This Man Saved 300 Stray Cats To Honor His Son Who Died In A Car Accident

People deal with grief in a number of ways. Burying a child is a horrific experience for any parent. When Chris Arsenault’s son died in a tragic motorcycle accident in 2006, the grieving father found an unusual way to deal with the void and honouring his son’s life.

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He turned his life into a mission to save abandoned, abused and neglected cats. Chris is a retired train conductor who lives in Long Island, New York. To date he has saved over 300 cats from a life of misery. It came about when he discovered 30 sickly kittens living in squalor. He took them in and nursed them back to health. That was the beginning of what became the Happy Cat Sanctuary which he open in memory of his son.

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He runs the non profit cat haven from his home in Medford and it has become his full time dedication, saving and nurturing distressed cats. He explains that many of the felines come from gangs that used the cats for bait at dog fights as well as condemned buildings. He now has over 300 cats in his home and has a nightly challenge to get some space on his bed. “It’s like when you kick five out, 20 more come in,” he said. He has become known as the “cat man” not surprisingly. He has a few volunteers to assist at his home that is now a fully fenced in animal haven.

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He told reporters that feeding time becomes a bit of a frenzy as the cats descend upon the volunteers. He has added many small touches to make the house more cat friendly like mini cat doors and outdoor heaters for the colder evenings. He has a definite calming effect on the rescued felines. “Their lives were so horrible, from not having food, or threatened of being poisoned or being dumped somewhere,” Arsenault added.

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Linda Malkiewicz, now a volunteer, came to Arsenault when she discovered an abandoned colony of cats at the home of her neighbour who recently passed away. “The people that were going to buy the house, the relatives, they were going to trap the cats and just dump them,” Linda told reporters. “I called so many people, and Chris was the only one that came and helped.” I am sure it is no easy task looking after that many cats but no doubt their lives are so much better for the kind efforts Chris is making.