Company work together with cat inhabitants of Purradise Springs

By Shaun Ryan

Purrt Metropolis stands out as the most uncommon place a traveler can spend the night time.

Outwardly, it’s a sort of campground with tents to hire. However what differentiates Purrt Metropolis — the lodging portion of the Purradise Springs property close to Fort White in Columbia County — from different out of doors lodging are the year-round residents and occasional “tentmates.”

In different phrases, cats.

Plenty of them. Neighborhood cats, disabled cats, cats which might be at-risk or just have nowhere else to go. As a result of Purradise Springs is firstly a feline sanctuary, which rents out the tents to boost cash for its associated nonprofit, Purrapy Inc.

Purrt Metropolis’s uniqueness is the primary purpose vacationers keep there. True, about 10% of the company have discovered it an reasonably priced place to remain whereas visiting close by Ichetucknee and Ginnie springs. However most are looking for an opportunity to cuddle with the resident cats on the finish of a protracted day. The truth is, some company develop so hooked up to their furry acquaintances, they undertake them.

Homeowners Denise and Thom Howard began down this path after shedding a pair of cats they’d had for 11 years. To fill that vacant spot of their lives, the Howards rapidly adopted two kittens. On the identical time they started to feed and look after a bunch of cats migrating from the home of a neighbor who had died.

Denise Howard found a ardour for one of these work. She and her husband started to do trap-neuter-release to assist management the feral inhabitants in Jacksonville. However they wished to do extra. They wished to create a sanctuary for the cats away from locations the place they could be poisoned or compelled out attributable to building.

They discovered a bit of property at 166 SW Lola Court docket, northwest of Fort White. A former cellular dwelling park, it was massive (9 acres) and secluded. It additionally had water, septic tanks and electrical energy, so the Howards thought-about having an RV camp on the positioning as a fundraiser.

However the city handed an ordinance that made that not possible, and followers of the nonprofit stated they didn’t personal any RVs. As well as, there was a hazard that the cats would scratch up a $150,000 automobile.

On the suggestion of Denise Howard’s sister, they elected to modify to tent tenting: glamping. They’ve 5 tents, truly yurts — or in Purradise Springs lingo, “purrts.” No less than one is air-conditioned, the others cooled by fan. And a lodge constructing close by affords company a spot to go to heat up, cool off or hang around with kittens.

The Howards moved in final January. They opened on the Fourth of July weekend and had been absolutely booked.

“We’ve been reserving fairly regular,” stated Denise Howard.

The Howards are planning to transform current buildings on the property to be used by the sanctuary. They’re additionally working with different small rescues to kind a cooperative and hope to enlist the assistance of space veterinarians.

Anybody seeking to spend the night time in one of many purrts and maybe some high quality time with the cats of Purradise Springs can study extra at



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