DIXFIELD — Resident Brenda Jarvis, 72, and her sister, Caddie Smith, have done their best to help injured and abandoned critters for more than 30 years, whether it's baby squirrels or household pets. For the last several years, however, they have focused on taking care of rescued cats from the region.
“We have a trailer where we keep our rescued cats,” Jarvis said. “Every cat we have had no home. Some were found in Dumpsters, or in boxes on the side of Route 2.”
In order to help care for the cats, Jarvis and Smith are accepting donations in the form of canned and dry food, kitty litter and kitty treats. Jarvis said that if anybody wishes to make a donation, they can drop it off at the Dixfield Town Office or at Log Cabin Craftworks on Main Street.
“We'll even accept monetary donations,” Jarvis said. “We're not greedy whatsoever. We just want to make sure these kitties are taken care of.”
Jarvis said that she and Smith are currently looking after 15 cats in the trailer.
“The only time the cats are alone is overnight,” Jarvis said. “We come over in the morning to feed them and give them attention. Plus, we have other cats at our houses to look after.”
Jarvis added that the community has been wonderful with donations, and they've had a lot of help with making sure the cats are healthy.
“Whenever we get a new cat, we bring it over to Norway where (veterinarian) Don McLean checks them out,” Jarvis said. “After that, we get them spayed and neutered, provide them with some shelter and food and make sure they're taken care of.”
Jarvis' experience with taking care of abandoned animals is not exclusive to just cats.
“I'm a mother to a pigeon,” Jarvis said. “Her name is Priscilla, and she's the cutest thing. I rescued her after she was abandoned and watched after her for a couple of years. When I tried to let her go, she just stayed in her cage, so I told her, 'Well, get back into your cage!' She's been with me ever since.”
Donations will be accepted up until Christmas day at the Town Office, but Jarvis said that the community is more than welcome to donate whenever they want.