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Tappen Llama Sanctuary prepares to welcome feline residents, introduce new cat cafe

Llama rescue adding cats

The Llama Sanctuary is preparing to welcome some new residents with a cat hotel and a Kitty Kat Cafe which will allow visitors to sit and enjoy a warm drink with some feline friends.

The Llama Sanctuary is located in the Recline Ridge Eco Park, nestled in the picturesque Tappen Valley. The property is home to more than 50 llamas, as well as a few alpacas and sheep.

The sanctuary takes in llamas that had been suffering neglect, were found roaming wild, or had owners that simply couldn’t afford to keep them.

Now, the sanctuary is teaming up with Pawprints Animal Rescue to provide a space for cats to stay before the animals find new homes, as well as a separate area for spayed feral cats to live in peace.

New modular units for feline residents

David Chapman, co-founder of The Llama Sanctuary, said they decided to open their doors to cats in order to help with the huge amount of felines that need rehoming.

“Pam is the director of the cat rescue, she's also a director of The Llama Sanctuary society,” Chapman said. “The cat rescue has a lot of cats she’s caring for. So cats that need a new home, then some of them will come here.”

In order to house its new residents, the sanctuary has set up several small modular units.

One unit will host the cat hotel, and another will host the Kitty Kat Cafe.

“This is where people will come in, they'll sit with the cats and make themselves a drink, and hopefully the cats will adopt someone,” Chapman said. He pointed out a couple glider-style rocking chairs which people had donated, noting the sanctuary is looking for more of them.

“They're probably the safest for cats, they don't run over the cat’s tails,” he said. “Because of the limited size of the building, we don't have much space for big chairs and sofas.”

Other modular units will serve as an office, gift shop and feed storage.

“These units are quick and simple, but they do the job and they'll be nice and warm in the winter as well,” Chapman added.

The goal is to allow visitors to get to know the cats in the cafe space, with the goal of getting the animals adopted and moved into loving homes.

Chapman pointed out a small space located between the modular units.

“There's going to be a big compound here, we've got the panels to set up a compound, and we're going to put a gazebo in the middle of it,” he said.

Chapman estimates the sanctuary should have its new cat hotel up and running in the next two weeks.

Some similarities between cats, llamas

Chapman said he believes the cats will be a natural fit at the llama sanctuary.

“They have a lot in common, they walk the same way,” he said, of the two species. “They walk with a symmetrical gait. They cushion the same way with their legs tucked under them, whereas dogs and some others splay legs out the front.”

He said the animals' characters are also similar.

“They're quite aloof. They will be very friendly on their own terms," he said.

“Whereas the dog will be around you all the time, the cat will decide when it wants to come and sit on your lap — just like the llama.”

The sanctuary's current plan is to take in about 30 cats in the cat hotel. Once the construction of a llama intensive care unit is completed, the sanctuary plans to open up a space to house spayed feral cats in order to help the animals that are typically unsuitable for rehoming.

The Llama Sanctuary depends on donations from the public to fund rescue efforts, and it is currently accepting donations of cat-related items like beds and toys, as well as the usual methods of cash and can donations.

The sanctuary is also looking for volunteers to help care for the incoming cats, as well as other jobs that need doing around the property.

Those who wish to support The Llama Sanctuary can head to its website, or reach out on Facebook to learn more.

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