We are SO excited to announce that Kona’s Spot in the Sun, our brand new cat garden, is officially open!
If you’ve been to our Peter Detkin and Michelle Oates Detkin Animal Community Center in the last few months, you’ve probably seen quite the construction site.
If you’re asking yourself, “what’s a cat garden? And doesn’t HSSV already have a garden cat program?” Read on to find out!
Our Garden Cat Adoption Program began many years ago thanks to a donation that allowed us to build the Fred and Marilyn Anderson Community Cat Garden. It was located near the back of our building, in a quiet spot just outside our administrative offices. For years, it has housed unsocial kitties who are looking for an atypical housing arrangement.
These cats weren’t particularly fond of human touch (or really any human interaction) and preferred an outdoor environment. The creation of the Anderson Garden gave these cats a pathway to adoption where they could be cared for (from afar!) by humans and still thrive in the environments that suited them best.
Soon after the creation of the Anderson Garden, though, it became clear that there was actually quite a wide range of cats that lived there. Some were truly “feral” and often hid when our Animal Care team entered to provide food or water. But others had some affinity for people – they would sometimes approach staff who entered the garden, and even tried to sneak in to our admin offices for attention on occasion.
While these more social cats (who we sometimes affectionately refer to as “imposters”) still weren’t your average housecats who were content to live inside and constantly soak up human attention, they were open to an indoor/outdoor living arrangement and some love from humans (on their own terms, of course!).
Because of the success of the garden cat adoption program, we were excited when HSSV donor Suzanne Maas brought us the idea of a special area for these people-social cats who prefer an indoor/outdoor living situation. We wanted to make a space that was safe and provided tons of enrichment. Kona’s Spot in the Sun features lots of perches, hiding spots, and even a water feature for both enrichment and white noise. It’s a relaxing spot at the front of our building where visitors can look in the “windows” to see the garden’s residents without scaring or interrupting them.
Kona’s Spot will house these former “imposters,” while the Anderson Garden will continue to be used for traditional garden cats who prefer a purely outdoor environment and a “job” as pest control.
Finally, after years of planning and construction, Kona’s Spot in the Sun officially opened on April 21. We commemorated the grand opening by recognizing the incredible support of both Suzanne Maas as well as Marilyn Anderson, who paved the way for our first cat garden. We cut the ribbon, then released Kona’s Spot’s very first cat resident, Izzy, into the garden! He spent a few minutes exploring his new habitat while our guests looked on.
We’re so grateful for the incredible support of Suzanne and all those who made this new space possible. For more information about adopting a garden cat of your own, visit our page or come by to see Kona’s Spot in the Sun for yourself!