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The Cats of Parliament Hill Blog

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  The Cats of Parliament Hill Blog by Klaus J. Gerken Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, North America, Planet Earth, the Sol Planetary system, the "Milky Way" Galaxy, the Virgo cluster of Galaxies, the Universe, and whatever is beyond or ever was before. Latest update: Wednesday, 9 January 2008 Preamble IMPORTANT NOTICES Please under no circumstances abandon cats or kittens on the Hill or by the Cat Sanctuary. The cats will not readily accept newcomers and for the most  part chase them away. Nor is it a given new cats will find the Sanctuary in search of shelter and food. Most abandoned cats are very disorientated and will just randomly wander off finding starvation and death - especially in the winter. If you can no longer care for your cat, please take her to the Humane Society where she can be well taken care of and put up for adoption. This is what we do for any abandoned cat we find. And it causes us great grief when we cannot capture one - which happens way too often. And if you give kittens as a gift for Christmas, ensure the person or the household you give them to can  provide for them. If not, then you should reconsider your priorities. No kitten deserves to be abandoned like an unwanted toy. Owning a pet is a serious responsibiliy. If you don't share that feeling, you shouldn't own a  pet. It's as simple as that. Abandoning your pet is a criminal offence with up to 2 years in jail. Perhaps you who would be so callous should think about that. Treat your pets well, and they will reward you with unconditional love for the rest of their lives. Should we all care so much as they care for us.  Klaus J. Gerken Before you abandon a pet you can no longer care for, please contact these  organizations:    The Cat Rescue Network     The Ottawa Humane Society Previous logs are available at the Library and Archives Canada:    Dec 2005/Jan 2006     Feb/Mar 2006     Apr/May 2006     Jun/Jul 2006     Aug/Sep 2006 (till Sep 16)     Sep/Oct 2006 (till Oct 9)      Oct/Nov 2006 (till Nov 3)     Nov/Dec 2006 (till Dec 10)     Dec 06/Jan 07     January 2007     February 2007     March 2007     April 2007     May 2007     June 2007     July 2007      August 2007     September 2007     October 2007     November 2007 All photographs by Klaus J. Gerken unless otherwise stated. Comments are always welcome: Please send any comments to kgerken@synapse.net (We reserve the right to publish any comments on this blog). Invitation I would like to invite anyone who has recollections or photographs of the colony before the present condos were built; especially any recollections or photographs of Irene Desormeaux before Rene Chartrand took over caring for the cats, or even prior to that, to send them to kgerken@synapse.net . We are trying to establish a definitive history of the cat colony for a book to be published in the next year or so . A Brief History of the Cats of Parliament Hill There is a story that Colonel By brought hundreds of cats with him when he built the Rideau Canal in 1826, to take care of the rodent population, but unfortunately that cannot be confirmed. What can be confirmed is that cats were employed in the Parliament Building (as in many other building) as pest control until 1955 when they were replaced by chemicals. Until  1970 ground keepers fed the cats in various locations, when Irene Desormeaux began feeding the cats where the existing colony now resides. Rene Chartrand began helping her in the mid-nineteen eighties and began building some wooden structures (some of which can still be seen) for the cats to keep warm in. In 1987 when Irene passed on to take care of stray cats in a greater colony beyond this world, Rene took over and loyally fed the cats to this day. In 1997 Rene and a friend built the existing structures. Brian Caines began helping about that time, and I began helping out in 2003. That year brian and I decided to put together a support team to ensure that Rene would be ok (he's in his mid-eighties now) and that the cats would always be well provided for. We now have a team of eight caregivers who volunteer their time to this amazing cause. * The cast of characters: Irene Desormeaux (Who started it all in the 1970's) Rene Chartrand (Who took over when Irene passed on in 1987 and maintains the colony till this day -- he built the shelters in 1997) The Support Team: Brian Caines (Ensures the colony's health and welfare) Klaus Gerken (Official Photographer, and Keeper of the Blog - I do the weekend shift) Laura Jaremkow Lorraine Milobar Sally Sax Helene Pomerleau Kathryn Bunn Leyla Di Cori Heather Ferguson Sebastien Badour Christ Oliver - Author of "Fish Lecan, Maria Dorfinkley et les Chats de la Colline du Parlement" and the blog below:    True Stories about the Cats    on Parliament Hill by Christ Oliver The Alta Vista Animal Hospital (For medical care). Purina for cat food. And a host of many others. And the cats: *Coco (RIP 2005) *LePune (Lost 2003 and perhaps sister to Brunette and Lulu)
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