Clark County Today: Furry Friends Cat Halfway House is coming along

Jojo watches Cebrina Nell as she starts a mural in the living room. Photo by Sandi Long

Jojo watches Cebrina Nell as she starts a mural in the living room. Photo courtesy of Sandi Long

VANCOUVER — Furry Friends is well on its way towards making its members’ dream a reality for the kitties, but the journey’s not yet over.

On Sept. 24, the organization moved the entire “cat, kitten and caboodle” from the rental property to a permanent Halfway House, and while the felines are “walking on air,” the humans have much still to do.

The house that was purchased was built in 1951, contains 1,664 square feet, and is constructed of cinder blocks. Although the property is zoned as “commercial,” the house itself is zoned as “residential.” Now the entire premises must be upgraded to “commercial” and ADA (Americans with Disability Act) code at great expense to the organization.

“Buttercup’’ loves the new “catio’’ at the new home of Furry Friends. Photo courtesy of Diane Stevens

“Buttercup’’ loves the new “catio’’ at the new home of Furry Friends. Photo courtesy of Diane Stevens

While the roof has been replaced and most of the plumbing and electrical work has been completed, more needs to be done. The ADA projects currently being worked on include: relocating the front door and walling over the old one; concreting a new entry to the front door; renovating the bathroom to accommodate a wheelchair, and widening the door; installing a sidewalk; and adding more asphalt parking.

As one might imagine, members of the organization are barely keeping pace with the rising expenses, and are still urgently seeking your support. The tireless and dedicated volunteers have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours in both readying the new Halfway House and restoring the old one to its original condition, and many many hours clearing all the overgrown brush and weeds from the property

Three years ago, Glen Aronson of Iron Gate Storage heeded our Furry Friends’ call for funding, and after placing his faith in the organization’s dream, has been fiscally sponsoring and knowledgeably mentoring Furry Friends ever since. Other major contributors have been Dr. Virginia Huang of Salmon Creek Plastic Surgery, Kathy Angelo Construction, the estate of Carol Williams, and one very generous, anonymous donor. Not to mention the countless and deeply appreciated individual contributions that continue to be received almost daily.

“Sonny’’ is just one of many kitties who are enjoying Furry Friends’ new home. The organization and its volunteers need help from the community completing repairs and upgrades at the new facility. Photo courtesy of Diane Stevens

“Sonny’’ is just one of many kitties who are enjoying Furry Friends’ new home. The organization and its volunteers need help from the community completing repairs and upgrades at the new facility. Photo courtesy of Diane Stevens

Since its founding in 1999, Furry Friends has moved three times. This move, hopefully, will be the last. Once the initial reconstruction costs and the labor involved are behind, the members can begin to work on paying down the mortgage, while planning, at the same time, for future expansion.

For further information on how you can lend a hand, visit www.furryfriendswa.org, email information@furryfriendswa.org or call 360-993-1097.