Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Friend's Wish

A Friend's Wish

post by : Gwen

Back in mid-April Camp Kitty lost a friend. Sandie Alford adopted a kitten named Phinneus, who was being fostered at Camp Kitty through the rescue group AARF, in June 2010. Since then, she had been a huge supporter of ours. She even helped breakdown the interior of the old Camp Kitty when we moved to our new facility in 2016.

Sandie passed away in mid-April. Though she had not been well for a while her sudden death came as a surprise. Sandie lived alone and did not have any children. She had three cats that she loved immensely.

Camp Kitty was listed in Sandie's will as the "organization of last resort" should the people listed in her will be unable to take her cats. So, here we are. Camp Kitty inherited three cats: Phinneus, Bailey and Harley.


Phinneus is a fluffy fellow who is outgoing, friendly and affectionate. Not much has changed since he was a kitten, though he probably has mellowed out a bit. Fun fact: he was the fastest adoption I ever had (10 days!).


A couple of years after Phin was adopted Sandie's other male cat, Aslan, passed away. The boys were the best of friends. Concerned for Phin's emotional well-being, Sandie called me asking if I had any fluffy boys in need of a home. I told her I did not, but there was a cutie a Dekalb County Animal Services. Within 48 hours Sandie had adopted Bailey.

Bailey is a sweetheart, but a bit shy and prefers the company of humans.


Harley is an outgoing, lovable cat and was Sandie's last adoption and a foster fail. In the fall of 2013, Sandie fostered a litter of kittens from Atlanta Humane. When they were old enough she returned them to the shelter. She soon found out that all the kittens in the litter were adopted except for Harley. She couldn't stand the thought of him being alone so she adopted him herself.

This boy is fun, playful and affectionate. He and Phinneus are best buds.

A New Start

Upon hearing of Sandie's death and then learning of Camp Kitty's feline inheritance, I contacted AARF to let them know what had happened. More importantly, would they be willing to take these cats into the AARF program. AARF's policy is to take back any pet adopted from them regardless of the situation. Phinneus was automatically accepted back. The other two were also accepted.

Now the task of finding them new homes begins. Ideally, we would like to get them adopted, but foster homes would be great, too. Phinneus and Harley are a bonded pair and they must go together.

They are all available through AARF. If you have any questions, please contact Camp Kitty ( and we'll be happy to help you or even schedule a visit with the cats.

We're going to make sure Phinneus, Harley and Bailey go to perfect homes. Sandie loved them dearly and we will do right by our friend.


Friday, May 22, 2020

Schroeder Is Home

post by: Gwen, owner of Camp Kitty

It's been seven years in the making, but Schroeder has finally come home. Yes, Schroeder got someone he knows very well!

In October 2012, a fluffy and sickly ginger cat was found by my dog, Linus, meowing under a bush during our daily walk. He was a scrappy little thing. Once we actually caught him my husband put him in a box he found nearby and we continued our walk back home. We named him Schroeder.

5-week-old Schroeder
Laying with Birdie

He lived with us for a few months until I gave birth to my first child in January. At that time, Schroeder went to live at Camp Kitty. I was sad because I loved him dearly. But, I knew that we were only fostering him and he would find his forever home soon.

Months turned into years. People applied for him, met him, but never went through with actually adopting him. Was this a sign?

In 2018, I moved from Atlanta down to Florida. I've always loved Schroeder. Not seeing him everyday broke my heart. I wanted to adopt him, but the time wasn't right.

Schroeder and Nip were close, and when Nip passed I felt it was time to start subtly stating my case to my husband (with back up from my kids) on why Schroeder belonged with us. Around the same time my 16-year-old dog passed away. Soon after my 15-year-old dog fell ill. I knew she only had months to live and wanted to focus on her hospice care. Speaking of Schroeder briefly ceased.

COVID-19 quarantine definitely served as a time of reflection. I knew that Schroeder belonged with me and my family.

Shortly after Mother's Day I drove up to Atlanta and brought Schroeder back with me to Florida.

Getting his carrier ready. He's suspicious.
Welcome home, sweet boy. You're back where you started.

My heart is complete.

Reunited with Birdie

He used to lay on my pregnant belly when he was a kitten

Hanging with the kid who was in my belly

Now he sleeps next to me every night.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

A Message From the Owner

How's everyone doing? Are your cats wondering why you're home sitting in their favorite napping spot?

