The cat’s meow
It all started with mouse droppings. When Lorrie Heber took over leadership of White Violet Center in March of 2014, she noticed evidence of some unwelcomed visitors in the center. Several traps later, the culprits had not been caught. It was jokingly suggested that Lorrie get a barn cat.
“I started thinking … why not? I got to thinking that one cat would be lonely, especially since we’re not always here on the weekends. I thought if we get one, we should get two so that they have company.”
Enter White Violet Center’s feline residents, Sage and Hazel. The pair came from the home of Tracy Wilson, the alpaca herd manager at the time. White Violet Center staff and interns had a contest to name the kittens when they first arrived. Now two years old, the felines could not have more opposite personalities.
“Sage is the diva of the White Violet Center,” Lorrie said. “She’s got to be in the middle of everything … she’s got to go to everybody and get pets.”
Hazel, however, is not nearly as fond of people. “She could definitely live her entire life without humans … she’s very quiet and unassuming,” Lorrie says. “She will seek out human interaction if you are the only person in the building; the minute there are two people present, she’s off.”
Sister Donna Butler has been lucky to enjoy some rare encounters with Hazel as of late, and so was I, when I first visited White Violet Center to take photos of the cats. Visitors to the center are usually surprised to see Sage and enjoy lavishing attention on her. Several sisters also enjoy the company of the cats, and regularly visit the center to get a dose of cat therapy.
Life at White Violet Center, it seems, really is the cat’s meow.