In 1988, Peter Cohen bought a house in Santa Barbara for himself and his two outdoor cats with catchy names, The Black One, and The Gray One. Unfortunately, they were both hit by a vehicle. That’s when Peter decided that he should keep his cats inside. He happened to see a book in 1995 that illustrated the best way to keep cats entertained when they are indoor cats. The secret to doing that was actually building them some very special indoor catwalks.
So, being a contractor, Peter decided upon completely transforming his home into an indoor kitty’s dream home. He constructed walkways on the walls that were high up for the cats to walk on. He also created plenty of kitty sunning stations close to the skylights, as well as all kinds of nooks and crannies where the kitties could just curl up and take a catnap. In addition, he crafted portholes like those on boats so the kitties could travel freely from room to room.
Now, Peter has a total of 22 very lucky rescue cats that live in his home with him. They all have adorable names that are almost as creative as Peter’s home. They are Blackbird, Butter, Cheesecake, Chocolate, Climber, CoffeeBean, Cookie Monster, Crumple, Donut, Jupiter, Jones, Mango, Mikan, MiniBean, Nugget, Nutter, Poppyseed, Rumple, Secret, Smokey, Smudge, The Professor, and Vanilla.
Peter has said that it all started out as just a hobby, but that more catwalks ended up leading to more cats. That, of course, meant more rescues. Every one of the cat’s in Peter’s home is a rescue cat who came from an animal shelter. He also stated that many of them were cats that were hard to place, like black cats and shy kitties. Hd admitted that life with so many kitties can be a lot of work, but that the cats are bringing the house alive.
Now, Peter has become an advocate for the fight against feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) ever since a kitten named Peanut became sick with the disease in 2012. FIP is a virus that is responsible for killing approximately 200 kittens a year. It’s a fatal disease and there was no effective treatment until this year. Sadly, it took Peanut’s life. Miss Bean was also diagnosed with FIP in April. Peter was able to contact researchers at the University of California, Davis, thanks to his notoriety for having built the kitty dream house. Miss Bean was treated, but unfortunately, she could not be saved since she didn’t respond to the drug and had to be euthanized.
But, that was when Peter decided to make the best use of his notoriety and started raising funds for FIP research. He adopted another kitten named Smokey who also had FIP and was accepted into the drug trial. Smokey did respond to treatment and completed the injection protocol that spanned 12 weeks. He’s now been off the medication for six weeks and continues to do well. To date, five of the kittens in the drug trial have made it. So, Peter continues to raise funds to help the researchers to help even more cats. According to Peter, we may not be able to solve all of the big problems in the world, but we can definitely solve some of the little ones. And, Peter is doing just that,…..one beautiful kitty at a time.