Many of you have sent well wishes and have asked how Camp Kitty is doing. Camp Kitty is still here! I haven't had to lay off any employees, although the kennel staff is on hiatus. And, I made the decision to decrease operating hours.

Dekalb County has issued a shelter-in-place order for non-essential businesses. Animal care facilities are considered essential, which is great news for us and for your pets. With that being said we will continue to stay open albeit with limited operating hours. We will be here for any hospital staff member working long hours or CDC employee having to travel for work or any student whose housing has recently changed.

Like many of you I have no idea what the future holds. First and foremost, I want everyone to stay healthy. Secondly, I want to reassure everyone that Camp Kitty is in good financial standing for the foreseeable future. So we're not shuttering unless instructed to do so.

I don't consider myself an optimist or a pessimist. My general view is "it is what it is." With that in mind Camp Kitty will continue on with our wonderful staff and our supportive clients. And, we're looking forward to caring for all those cats who were recently adopted from area shelters.

Thank you everyone for everything. Take care. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay home. And please give your cats a hug from all of us at Camp Kitty.



Monday, March 23, 2020


Is this week two or week three of self-quarantine and social distancing? What are days? So, here we are not really sure what to expect next.

As the future is unpredictable and many factors out of our control we are asking more preparedness on the end of our clients who are checking-in their cats. Our repeat clients are used to dropping off their cat and food and engaging in a little chitchat. There was one occasion where a human brought in his cat, set him on the counter with his food, looked at me, pointed at the cat and then walked out the door. That's fine. We're all cat people so zero words exchanged was perfectly acceptable.

If you are bringing your cat to Camp Kitty in the next two weeks (or even beyond) please come prepared with the following:
  1. Extra food. At least two additional weeks worth of food.
  2. Two emergency contacts. If anything should happen to you (illness, quarantine, travel ban, etc.) we need names of people you trust to make decisions for your cat on your behalf.
  3. Where are you going? We usually do ask this if a cat is staying more than a week, but we want to know even if your cat is staying a few days. 
These are strange days so we're trying to be as prepared as possible.

Remember, we are still open. Our hours are limited: 8am-11am and 3pm-6pm.

Friday, March 13, 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on This Small Business

It's Friday the 13th and COVID-19 has created a new normal in American society. We are now all practicing social distancing - basically becoming a nation of cat people.

It's obvious that the travel and hospitality industries will be greatly impacted by COVID-19, or Coronavirus. The kennel industry is kind of like a subset of those above mentioned fields. Camp Kitty, like many other boarding facilities, is feeling the strain of this virus. March is the time of year where business is steady; the time when we come out from the February lull.  And then, the area schools' spring break happens the first full week of April and it's like we're pre-gaming for the busy summer season. Not this year, though.

We have already had several cancellations and early check outs.

Mid-March is when families finally confirm their spring break vacation plans and that includes making a reservation for their cat. The phones have been pretty silent. Our boarding count is down 25%-50% compared to this time last year.

We are in the early stages of creating a contingency plan should business drop significantly. In order to financially stay afloat we may have to close for a few days or shorten our business hours or meet clients by appointment-only. Our number one priority will always be the cats. We take pride in the care we provide to our feline customers and will always do what is in their best interest while also doing our part to keep society safe.

Many small businesses will be impacted by the Coronavirus. We will ride this out like everyone else. We thank you for all of your support and ask that you be patient with us while we figure out our next steps.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

COVID-19 and the Camp Kitty Humans

We're sure everyone is being inundated with "COVID-19" and "Coronavirus" and here we are tossing one more at you. 

What are we doing to keep our customers and employees safe during this time? COVID-19 is a virus that travels through the air - like many viruses that effect animals. Because of this, Camp Kitty is already equipped with an Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation system from PetAirapy that is connected to our HVAC system. In addition to keeping the air clean we disinfect our reception area daily particularly the desk and door handles.

We want to make sure our clientele stays healthy as well as our employees.

Being that we are a business that deals with bodily fluids and fecal matter on a daily basis we're pretty skilled in the art of disinfecting. Yeah, we were thoroughly washing our hands, and wearing masks and gloves before it was trending.