A new building is donated

Best Friends is getting a brand new state-of-the-art cat building. And wait until you hear what a romantic donation it was.

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The building was donated in honor of Martha Daugherty Ferguson. For years, she and her husband, Cal Ferguson (at left), had planned to retire in Utah, near Best Friends. Martha (aka "The Cat Lady") was always taking care of needy cats. She thought they would build a home, retire, and she would spend her days volunteering at the sanctuary. But it wasn’t meant to be.

After 35 years of marriage, Martha passed away from cancer. She never got her retirement in Utah.

Her husband, Cal, could think of only one way to make up to her for what they’d missed out on together. He would still build that dream home they had always wanted. But he would donate it to Best Friends, and let it be a home for cats in need. One memorial room would be set aside as a reminder that this is the house he promised Martha. "This is Martha’s room," said Cal, inspecting the view from the nearly completed construction at the sanctuary. "The rest belongs to the animals."

Cal himself is quite a cat lover, feeding so many felines in and about his home in Monterey, California, that he goes through 40 to 50 pounds of cat food every two or three days. His house is adorned to the hilt with cat trinkets. And now, thanks to his donation – and to the woman who inspired it – a whole new building full of cats with special needs, who might at one time have never found a safe place, will have somewhere to call "our home between homes."

By Elizabeth Doyle

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