“The Cats of Madison County”

“The Cats of Madison County”

10591589_bg2Everyone remenbers the movie The Cats of Madison County.  After all, it was directed by Clint Eastwood and starred him and Meryl Streep.  The film, which won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role, was about a National Geographic photographer who …

Actually this post is about the cats of Madison County (and it’s a different Madison County than in the movie).  But it’s still a cool story and there is video to watch.

The Pendleton State Prison (in Madison County, IN), has statrted a cat foster program with a local animal control facility.  Like most municipal animal facilities, Anderson Animal Care & Control was always overflowing and had to make the painful choice to euthanize adoptable cats.prison

The prison program allows the shelter to free up some room and gives the shyer cats a chance to be socialized, greatly improving their chances of adoption.  It also provides some inmates with a chance to learn to care for and bond with a needy animal.  You can read a little bit about the program and see a video here.

Witrh a little digging around, I found out that the prison also allows cats in its Chronic Care Unit, which houses seriously mentally ill inmates.  According to the prison, “The cats have a calming effect and play an important role in the emotional and physical health of the men.”

Very cool idea and a win-win for all, I think.

Trivia: this is the prison where John Dillinger was kept after his capture.

4 thoughts on ““The Cats of Madison County”

  1. This story truly makes my day. It’s amazing what possibilities for redemption can grow with a little mercy and the healing power of loving and being loved by a cat who needs you. I couldn’t agree more with the Animal Control rep who said: “If you come in here and you make the choice that you want to walk a different path and you are trying to be different, I do believe they should have a chance to be different and I do believe that animals can help them be that way.”

  2. I strongly believe that all prisons, libraries, retirement homes, etc., that are willing and able, should all house and care for homeless cats. Dogs are a bit of a taller order in some cases, but, cats are so easy in my opinion.
    I just LOVE stories like this.

  3. This is a wonderful idea for both the cats and the people who will become their caregivers. Down here, we have several nursing homes that have taken in older declawed cats (the type that are frequently overlooked for adoption)) to bond with the residents, and as I understand, it is a win win situation, and the idea is spreading which is fantastic.

  4. For many inmates, caring for an animal is the first experience they’ve ever had at loving something and being loved in return. The unconditional love of a cat can truly change a human life! This is a wonderful program — thanks, Jonathan, for sharing this!

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