Christine Trevett readily says her cats are rejects, but these days they look more like feline royalty with their silky fur, bright eyes and cozy home.
Buddy, Baby and Shelby came with emotional baggage from their hard lives as rescues, but Trevett and her husband, Toby, recognized their potential and brought them “unadoptable” cats.
“The shelter manager told me Baby was unadoptable because every time people came to the cage she would hiss at them,” Trevett said. “But, when I saw her, I thought ‘She’s got spunk’ and she’s been a really good cat and very smart.”
All three of them require special understanding, but the Trevetts don’t mind because they’re animals lovers. In fact, they love animals so much they approached Union Pacific Railroad, where her husband worked until he retired, for money.
“We have always had a strong feeling of giving back, and you do it with what you feel most passionate about,” Trevett said. “For us, it’s animals.”
They support the zoo with donations, a move that continues even though their son is 45 years old now.
“We knew what it was like before that. You’d go there and it was really sad,” she said of the zoo.
Trevett was determined to help make it better place for animals.
And when Trevett got ready to retire, she also knew there was more she wanted to do.
“I heard about the St. Charles Humane Society and I got involved,” she said.
Soon after joining, she was elected treasurer and has held the position since that time.
“I had no problems with it,” she added. “For once, I feel I have control. You always hear about the charities and you give, and then 15 percent goes to overhead. I know every penny goes back to the Humane Society. None of us get salaries or any perks … nothing. The money is for the cats and the dogs. That’s all that matters to us.”
Toby was still working at Union Pacific Railroad when she explained to him what they were trying to do at the Humane Society.
It was no hard sell since he loves animals, too.
He approached the company for a grant and got $2,500. Trevett quickly applied it to providing free spays and neuters to those in need with pets or to defray the cost of these procedures.
Trevett was so thrilled she went back to Union Pacific for more money and it came, rising to $3,000 a year and now $5,000.
“We charge $30 for a cat and $50 for a dog for this,” she said. “We’re hoping to eventually get the population as close to zero in the parish as possible. We’re still working on it, and do whatever we can to help the animals.”
Trevett’s philosophy is they’re entitled to a good life, too.
But, as important, she believes helping them shows people they can help everyone.
“We’ve always had cats and dogs,” she said. “We’ve always absolutely loved animals. They always seemed special to me, and they give you unconditional love – and you can’t have it any better than that.”