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Florida Couple Offers A Retirement Home For Cats To Enjoy Their Last Years

Florida Couple Offers A Retirement Home For Cats To Enjoy Their Last Years

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A couple in their seventies decided to open a retirement facility for cats, giving senior cats the best of their golden years! Most people think it’s like a ‘Disneyland’ for cats, and I guess they’re not far off.

Bruce and Terry successfully run a retirement home where older cats can party, i.e. enjoy their golden years before crossing the rainbow bridge. This retirement facility became their life’s work.

It all started with Patches:

photo of senior cat
Credit: Facebook

Terry never thought she’d open a senior cat sanctuary. In fact, she went to their local vet and asked if they had any kittens.

A lady at the vet overheard their conversation and said, ‘I wish you could look at this cat.’ She pointed at Patches and explained that Patches was her father’s cat, but she couldn’t take her because she lives in a condo. Terry further explained:

“The lady brought her there to be euthanized. Because she felt like she had no solution. So, of course, I took the cat.”

Adopting Patches started their new mission! Bruce and Terry Jenkins converted their backyard into the Cats Cradle Foundation.

cat town for senior cats
Credit: Facebook

Bruce explains how they had space land originally created for their kids, but it was no longer needed. Gradually, they rebuilt the area to accommodate the concept they envisioned. 

And just like that, their thoughts and plans became reality. 

two senior cats
Credit: Facebook

In the video, Terry explains that they wanted the cats to be free:

“We had a vision where they could be free the way I think cats would like to be free – outside, but protected.”

The cats feel secure in their sanctuary. They’re free to sleep up on a bridge over a lake or hide away in the bushes. 

cat lying in a tree
Credit: Facebook

When they started, Bruce would visit their vet’s office and ask them to contact him if anyone came by wanting to euthanize their cat.

“The phone just kept ringing.”

At first, they planned not to take cats from individuals, but then someone would come by with a cat suffering from cancer or another serious condition, and they couldn’t say no. As Bruce explains:

“It’s pretty heartwarming when they are so happy that their cat has found a place like this to live.”

Many of the cats that come to their facility suffer from dementia, and Bruce and Terry feel they are the perfect choice to care for these kitties.

gray senior cat
Credit: Facebook

Terry explains that they only accept cats that are ten years old and older, mainly because these cats rarely get other chances.

Bruce feels it’s a gift to care for older cats, as they often don’t understand what’s happening to them, and even minor issues can easily affect them.

Luckily, Bruce has created many different areas for stimulation, fun, and joy. They offer both indoor and outdoor activities, including a running wheel and a catnip island. As you can see in the video:

Bruce and Terry love how their idea has come to life, allowing them to offer so much to so many senior cats. Most importantly, they are happy to be there for the cats when it’s time to go. As Bruce says:

“The secret to a cat’s happiness is to have a place where they can be alone when it’s time.”

Each and every one of their cats is unique, and every cat that enters their retirement home is special in its own way. 

man and three senior cats
Credit: Facebook

They cherish all of them, and even after they pass, the cats remain with them, in their hearts and memory. Terry and Bruce are amazing people, and their love for cats is incredible. As Bruce explains:

“These older, loving creatures still have a lot of love left in them, so, just love them.”

Their sanctuary has been around for almost ten years, and during that time, they have rescued more than 350 cats. They relied on their savings the entire time, and Bruce thinks they’ve contributed around $50,000 to $60,000. 

ginger cat
Credit: Facebook

However, over the years, many people became very supportive of their work. Many signed up to be ‘guardian angels’, meaning they donate a small amount every month to help cover vet bills and food.

In one word, the Cats Cradle Foundation is awesome. They do so much for their community and senior cats, and it has also helped them personally.

Terry admits that it helped her transition from her work life to retirement, allowing her to focus her talent and energy elsewhere. 

She found a real purpose in her life, just like Bruce. Terry feels their senior cats are a heartwarming reflection of where they are in life.

couple feeding cats
Credit: Facebook

This amazing Florida couple also discovered how unique and sweet senior cats can be. As Terry puts it:

“They had qualities in their older years that young cats don’t have. And maybe that’s true of people as well. You just need to discover it. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to make a difference.”

How amazing is this retirement home for cats? I hope you enjoyed Terry and Bruce’s story. Feel free to share it, and let’s inspire more people to help senior cats just like they do.

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