SOUTH GLENGARRY, Ontario – Abandoned cats are a growing problem in the Cornwall and SD&G area. There are people who are seeing this problem firsthand and are trying to help.
Ela Nyvltova and her partner Dominic Guenette have dedicated their property and their lives to helping cats who have been hurt and abandoned.
They live on a large former farm in rural South Glengarry and have transformed their property into a haven for cats.
Dubbed the Cats of New Eden, Nyvltova has an enclosure on her property with nearly four dozen cats and this only represents about half of the cats that are in her care. Her commitment to helping the cats goes back to 2000 when she was living in Montreal, and saw stray cats freezing on the streets, and decided to take them in.
“We can’t stand seeing suffering in front of us and not do anything,” Nyvltova said.
New Eden has an intake room where cats stay when they first arrive. All cats are vaccinated and spayed or neutered before entering the general population on the farm.
Some cats that come into Nyvltova’s care suffer from chronic illness or injuries. There are currently four cats in her care that need to go to a veterinary clinic to have their issues treated, which include respiratory and vision problems.
In the general enclosure, there are litter boxes with soil that all of the cats seem to use, so the enclosure itself is fairly clean and the litter boxes are clea
ned regularly. Nyvltova explained that ensuring the cats lived in a space that was healthy and hygienic was a priority for her.
The enclosure also has a trailer where the cats can sleep and shelter from the elements. The trailer is insulated and heated in the winter and in the summer, it is equipped with a fan and dehumidifier.
Nyvltova is currently in the process of setting up a second enclosure on the property and converting an old barn into a cat house.
She explained that most of the cats in her care have come from the Cornwall and SD&G area, and that she believes that up to 40 per cent were abandoned by their owners.
That 40 per cent can be adopted.
Nyvltova said that there were around 40 to 45 per cent of cats that were born on the street or in the “wild” and could only be adopted to an owner who was patient and able to spend time with them so that they can be properly socialized, otherwise the cats would simply hide in their new owner’s home.
The remaining 15 to 20 per cent of cats she feels are not adoptable either due to behavioural or medical issues.
She said that if she had the funding she would work to expand her operation to support more cats, as the need continues to grow.
“Some people by expensive things, or go on vacations, we do this,” she said.
Nyvltova is grateful for the support she’s received from Rosanne Morin of Cornwall who’s support has allowed her to help over 100 cats. She is also thankful to Joelle Panchyshyn who has helped her with her current project of building a second enclosure for the cats.
To learn more or to offer support visit the Cats and Cakes of New Eden Facebook page.
To support the work of Cats and Cakes of New Eden, please consider contributing to their GoFundMe page.