Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Day At Kitty City At Pet Supplies Plus In Bloomfield Hills, MI!! Grand Opening This Weekend Includes 200-Cat Adoption Event Dec. 9th thru Dec. 11th



Pet Supplies Plus launches first Kitty City
free-roaming cat adoption center




Center aims to find homes for more homeless cats & kittens in Oakland County

The "winds of change" as they pertain to cat adoption have arrived at Pet Supplies Plus in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in the form of Kitty City,  an enclosed open-air environment where cats are free to be...well....CATS.





 Kitty City at Pet Supplies Plus in Bloomfield Hills is giving homeless cats something to purr about this holiday.


I had the honor and delight of visiting this kitty haven a few days ago and felt myself on the verge of tears the entire time I was there.


Tears of sadness? No, tears of happiness. I witnessed the joy of watching adoptable cats feeling happy, content and safe. I watched them play, groom each other, investigate, sunbathe and simply enjoy each others' company while my heart smiled.


The moment I walked in I "oooohed and ahhhhed" at the surroundings. I  plopped myself down on the floor where I was promptly rewarded by a loving ball of fur who claimed me as their new "easy chair" and stayed on my lap the entire time that I was there. Oh these cats are clever, in this environment it is much easier for them to use their feline wiles to win you over with displays of affection such as I witnessed.

Would a scene such as the above be re-enacted if the cat had been in a cage? Never. Being able to interact with a cuddly kitty will greatly increase the likelihood of its being adopted and ultimately that is the objective.

We are all used to seeing adoptable cats looking listlessly back at us from their jail-like  confines. No toys, no sunbeams, no play partners, just the four walls of their cages. Think a cat is happy waiting for their forever home in an environment like that? You try living in a cage and see how you would feel.


Kitty City, was created by Bloomfield Hills Pet Supplies Plus store owner Addy Shattuck, who told me she has been involved with finding homes for adoptable cats for the past twenty years. When you visit Kitty City you can tell the warm and homey environment was lovingly created by a cat lover (Addy has seven cats of her own).

I was so smitten with Kitty City and its residents that I could have stayed there for hours, happily petting, cooing to and giggling at the clowder that surrounded me. Addy joked that I looked so comfortable and thrilled with being there that she was going to put a cot in the room just for me so that I could stay there permanently. Sounds like a plan to me!



There are miniature wing-back chairs, kitty condos, varying levels of "cat shelves" or ledges if you will, staggered on the warm brick walls. There is a wicker sleeping area, numerous cat scratchers ( I added two more to their collection when I visited),  plenty of cat toys to go around (Cody also kindly donated a number of his lightly-to-never-used toys), ample litter boxes and plenty of bowls of kibble for when the munchies kick in.

Kitty City is housed at the front of the store and is enclosed by glass which stretches from ceiling to floor (that is one heck of a size for "Kitty TV!!"), which enables the kitties to take sunbaths, watch people passing to and fro and of course the occasional tease of "Bird TV".  When I was there it was a bright sunshiny day and a number of the cats were lounging in their favorite "sun puddles" as they would be if they were in their adoptive home.  Had they been in a cage that luxury would be non-existent.


Addy keeps the safety of the kitties at the forefront by making sure that no one other than her staff may enter Kitty City at random -- you need a key to get in. This helps assure that a curious kitty won't come darting out with the opening and closing of doors.

People who are seeking to adopt a cat can watch their antics through the glass window, or  if they are so inclined, Addy will let them in and they can observe, play with and really get a feel for the personality behind their soon-to-be new feline friend.




When I was there a woman stopped by who had recently had a kitty cross over
 The Rainbow Bridge. I watched as she observed a number of the cats and how she proceeded to comment on how "this one is playful, this one is more shy, this one is a lover." I marveled at the fact that if the cats were in cages this is something a potential adopter would not be able to discern.

“The open environment lets the cats play and do what cats do while waiting for their real home," says Shattuck.  They are so much more relaxed and content instead of being locked up.  Customers love just to come in and watch the cats."


