Caboodle Ranch is an impressive sanctuary for cats built by Craig Grant, a man who actually doesn’t like cats.
The story of Caboodle Ranch began when Craig’s son moved out, leaving his cat Pepper behind. Just when he was getting used to taking care of an animal he didn’t really want around the house, Craig found out Pepper was pregnant. Before long he was stuck with another five kittens. As they grew, neighbors started complaining about so many animals living in their building, and cats were even shot at with B.B. guns.
Although he’s not what you’d call a cat lover, Craig went out of his way to protect his cats, traveling 100 miles from his Jacksonville home, to inspect a tree farm. The moment he saw it, Craig knew it was the perfect sanctuary for his purring pets, so he immediately bought 30 acres of land. He soon built an office trailer complete with small doors and padded shelves, for comfortable cat naps.
In the beginning, Craig Grant was reluctant to leave his home and moved to a remote farm, 100 miles away, but eventually took this step, in 2003. At that point, he had 11 cats, some of them strays and abandoned pets. One year later, their number doubled, and fast forward to present day, Craig’s Caboodle Ranch is home to 660 cats. He built them all kinds of miniature homes, including a city hall and a Wall-mart, and caters to their every need.
Craig still has his old job in Jacksonville, and travels back and forth between his home and workplace, to make sure the cats are safe. He says every cat costs $550 per year to take care of, and so far, every cent has come out of his own pocket. Taking care of so many cats is definitely not the easiest of things, and even though Caboodle Ranch gets around 30 visitors per month, few of them stick around to help.
But the most impressive thing about Craig Grant is his refusal to give his cats up for adoption. “The reason the cats are there in the first place is that there were not enough homes . The cats at the ranch have their forever home now. We prefer people adopt cats from humane societies, animal control etc, where those cats are on death row and are in desperate need to be saved,” says Craig.
Craig Grant’s Caboodle Ranch is definitely one of the most inspiring things I’ve read about in a while. If you want to learn more about this amazing project, check out the official website and the ranch’s Facebook profile, and be sure to help in any way you can.
Photos by Caboodle Ranch via Discovery.com