Conceived in 1996, Catman2 is managed by Dr. Harold Sims, a retired college biology professor and his wife, Kay, a retired school social worker. The cats live in a large shelter adjacent to the Sims’ home in Cullowhee, North Carolina. Tours of the shelter are available by appointment. We house 80+ cats at most times of the year, and are sure to have “The Cat of Your Dreams”. Because of the costs of transportation and stress on the cats, we only arrange adoptions in Western North Carolina and the surrounding area, except in extraordinary cases. We also offer a “matching service”. If we do not have the cat you are looking for, we will contact other shelters in an attempt to find the right cat for you. There will be an adoption fee or service charge expected if we locate the cat for you.
Q: What is the shelter like?
Our shelter is located on a 10 acre parcel of land in the town of Cullowhee, North Carolina in a quiet, residential area. The entire complex is three miles from the main gate of Western Carolina University. The main shelter building, corner stone of the planned complex, contains a little less than four thousand square feet. There are three large cat rooms, each with a large screened and fenced outside porch. Another room houses incoming cats and cats that may not be social enough yet to join the general population. These cats live temporarily in large, spacious cages. In the center is a room furnished like a living room. Here people wishing to adopt a cat can spend time with the cats. There is a storage room with shelves filled with food and cat supplies and serves as an office. The entire complex is acessible to those who use wheelchairs. There are two bathrooms, one for the public and the other for staff. The staff bathroom contains a large tub to wash cats and cat related equipment.
People who visit the shelter will enter the large entrance room then traverse one of three wide hallways where large windows allow a view of each of the (15 by 24 foot) cat play areas. Here the cats have overhead runways to walk on, boxes to hide in and toys to play with. Classical and mood music flows from ceiling speakers. Large windows on the outer wall allow sunlight to beam in and provide the cats with a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside while enjoying the warmth of electric heaters in winter or cooling fans during summer. The outer porches are accessible by two cat doors. Each room has a separate air purification system and Hepa filtration. One might think of a visit to this shelter as a visit to an aquarium, but instead of seeing colorful fish in tanks, colorful cats may be watched as they play, rest and interact. Wide windowsills provide a face to face view of the more friendly cats. People may enter the cat rooms to interact with the cats. Besides providing a view of the cats the walls of the halls are bedecked with the Sims’ collection of cat art, including a collection of Chessie collectibles.
Q: Who works at the shelter?
The owner, Harold “Catman” Sims (and his wife Kay) live on the property and he is usually available to visit and talk to about shelter operations. In 2011, he hired Kaleb to be the shelter manager, webmaster, and coordinator of adoptions and volunteers. We have a few volunteers that work different mornings and some afternoons, but we desperately need more help!
Our newest staff member Shirley Bones is a rescued walker hound. She was found in terrible condition by one of our shelter volunteers, and in conjunction with ARF Jackson County Humane Society, Kaleb was able to foster her, nurse her back to health, and eventually decided to keep her. Shirley goes to work with him everyday and loves the cats so much. She has helped make many adoptions happen for folks who are concerned that their new kitty won’t get along with their dogs! She is a great nurse for any sick cats and kittens who come about. Here she is watching over Bradley, one of Kaleb’s foster kittens who was very sick and sadly did not make it. Shirley was depressed for days after his passing. She’s the best Feline-Canine Relationship Coordinator ever. <3
Q: What vet does Catman2 use?
We use Sylva Animal Hospital for all of our shelter cats AND our personal house cats. Dr. Black, Dr. Bragg, Dr. Wall, and their staff are wonderful, caring people. We reccommend them to anyone looking for a vet in Sylva. We have also used Dr. Shearer at Shearer Pet Health Hospital/Western Carolina Animal Pain Clinic for special cases like Nadine, who was sliced nearly to death by a car engine.
Q: Why can't you take all cats people bring you?
While we would love to be able to help every cat we are asked to take, we simply do not have the room, the people power, or the funds to be able to do so. We usually operate at capacity but we will always listen and offer advice. We also cannot take cats who are FeLV/FIV+ due to lack of facility space to isolate these cats, or unweaned kittens due to lack of people power to care for them. However, we can help give you other resources to try for these situations. Because we are a licensed no-kill shelter, we do have state regulations to follow and have to draw the line somewhere.
Q: What if I don’t want my cat spayed or neutered? Can I adopt one that’s not fixed? Would it be cheaper that way?
Tough. And no. For every litter born, more animals have to be destroyed because of overpopulation. Millions of pets continue to be euthanized in our country. If you don’t spay/neuter, you’re part of the problem.
Also, spaying/neutering is good for your cat’s health and lifespan. The reasons include: decreased aggression towards other animals, prevention of behavioural problems, reduced chances of cancer, increased life span, reduced instances of disease or injury, reduced urge to roam, etc.
Q: Are your cats all microchipped?
At this time, no, we do not microchip our cats. We will begin microchipping in 2016!
Q: What is Catman2′s stance on declawing?
We at Catman2 DO NOT SUPPORT THE DECLAWING OF ANY CAT. Declawing is an irreversible surgical procedure that involves the amputation of the last joint of the cat’s toes. It is a very painful surgical operation which is followed by a long, painful recovery period for the cat. Cats walk on their toes – think about that kind of pain! A cat’s claws are a vital part of its anatomy, vital to its balance, mobility and survival. Scratching is as normal as is eating and breathing. It is unrealistic to try to prevent a cat from scratching. PROVIDE YOUR CAT WITH SCRATCHING POSTS. Deprived of its front claws, a cat may become insecure and distressed. Feeling defenseless without their claws, kitty may become hostile towards people and other animals, and become more likely to bite making them less safe around children and babies. After all, a cat’s front claws are its primary defense.
We often have a few cats who had previously been declawed living at the shelter. We reccommend that if you want a declawed cat, you adopt one who has already been through this painful procedure instead of putting another cat through that kind of torture.
Q: What about fostering?
Would you be willing to foster a senior cat or an otherwise less/unadoptable shelter cat? Because we are a no-kill shelter, we have cats that have spent their entire lives here and are in their golden years. There are a few that would love to be fostered in a home with love and patience and time! At this time, we do not participate in any other foster networks, as we have a shelter facility and lack of people power to coordinate fostering.
Q: Does Catman2 participate in any educational programs?
In the past, we have gone to schools and spoken to classes about the importance of spay/neuter and held essays contests on the topic. We would love to do more educational programs. If you are interested in having Catman2 come to speak at an event, please call Kaleb at the shelter at 828-293-0892 or e-mail him at email@example.com