Kitty City will officially open with a holiday grand opening celebration, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, December 9, that includes free refreshments, cat food samples and in-store specials, along with 200 cats that will be up for adoption from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, December 9; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat., December 10 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11.


Adopters get a free wellness exam for their cat or kitten provided by The Cat Practice of Birmingham, Michigan’s first feline-only veterinary hospital.  Adoption fee of $59 includes spay or neuter, vaccines and health check.   All cats are from Oakland Pet Adoption Center in Auburn Hills.

While the Bloomfield Hills Pets Supplies Plus has been adopting out homeless cats for years, Kitty City has already made a difference.  Since opening just a few months ago, the store has already seen cat adoptions increase as shoppers are drawn to watching the antics of the felines through the window.

“Unfortunately, Oakland County has a huge overpopulation of cats” Shattuck said.  “We are hoping that Kitty City will help more people see just how wonderful cats are as pets.”

 
The Bloomfield Hills Pet Supplies Plus is at 2057 Telegraph Rd.  For information, call 248-333-7545 or go to www.petsuppliesplus.com. 

44 comments:

  1. This is a verreh happy story. The SF SPCA has a wonderful wonderful place like that where the Human wented with her friend while he picked out two kittehs last year! It was verreh nice to see them in good surroundings with playmates and all.

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  2. This is soooo cool! And you are absolutely right: adopters will be able to really see the cats' personalities. And that first cat photo is a ringer for our sweet Skeeter cat :-D

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  3. What an amazing place! I hope this concept spreads to other adoption centers. It must have been hard to walk away from all these cats at the end of the day!

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  4. I wish I lived a bit nearer so I could pop along. Wishing you success with this event, anyway, and compliments of the season.

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  5. @Spitty I am so happy to hear that there is a place in San Fran like that. I wish more places could be like this!

    @Jewel I wish them lots of success as well and thank YOU for your good wishes!

    @Ingrid I so agree and yes it was incredibly difficult. If I owned a home instead of a condo with "rules" I would have taken at least the 4 that were in the video in a "kitty pile" together. I am confident that this 11 will be adopted!

    @Talking Dogs you have a cat that looks like the first one? OMG i LOVED the brown on its nose...I would name it "Smudge"...that nose is too cute! Skeeter must be adorable!

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  6. That sure looks like a terrific place for kitties that need homes. Some of these shelters are just great and must make it easier for the cats to find a home. We hope all of them find a good home. Thanks for the tour.

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  7. Caren - I have been looking so forward to this post since you dropped by to visit this wonderful place a couple of days ago. I have such a lump in my throat right now - this is such an amazing concept and one that should be implimented worldwide. These kitties are a joy and I am so grateful for the dignity and respect Addy is giving them and the concept of Kitty City.

    You did a great job with the pictures - very creative and fun!! I wish Kitty City all the success in the world and the video is great too!! xoxoxo

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  8. What a wonderful environment for kitties. Wish more places could do that.

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  9. This is a wonderful idea. It should have always been like this, but I guess lack of will and dwindling resources has prohibited in the past. I hope it really takes off x

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  10. This is so amazing! Mommy has tears of joy too. YAY for the kitties, and HOORAY for Kitty City.
    We so hopes this catches on.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

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  11. pAwesome job with this Caren. Simply a wonderful concept that will hopefully spread throughout other adoption centers.

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  12. @Caro you are right. I am sure that many places would like to do this but might not be able to. It would be wonderful to see ALL pet stores who feature adoptable cats follow suit though. I think they could all sacrifice a few feet of space to get the cats OUT of their cages.
    xoxoxo

    @Mario I completely agree!

