Cat Crusaders: A Journey of Giving Cats Their Furever Homes
When we asked a fur parent what lessons her cats continue to teach her, she answered two valuable things—respect and unconditional love.
Sophie Maitland-Smith is the co-founder of an organization called Cat Crusaders, a Petpreneur from Cebu, and also a fur parent herself. She believes that cats, like other animals, are worthy of loving homes and they deserve a second chance at life. Fortunately, her work at Cat Crusaders allows her to give cats the life they deserve.
Journey with Cat Crusaders
Cat Crusaders is a group of volunteers that helps cats and kittens find their forever homes. They currently house over 30 cats in their cat home in Cebu City. They care for specially-abled cats, sick or injured cats, or other community cats and kittens who would not survive in the streets.
Aside from taking care of cats and kittens in their cat home, Cat Crusaders also feeds around 50 cats in Salcedo Village, Makati every week. They work hand-in-hand with their head caretaker, Leo, and the village guards to feed the community cats regularly with a one-week supply of dry cat food provided by their organization. The village guards also inform them if a community cat is sick or injured and needs to be neutered or vaccinated.
They have had over 20 of their community cats in Salcedo Village adopted since their founding in April 2020. If anyone is interested in adopting their community cats in Salcedo Village or Cebu City, you can reach out to arrange a pick-up date.
Finding furever homes
Adopting a cat is a decision that does not just happen overnight. According to Sophie, getting a new pet is like agreeing to having a new family member. It is a commitment in both emotional and financial aspects. “Pet parents must be there for their pets through and through; people who only wish to care for animals when it’s convenient and unproblematic should stay away from a lifestyle involving pets,” she said.
Before adopting a cat, pet parents should have their supplies ready. Make sure you have a litter tray and cat sand, toys, grooming tools, and cat bed or a good old cardboard box as some cats like this better! Aside from preparing these supplies, pet parents should be in contact with a veterinarian whom they can trust. “The first order of business for your adopted cat should be a check-up, allowing the veterinarian to make decisions pertaining to deworming, vaccinations, and neutering (if your cat is old enough),” Sophie advised.
Cats are family
Sophie considers cats as her family. “We refrain from saying that we “have” pets since we view our relationships with our cats as mutually beneficial: we receive companionship in exchange for providing them with food and a safe place to live,” she said. Knowing that they are able to give cats new lives filled with joy keeps them motivated to help them find loving homes.
When you’re a cat parent, expect your pets to enjoy playtime and cuddles but on their own terms. Based on Sophie’s experience, cats tend to set the tone on when and how they receive affection. She said, “Cats need their space from time to time but that doesn’t mean they don’t love you; they just live in their own little worlds.”
Being the co-founder of Cat Crusaders and a pet parent herself, Sophie learned and continues to learn two valuable lessons from cats—respect and unconditional love.
Cats have a lot to teach about respect. They are often stereotyped as fussy animals, but for Sophie, the simple truth is cats aren’t shy to express their feelings through their actions. Being with cats every day allows her to learn more about their preferences in terms of food, toys, and showing affection. Taking care of them teaches her to honor another person or animal’s boundaries and their likes and dislikes.
Lastly, like what every pet parent would say, cats teach her a lot about unconditional love. As rescuers at Cat Crusaders, they encounter stray cats that are either beaten, injured, neglected, or suffering from a feline illness. They do their best to nurse these cats and kittens back to health, but the truth is, using so much energy for animals who don’t fully understand how to reciprocate this effort can be exhausting for them too. Still, they carry on because nothing beats the warmth they feel from helping such animals who cannot verbalize their struggles with you.
“It’s difficult to put into words how amazing it feels to see a helpless animal heal, gain confidence, and grow into their own unique identity. When faced with the question, “If it’s so tiring, why do you keep doing it?”, we know that we can always count on that feeling,” - Sophie Maitland-Smith
If you wholeheartedly feel you are ready to adopt a cat, that’s great! You can send a message to Cat Crusaders to schedule a trip to their foster home to visit their adoptable cats and kittens. They can also send photos and videos of their cats if you’re not available for an in-person visit.
Official Links of Cat Crusaders: