The Cats of Parliament Hill
April 16, 2006 1:33 PM   Subscribe

Along the Ottawa River, past the Peace Tower, is the Centre Block of Parliament—for cats. Started by Irene Desormeaux in the 1970s and taken care of by Rene Chartrand (who recently received the Humane Society of Canada's Heroes for Animals Award) since 1987, the 20-40 cats on the property have been one of the lesser-known parts of Parliament Hill. [via]
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire (13 comments total)
Argh—first link should be here.
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire at 1:35 PM on April 16, 2006

Because Parliament Hill always has room for a few more fat cats and butt-lickers. :)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:54 PM on April 16, 2006

I believe M. CHartrand has also befriended a groundhog that llives in the area as well. The cats are one of the fun parts of the Hill for sure.
posted by aclevername at 2:41 PM on April 16, 2006

aclevername, yes indeed! scruss is a member here, but I was with him on the trip when he took this photo, hopefully he won't mind my stealing his thunder).
posted by lowlife at 3:13 PM on April 16, 2006

While actually getting to sneak into Question period and seeing my mother's rural post office sign in the Museum of Civlization are my top two Ottawa moments, the Parliament Hill Cats get the bronze medal.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:29 PM on April 16, 2006

lowlife, you can always steal my thunder. Plays havoc with my turbines, don't you know.
posted by scruss at 4:56 PM on April 16, 2006

Looks like even flickr has a few shots of this beautiful soul.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 8:19 PM on April 16, 2006

The first time I saw the cat sanctuary, I immediately asked why wasn't this ever considered a security threat by the RCMP? Having a shack so close to the parliament seems kinda like a bad idea.

Then I reminded myself that I'm in Canada. Less than 200 metres away from the central building of my nation's capital, we got a place for cats. CATS. I love Canada.
posted by phyrewerx at 8:56 PM on April 16, 2006

And they are amazingly tranquil, too. My excitable pup barely raises their notice.
posted by dreamsign at 9:32 PM on April 16, 2006

I visited during my time in Ottawa and I was struck by how filthy the cat house was and how flea bitten and bedraggled the cats seemed.

It's a nice idea in theory but I think in practice it might actually be bad for the cats.
posted by srboisvert at 2:16 AM on April 17, 2006

So odd.
posted by wonkybusker at 7:17 AM on April 17, 2006

I always loved the idea, but whenever I visited, there was usually a massive raccoon or two eating the cat's food.
posted by dripdripdrop at 8:38 AM on April 17, 2006

I posted about this story on my blog in 2001 using a different link than the ones I've seen here.
posted by mikel at 1:00 PM on April 17, 2006

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