Old Age Pussycats (OAPs) offered 'retirement home'
- 18 February 2015
- From the section Lincolnshire
A charity believes it is running the only dedicated "retirement home" for Old Age Pussycats (OAPs).
Lincolnshire Trust For Cats has almost 80 cats living out the end of their nine lives, with luxuries including heated beds, sofas and an open fire.
Some of the cats live there because their owners have died, while other owners have moved abroad.
Finding new homes for elderly cats like these is more difficult because people prefer to adopt young cats.
Older cats can also be more expensive to look after, due to veterinary bills, so many are put down when their owners die.
Trust founder Jain Hills believes the home is unique.
"I know of some charities that have a few elderly cats, but they are not doing it on the scale we are," she said.
"For cats to come to us people have either got to make a provision in their will, or people come to look round.
"I don't think anywhere else does it because people come all the way from London with the cats to come here."
'I'm a dog person'
The home is set in seven acres of land on the outskirts of the village of Osgodby.
"There's three sitting rooms and they are connected by enclosed outdoor areas," said Ms Hills.
"It's all south-facing which means the cats have a lot of sunbathing options."
The trust cares for about 400 cats in total, as it also has a rescue facility for abandoned cats in need of new owners.
Rather than being a crazy cat lady, Ms Hills says she is "a bit of a dog person".
"I've got five dogs at home," she said.
"When you work with 400 cats all day you need to go home to a dog.
"I couldn't run a dog charity but I can run a cat charity because I can stand back from it. I don't get emotionally involved."