The cats on parliament hill in Ottawa

If you have been to Ottawa, you have probably visited the parliament of Canada and might have stumbled into the cat sanctuary on parliament hill.

Here is a short video on those cats:

And here is ten-minute videos covering the story:
The cats on parliament hill
(It is in French, but the images say a lot)

So where do these cats come from?

Hard to say for sure! The legend mentions John By, the man responsible in the building of the Rideau Canal, as the first person to bring these cats’ ancestors to the parliament in 1826. It was then the norm in buildings and castles to have a colony of cats to help control the rodent populations. In 1955, however, pesticide became a preferred solution and the cats were kicked out of the parliament. Some cat lovers fed the errant cats now and then, but it is in 1970 that those cats, and their successors, were finally taken care of by the typical “cat-lady”, miss Irene Desormeaux. From then until her death seventeen years later, she took it upon herself to feed these cats every single day. After she passed away, a neighbour, M. René Chartrand continues what she started and has been doing so for the last 23 years. Every day, the character known as being very social and chatty goes to the sanctuary and feed “his” cats. In the past years, the aging cat lover has been getting additional help from a group of volunteers established by Brian Caines so that the animals get medical treatments when needed and receive product and money donations from fans all over the world.

Oven-Baked Tradition is a proud contributor, donating food to all these cats so that they have a tasty and healthy life.

Volunteers are also essential contributors, making sure that the cats stay warmed and safe, as well as receive much needed affection.

Other animals seem to be happy with the sanctuary:

The cats are a popular attraction! They are even a “must-see” attraction in some touristic books.

Obviously! Look at these cute faces:

Come visit them if you are in the area!