Posts Tagged ‘Island Cats’

The Cats of Roosevelt Island

Roy Sadler | September 8, 2016 in Culture and History | Comments (0)

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New York City, Roosevelt Island, Smallpox Hospital. Photo by Earnest B

New York City, Roosevelt Island, Smallpox Hospital. Photo by Earnest B

People who are passionate about cats will no doubt be love a visit to the Cat Sanctuary which was established on Roosevelt Island. The island had been a traditional dumping ground for unwanted cats long before the establishment of this refuge for refugee cats, but it is now an offical safe haven for the numerous cats whose owners will not or cannot take care of them anymore.

For as long as people in these parts can remember the presence of cats on the island was tolerated, and sometimes even encouraged, as good Samaritans left food and water for the numerous strays and homeless cats that called Roosevelt Island their home. When a cat named Yin Lang died in 2004, his demise inspired a group to form, called Island Cats. Eleven years ago, in 2005, the group decided it was time to do something to help the cats there, protect them and even find homes for them.

Island Cats began by to trapping and neutering the strays, and they created an adoption program for them. On the southern tip of the island the group operates a small shelter.

The cats have the distinction of being the only creatures allowed into the ruins of the Renwick Smallpox Hospital. One day however the hospital may be re-opened, but not until its structure is reinforced.

A good place to observe the cats of Roosevelt Island is near the ruined Renwick Hospital.