Cattery opens as cop replaces catching criminals with keeping cats
A SWINDON policeman and lifelong animal lover has opened a cattery in Purr-ton.
Emma Turner spent 10 years with the Force as a PCSO in Wroughton, but decided to switch careers focusing less on catching criminals and more on caring for cats.
The 37-year-old and her partner Scott Salmon have moved to Purton and have invested thousands of pounds building safe and comfortable enclosures in their large back garden for 21 house cats on vacation and to rescue cats that are being rehomed.
They opened the business on Wednesday after fostering 150 cats over the past year and a half while volunteering with Cats Assistant Trapping Service and gaining experience at another cattery in the area.
Emma said: “I suffer from anxiety and, although I loved working for the police and the community, I struggled with the confinement of the office.
“Sometimes you just need a change and want to go pet a cat rather than blame someone for carrying cannabis.
“The goal was to continue rescue and fostering for a while before eventually opening a cattery, but we moved ahead with our plans quickly.
“After a decade in policing I thought I had seen it all, but some of the rescue situations were horrific. We’ve dealt with many angry and hurt cats, people’s pets are much easier because they just need a little love and attention.
“It’s a nice quiet environment, the cats are very relaxed, we’ve had great support from the public and already have a lot of bookings for the fall.”
Scott, 34, is an engineer who spends his free time helping with the cattery at home. He has refurbished, sanded and repainted used blocks so they look and feel like new.
Each enclosure is for two cats, with a ground floor and a “penthouse” floor, the pets’ favorite toys and a personalized photo hanging at the top of each space.
Unvaccinated rescue cats are kept in a separate enclosure from house cats because they may have health or socialization issues that require special attention. There are isolation enclosures for felines that need to be seen by vets, and an area in the garage for feral rescue kittens before they go to rescue centers.
The couple also look after four of their own cats and five free-range rescue chickens. There are fans and ice packs to keep the cats cool during this unusually hot summer.