Humane Society celebrates updated room

PLYMOUTH — It’s a whole new world for the five adult cats currently calling the Marshall County Humane Society their home. The organization was recently able to add on to their building, creating a spacious, cheery new space for their feline population. A far cry from the smaller, darker room that used to house the cats, the new area features eight cat “condos” and beautiful skylights to let in the sun’s rays.
“We wanted to improve the quality of life for these cats,” said Humane Society director Nancy Cox. “Now, they have everything they need right here.”
The cat room was funded in part by two grants, from the Ryan Newman Foundation and the Marshall County Community Foundation. The rest of the funds were provided by donations from the late Bill Wagoner and another benefactor, Martha Martin. A volunteer couple, Allen and Tammy Jansma, helped to assemble and paint the room, and they are also building a cat tree for the animals to climb on.
Cox said the Humane Society is planning an open house “baby shower” for the new room, from 10 a.m. to noon May 5.
“We would like people to bring gifts (like they would for a baby shower),” said Cox. “We need kitty chow, litter, kitty toys, and small cat beds.”
Cox added that she has wanted to update the cat area since 2008, when the downturn of the economy spiked the number of animals coming into the shelter.
“(2008) was when we started getting a lot of adult cats, when people were worried they couldn’t afford to take care of their pets anymore,” explained Cox. “We didn’t have a lot of room, and we wanted (the cats) to be comfortable. They need a homey environment, because they don’t adjust as quickly as dogs do.”
Now, a homey environment is exactly what the cats enjoy in their new room. The cat condos have separate “bedrooms” with a window to the outside — or, if the cat is feeling playful they can go into their “living room” and stick their paws outside the cage. Cox said that the room will stay basically the same now that it is completed, but more condos could be added later on.
Outside of the cats’ living area, the rest of the room has plenty of space for visitors, volunteers, or potential adoptive parents to play with the animals. Cox said her favorite part of the room is the skylights, and the cats enjoy them too: “They love to go and lay down right where the sun comes in,” said Cox.