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations, deworming, flea treatment, blood tests and a microchip. In addition, each cat’s individual needs are attended to. This care may include dental work or even major medical care like surgery. Of course, cats need more than food, shelter and medical care. Love and compassion lifts their spirits as well.

On any given day, Cat’s Meow staff and volunteers are caring for up to 60 cats at the adoption center and up to 20 kittens in private foster homes.

The Cat’s Meow is a cage-free adoption experience. After an initial quarantine period to make sure they’re healthy, the cats are free to roam in bright, sunny rooms and some also have access to outdoor catio areas. Visitors can spend unhurried time with the cats in a tranquil setting. This benefits everyone as the cats are more relaxed, allowing visitors get to know them and leading to a high success rate for adoptions. This unique experience draws adopters from across the Pacific Northwest.

Hank’s story has a happy ending. While we’ll never know what happened to him, with excellent medical care and a lot of love and support, he was soon able to stand proud on all four paws again.

Best of all, Hank was adopted by Pennie, who says Hank “has become such a dynamic addition to our home. He cares for and attends to my husband who has Alzheimer’s disease. Hank insists on going to wake up John, stays with him until he is dressed and waits outside his bathroom until he comes out. During the day he sits by John or on his lap for hours. My husband just loves Hank and he serves as a babysitter when I am gone from home. My husband never feels alone now.

 “Thank you for nurturing Hank, he did need quiet care when he first got here, trust grew and we do not know how we managed without him. Hank also bonds with me, sleeping with me and giving loves. He is a very clean, well-mannered cat. We know he is doing well now as he plays, chases and runs around the house darting in and out chasing balls. Thank you again. We all feel blessed.”

Hank is just one of many cats whose life has been transformed by care received at a rescue facility. In addition to an adoption program, the Cat’s Meow offers free spay/neuter clinics throughout the year to help local cat owners with veterinary expenses. During the pandemic, they created a free cat food and supply pantry stocked with cat food and litter and open to the public 24 hours a day. The Cat’s Meow also maintains a sanctuary for feral cats who are not adoptable.

Now, more than ever, people are realizing the benefits of having a companion at home with them. Your gift will help homeless cats find their way off the street and into the loving homes they deserve. Donate at meowanacortes.org.