    @Deb YOU gave ME a "lump in my throat" Your comment deeply touched me. I poured my heart and soul into this post, that is how deeply Addy's concept affected me. "Dignity and respect" are the perfect words to use. This is also much healthier for the kitties because they aren't fearful and sad as they are when they are in cages. I agree that this should be implemented worldwide. As I said above, ALL pet stores that feature adoptable cats can sacrifice a few feet of retail space to see to it that their kitties up for adoption are happier! THANK YOU for your kind words and for taking the time to watch my ridiculously LONG video lol
    xoxoxoxoxo

    @Marg thank you sooooo much!! Thank you for taking the time to read this. Not only does it help with the adoption rate but it makes waiting for their forever home a much happier and calming experience for the kitties! xoxo

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  13. @ Dan THANK YOU!! It is beyond kind of you to have stopped by to read this and I deeply appreciate it. It doesn't hold a candle to what you do (or even come close!!!) so I appreciate your kind words more than you will know. I pray this concept spreads as well, it is soooooo much better for the kitties!

    @TK awwww thank you! You are making me cry too!!! I sooo pray this catches on also! Thank you!

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  14. That is truly a wonderful place and their efforts sure make me smile!

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  15. Mowzers, what a pawesome thing for a pet supply store to do! Mebe they will become the Model for loads of other stores!!!
    HIGHPAW to Kitty City!

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  16. How wonderful!! I hope other organizations will follow this trend, the cages are just so sad and depressing. Your pictures are great and this makes me wish I could visit Kitty City myself. Love the name!

    Have a great weekend, Caren! :)

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  17. I am so jealous, I would love to go there!!

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  18. @Rachel come to Michigan and I will be more than happy to take you there! We could "do lunch" as well!!! :)

    @Julie I couldn't agree more about other places following suit. If they have the space this is the only way to go! Thank you for your kind words about the photos...I adore the name too! You have a great weekend as well!

    @Ryker yep HIGH PAW to Kitty City!!! I couldn't have said it better!!!

    @Brian me too...I soooo wish you could visit!! I would take you there!

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  19. Whoa! A Call 4 Paws with adoptable cats, rather than ferals. Well, actually, they socialize them there. Hope it stays open furever.

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  20. very cool. Good luck to all those kittys
    Benny & Lily

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  21. Oh my goodness this is sooooo wonderful!! Our first cat ever when we were first married came from the local shelter and he was locked up. We went to get a friend for MY birthday, and I found a black cat I fell in love with in the play area (like the one you visited) and here my husband was in the outter area with this orange and white male who was reaching through the bars purring. You guessed it, we came home with the male, who was the kitty love of my life for many many years. We have always had cats and now have 3 lovely (most of the time) girls. I am not sure I wouldn't have come home with a new friend from a visit like yours. That was really sweet of Cody to donate his lightly used toys!! I wish more places would do this, it works great for adoptive parents and kitties waiting for their forever homes.

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  22. that is the most informative, uplifting and intersting post. So true what you have shared. I truely hope the Centre goes on to facilitate rehoming on a big scale. The dear felines so need a home. You look so lovely sat on the floor there. Love Helen, Darcy and Bingley xxx

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  23. @Coupon Queen THANK YOU!! Your story touched me beyond belief!!! It was so kind of you to share it. It was soooo hard not to come home with another kitty!! (or 2...or 3...lol)

    @Benny & Lily we second that!

    @Cathy Keisha me too!

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  24. @Helen, Darcy and Bingley you just made me SMILE! Thank you! You are too kind!!! It is "uplifting" for the kitties too and that is what it's all about!!! xoxoxoxo your comment deeply touched me, thank you!

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  25. Wonderful, wonderful idea :-) Our local no-kill kitty shelter here does something similar; the shelter is divided into several rooms and people can interact with the cats in a more 'natural' environment.

    Hoping this helps more kitties find their forever homes! =^.^=

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  26. What willpower to not come home with one of those kitties! It sounds like a great place. Hopefully the idea of doing this type of cat adoption center spreads

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  27. Wow, Kitty City is PAWSOME!!! This is just so special. We're happy to know that places like this exist :-)

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  28. Oh my gosh! That place is awesome! We wish we lived there, so we could see Kitty City up close and personal! :)

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  29. What a WONDERFUL concept... not simply humane, but caring and loving. You've described an environment full of hope and happiness, instead of the all-too-typical boredom, fear, and unnatural loneliness... a place where "purrsonalities" can shine, and people can much more easily make a good choice as to the newest member of their family. If only this idea can be adopted everywhere!

