One of the first things Emily Bott and Dylan Loewke noticed when touring a historic home was all of the cats lounging in the front yard. The property appeared to come with 15 barn cats, which piqued the couple’s interest.
“When we asked our realtor if the cats would be left behind, he said they would all be gone by the time we moved in,” Bott told The Dodo.
“After our house offer was approved, my boyfriend took it upon himself to insist that the cats remain on the premises. I was first nervous because I had never had a cat before. I worked at the local humane organization at the time, so I knew I could at the very least get them all spayed/neutered and perhaps rehome them if necessary (spoiler: it was never necessary).”
The cats had been given dry food by their former owners, but that was about it in terms of attention. Many of the cats were sick, and none of them had been spayed or neutered. The pair promptly stepped up to ensure that all 15 of their new kitties received the attention they need. After that, it was time to acquire their trust.
“At first, there was just one cat, Valencia, who was nice enough to approach,” Bott explained. “She’s the queen bee in our hive. I could tell there were a few others who were intrigued and interested in us, but it took months (and in some cases years) for them to trust us enough to approach them and even pet us! I sat in my driveway several evenings tossing goodies at them, feeding them catnip, and interacting with them with toys.”
The group finally warmed up to its new parents after putting in the effort. Despite the fact that not all of the cats enjoy being touched, they still adore and trust Bott and Loewke. Every cat has its own personality and name, and the pair wouldn’t swap any of them for the world. Bott and Loewke are now almost always accompanied by at least a few cats everywhere they go on the property.
Living with so many barn cats has been a blessing, according to Bott. “I’m immediately greeted by them every time I go outdoors.” A couple of them will follow me nearly everywhere on the property, and if I shake the treat bag, they will all come to me. To fetch my mail, I have a full team that walks me down the driveway. When Valencia sees my automobile on our street, she will sprint down the driveway.”