Archive for the Cat House
Anyone who has really looked around this blog knows that I love cats. Now, I actually love all animals but am particularly fond of cats, both big and small. I think the reason I’m partial to cats is that I grew up with them. (My family has always had a Mitzou (name adopted from the main character in the opera Madame Butterfly) and they are currently on Mitzou IV. Minou, Mitzou’s brother, is considered a cousin for lineage purposes.) Many years ago, several friends and I decided to start The Cat House–a not-for-profit, no-kill cat shelter in Lincoln, Nebraska. That was in 1999. The Cat House has come a long way since that first year. We have a free-standing shelter in downtown Lincoln, we maintain a feline presence at two different pet stores and we support a program called TNR for feral cats. Trap, neuter and release is a concept that has been around for quite some time and is the only truly effective means for dealing with a feral cat colony. The idea behind TNR is that by trapping, neutering/spaying and returning members of a feral colony to their previously established location, the colony will eventually cease to exist (through attrition) and a new colony will NOT establish itself in its place. The Cat House is very fortunate to have several volunteers dedicated to our TNR program. One of these wonderful volunteers has even started a blog about the cats in her neighborhood she has helped through TNR. Her name is Sheila and you can read daily updates and see pictures of the cats that have wormed their way into her heart. Her blogsite is:
Maybe there really is something to the adage “only the good die young.” I just learned about the recent death in a car accident of one of the founding members of The Cat House here in Lincoln, Nebraska. Deborah Reinhardt was one of the key movers in TCH when it was first started back in 1999. She eventually moved to Chico, California to join the music education faculty at Chico State University but her contributions continue to be felt to this day.
Not only did I know her through The Cat House, I also had the pleasure of working alongside her at the University of Nebraska. Deb was an extraordinarily talented and intelligent person. She was an expert in the Dalcroze method of music instructions, as well as a beautiful needleworker, vocalist, pianist, gardener, baker and lover of kitties.
No task was ever too big or too difficult for Deb. She could lay carpet, strip furniture, roof a house and guide a classroom full of students. She was even a winner on Jeopardy! many years ago. I was in awe of her intelligence.
Deb Reinhardt will be sadly missed by The Cat House community. Her needlework still hangs here in Lincoln, and her contribution of ideas and enthusiasm to our organization will never be forgotten.
Deb’s death is the third loss to The Cat House of wonderful volunteers who died too young. Evette McPherson and Linda Vavrus were two other very committed members of our organization who passed away too soon. This kind of tragedy always inspires a renewal of my dedication to TCH. If you haven’t already, please visit our website: http://www.thecathouse.org. It is truly an amazing group dedicated to the welfare of cats and kittens!