    (I'm not sure I would have been able to hold off the waterworks, though; seeing something so beautiful, so "right", like this, just seems to make my eyes leak. :))

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  30. @GlamKitty you stated that so beautifully. Yes, I had "leaky" eyes the entire time!

    @meowmeowmans I wish you did too!

    @Luxington I know!! I would love to hear about more places like this!

    @dawn, nope it wasn't willpower. I had no choice. we are only allowed to have two pets where I live and we have our "two"...plus my husband said NOOOOOO WAY! :(

    @Cat and the Coffee Cup I am so glad your shelter does something similar. I wish they all would! Sorry I didn't get around to the blogs today. I started to and then I got sidetracked with a 105 minute Facebook seminar!!! It was worthwhile but i got nothing else accomplished!

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  31. This post is just pure joy to me! I could sit and watch those cats for hours - they look so happy and content... especially those four on the shelf all snuggled up :)

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  32. Dear Caren and Cody
    What a great place! Me knows they will reach their goal this weekend.
    me stopped by to lets yous knows that Daddy is home and me is expecting to gets lots of snuggle time in this weekend. Me is sending Purrrayers for your brother. Me knows that the power of the purrayer works!
    Kisses
    Nellie

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  33. Oh what a wonderful place! Kitties at Kitty City can feel very at home and stay safe until they find their own forever home. I hope there will be more places like this!

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  34. WOW! That is a GREAT place and other than a furrever home which all kitties deserve...any kitty would be lucky to hang out there. Mom wishes she could go there sometime and check it out. Me, I will stay curled up on my human brother's bed that he just left all warm and toasty for moi! Thanks for the great story and pics and thanks to the great people running that paws up place. Huggs n purrs,ROSIE.

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  35. EVERY city should have one of these! It is true that this kind of environment is not only less stressful but it allows their purrsonalities to come forth. When I lived in Petaluma, CA the local shelter had three large rooms, one for kittens and 2 for adult cats. One of the rooms even had a sun porch where the kitties could go outside. It was pretty nice, as far as shelters go.

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  36. That sounds like kitty heaven!
    We know it will be a great success.
    purrs
    >^,,^<
    ♥Abby♥Boo♥Ping♥Jinx♥Grace♥

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  37. aww.. that fluffy kitty was getting a bath AND a massage!
    Looks like a cool place :)

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  38. thank you soooo much all for your incredible comments! I am sorry I can't answer everyone individually. I was gone most of the day yesterday and all day today and will be gone most of tomorrow. Can't even visit the blogs right now, I am sorry!!! You know this time of year is crazy for everyone!! I thank you ALL soooo much though!
    xoxoxoxo

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  39. That's awesome! I love to see animals loved and cared for.

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  40. We're late but so glad we stopped by. What an amazing place. Will share.

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  41. Yaaaay!!! We just love seeing and knowing kitties finding their Forever Homes!!!!

    ~Slash & Bronzy

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  42. I would give anything to be there and visit. I would be there every day! I would want all the babies in there but most of all, I would love to volunteer to love on them and keep them used to people. Plus getting al those kitty kisses would be fantastic.

    I was uplifted and happy to read every word of this blog Caren. What a joy. Thank you VERY much.

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  43. @Admiral Hestorb THANK YOU!! I agree about volunteering and I am planning on helping them out on their next big adoption. Also...they aren't super close to where I live (but aren't that far either lol) and if I get some spare time in 2012 I might run out there and visit more often. I appreciate your kind words, THANK YOU!!! I am a little nervous right now. Cody did not eat dinner and I just put kibble out that he has shown no interest in. This isn't like him and I am pre-occupied and terrified (he also vomited today...once)...I am hoping that by morning he will be eating, if not..it's off to the V-E-T for us :(

    @Layla thank you so much and I am sorry I am late in responding to everyone as well!

    @Slash & Bronzy I so agree!

    @rumpydog thank you! So do I!

    THANK YOU SOOO MUCH EVERYONE and if I didn't answer individually I am sorry!!!

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