Mysterious Woman Maintains a Cat Condo Behind the McKinleyville Safeway

Guest post by Scott W. Binder and Kate Newton

Should you venture behind the Safeway store in McKinleyville, you will see not only a vast expanse of field, trees and wildlife, but you will also see a camouflaged tarp along the fence line, providing a bit of privacy for some of McKinleyville’s feral residents.

A woman, known to only a few, has maintained a little ‘cat condo’ for the myriad stray felines that inhabit the open property behind the McKinleyville Shopping Center.  It looks to be well-maintained, with fresh hay strewn around their open area, gallons of water on hand for drinking and paw-washing as well as multiple containers for food.  According to a contributor to the Facebook page, ‘The Real News from the North Coast‘, the woman has been doing this for at least six years without much community notice.

It touched our hearts that someone would go so far as to build such nice digs for these forgotten denizens of our town.  We grabbed some pictures, and thought that we might be able to collectively help this generous person in her endeavor.

After posting the pictures on our Facebook page, there was an outpouring of support and more information about the woman. Here is an excerpt from the page:

“[T]he lady that feeds the cats is Grace. She’s in her 80’s and lives on SS. She usually goes there every day rain or shine at noon. The property is owned by Piersons and they have given permission to have the colony there. ALL the cats are spayed and neutered and any new ones that show up are trapped and fixed thru Humb S/N or Friends for Life. This lady can always use donations of cat food (dry and canned). I know her personally and she doesn’t have a computer at this time but she is saving up to get one so if anyone has a used laptop to donate to her that would be super wonderful. She’s an awesome gal – sharp as a tack and quite handy. She made all those feeding stations herself. If you want more info feel free to contact me (Patty West) – what she is doing is a good thing. thanks!!!”

Also earlier this week, Grace brought one of her cats to the McKinleyville Animal Hospital with a respiratory infection.  Diane Fox of the McKinleyville Animal Hospital says that she would gratefully accept any contributions that could be made towards the medical treatment of her animals.

It warmed our hearts to see the lengths that some people go to care for these little critters.  We hope that it also warms yours.


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