Volunteers Barb and Larry Wolfe gave the farm a priceless gift. They converted the small building in the picture from its former use as a sauna to a glorious Cat Memorial Chapel. Each step of the process was steeped with the love and sanctity a chapel needs to breathe life into the saddest moments of loving cats — those inevitable times when one's cat spirit leaves the body and the cat is released from our care. Since we focus our direct cat efforts on the elderly, we all too often deal with the loss of a beloved friend. This memorial chapel helps us deal with the loss and gives us a place to remember those cats that have gone on.
This is the inside of the chapel. Beneath the stained glass window is a memorial table, bracketed by shelves containing rememberances of our cats who have passed on. Each cat has an engraved plaque and a tin containing his/her ashes together with a tiny mouse toy to add sweetness to their passing. Although they were not in typical family homes, they were loved by our staff and volunteers as if they were pet cats. The cat statue below the table is our memorial to the many orphaned cats who die anonymously in shelters each year — 5 a day in our own community — without having guadians to remember them.
The focal point of the chapel — both inside and out — is a beautiful stained glass window of a cat with a rainbow signifying the rainbow bridge in the famous poem — the bridge where pets wait for their guardians to pick them up on their way to heaven.
Two benches and a floor pillow give visitors a place to sit and remember their companions. The wall photos are of cats our volunteers have lost over the years. The wind chimes in the windows add to the peaceful ambience.
Each September, we hold a memorial service in front of the chapel.
On the other side of the chapel, we've added a recirculating pool of rippling water to add to the peace and tranquility of this setting. Although difficult to see in this picture, there's a bench to the right of the tree, below the chapel door, where one can sit and reflect. The entire area surrounding the pool has been planted with with daylilies.
The main pool is the home of seemingly everblooming water lilies — as well as a community of frogs who sun on the rocks and lily pads — and add their own distinctive voice to the tranquility of the setting.