Kelli Cassidy didn't grow up with cats. She definitely wasn't a cat person. Yet somehow, she's running a cat shelter in New England that has saved over 550 cats in its first 18 months.
Six years ago Kelli and her husband Ed took a trip to Barbados. After a long flight they grabbed a quick snack before settling in, only to have a tiny ginger and white ball of fur try to swipe Kelli's pizza from her! She quickly realized that this sly kitty had a gash down his neck and infected eyes, and though Ed worried about her catching something, she grabbed it some food and held that cat in her lap until he was full and wandered off. After meeting another sick cat the next morning, she realized she had to do something. It took a month, several surgeries, and $3000, but Almond and Salem found their forever home with Ed and Kelli, where they still live happily today. And so began Kelli’s journey in cat rescue. To date, she has helped to save over 6,000 cats.
Kelli started informally helping cats at risk of euthanasia. She spent every free moment of her days calling shelters throughout New England and driving up and down the East Coast, transporting these cats herself. She helped rehome a group of cats from the Dillon County Shelter in South Carolina - it was the first group of cats to ever leave the shelter alive.
After several years of helping to transport cats to New England and then another three years working for a shelter in New Hampshire, Kelli began the next chapter of her rescue career, and opened Cat Tales.
What We Do
Cat Tales was created to be a strictly no-kill shelter that takes in cats regardless of age or special needs.
In the 18 months since opening, Cat Tales has taken in over 550 cats, and adopted out over 500. We take in rescues both locally and, when space allows, from all over the country and even the world. We have an incredible 2,300 square foot space that is home to 50 cats a time, where they live free of cages, divided instead into several rooms based on age, personality, and health. They’re able to interact with each other and our volunteers, who love each and every one of our cats unconditionally.
Having this unique space allows adopters to meet their cats in an environment where the cats already feel completely at ease, allowing their real personalities to shine through and making it easier for our adopters to connect with the cat that is perfect for them.
On top of the comfortable, loving environment that we provide to our kitties, we have also partnered with a veterinarian who makes weekly visits to our shelter to provide physicals and care for the cats, helping us to keep them happy and healthy.
Our shelter is staffed exclusively by volunteers - all of our money goes toward caring for the cats we rescue. This primarily involves providing veterinary care, food, and litter, and paying the bills to keep the heat on and doors open at the shelter.
People often ask us why we charge $200 for a kitten. Necessary intake veterinary care (vaccines, microchipping, disease testing) for a single completely healthy kitten costs around $210, and that doesn't include the costs of food, litter, and overhead. We take in 30-40 cats per month.
Roughly 50% of our funds go toward veterinary care, which costs us about $2500 per month, if there are no health complications or emergencies. If an emergency visit is needed it can cost upward of $3000. The remainder of our funds go toward food and litter, as well as overhead fees like our utilities and rent. This means that the monthly costs to keep our doors open, cats cared for, and maintain an emergency fund for one single health emergency are at minimum $8,000 per month, but there have been months where circumstances led to expenses higher than $10,000. We currently have several cats requiring surgeries totalling over $2000 that we cannot currently afford.
Kelli, our founder and director, works seven days a week at the shelter, on top of her actual paying job, to keep providing the quality care that we love being able to provide to our cats. It is her dream to never have to say no when someone reaches out about a cat in need.
Please help us cover the many expenses that come with running a shelter so that we can continue to provide food, care, and love to cats in need while they wait to find their forever homes.