When cat owners become too sick to care for their cats or they die, then the cats are often abandoned. They must then fend for themselves on the streets by eating garbage and having nobody to give them affection. A once beloved pet can end their life in very sad and lonely circumstances. However, this is not the case for all cats as some abandoned cats are lucky enough to find new owners who take them in and give them an excellent standard of life. Homes for abandoned cats is exactly what Bruce and Terry Jenkins offer at their home.
The couple, who have been married for almost 38 years, has decided to devote their retirement to caring for elderly abandoned cats and have transformed their home into a senior center for felines. Most of their cats have been abandoned because of the sickness or death of their previous owner and by opening up their home to such cats, the Jenkins’ are giving the cats a second chance in life.
Terry and Bruce currently have around 30 cats who are sharing their home. Speaking of the experience of adopting the cats, Bruce has said that each of the cats comes from a different background and brings with them their own neuroses. He has said that he and Terry find it a very gratifying experience to watch the transition that each of the cats makes from the time they arrive to once they have settled into their new home.
They first started caring for cats after Terry went to the vets to pick up a prescription for their dog and inquired about kittens. Someone sat in the waiting room overheard her and asked if she would be interested in taking her elderly cat as the lady was no longer able to take care of the cat herself. That was the first senior cat they adopted.
Terry added her own thoughts on the situation as she enjoys the experience just as much as her husband Bruce. He has described the process as being like watching them bloom into the cats that they were always supposed to be but were deprived of the opportunity due to circumstances.
The couple’s home life is rather unusual as not many people share their homes with so many cats and especially not those who are in need. As this is such an unusual situation, it attracted the attention of filmmaker Jonathan Napolitano. He was so intrigued by the situation that he decided to make a short documentary called ‘Cat’s Cradle’ that is all about the couple and their house full of cats.
Napolitano is an animal lover who has three cats himself. Therefore, the fact that Terry and Bruce have opened up their home to so many cats is a topic that really interested the filmmaker. He has said about making the film that the couple’s devotion to each other and to their cats was amazing to observe and that the project was a real experiment because he never knew quite what would happen when he started filming.
Speaking of Bruce and Terry, Napolitano expressed his admiration of the couple and said that they are very genuine people who could not possibly fake what they have together. He went on to describe their house as being filled with love.
‘Cat’s Cradle’ is at once heartbreaking and heart-warming. One the one hand, it is lovely to watch cats that were once abandoned enjoying a happy life filled with love. On the other hand, it is painfully obvious that many of the cats are nearing the end of their life.
This is a topic that Barry has addressed when talking about his home life in the situation. He said that both he and Terry are very aware that they are now an old couple and that many of the cats are also elderly. However, he thinks that as they and the cats are at the same stage of their life, it is a factor that binds them all together. Barry has described it as being like part of one big family and Terry has said she never dreamed she would have the opportunity to live with so many cats.
‘Cat’s Cradle’ will be shown on The Atlantic as part of a series of short film documentaries relating to cats called ‘All Cats Go to Heaven’.