It all started when I was reading this blog post a while back. I got the idea right away but then life happened. You know how it is. My laptop died (I let my human think it’s hers but we all know who’s the real boss, right?), then the kid came along, then my human couldn’t find the time to go take the photographs I requested.
But it’s finally here.
The Cats of the Canadian Parliament Hill.
A Brief History of the Cats of Parliament Hill
(Taken from The Cats of Parliament Hill Blog)
There is a story that Colonel By brought hundreds of cats with him when he built the Rideau Canal in 1826, to take care of the rodent population, but unfortunately that cannot be confirmed. What can be confirmed is that cats were employed in the Parliament Building (as in many other building) as pest control until 1955 when they were replaced by chemicals. Until 1970 ground keepers fed the cats in various locations, when Irene Desormeaux began feeding the cats where the existing colony now resides. Rene Chartrand began helping her in the mid-nineteen eighties and began building some wooden structures (some of which can still be seen) for the cats to keep warm in.
In 1987 when Irene passed on to take care of stray cats in a greater colony beyond this world, Rene took over and loyally fed the cats to this day. In 1997 Rene and a friend built the existing structures. Brian Caines began helping about that time,and I began helping out in 2003. That year brian and I decided to put together a support team to ensure that Rene would be ok (he’s in his mid-eighties now) and that the cats would always be well provided for. We now have a team of eight caregivers who volunteer their time to this amazing cause.