I recognize that some people have a problem with animals in public places, either because they have allergies or they just don’t like animals. If you are one of those people, read no further. I’m not going to talk about that side of the issue; I have loved animals my whole life and can’t imagine not being around them. A house is not a home without a pet.
My mother gave me the book, “Dewey” for Christmas in 2009; I just now finished reading it. That Christmas was just a couple of months after we lost our beloved 20-year-old cat, and I just wasn’t up to reading it at the time. I felt like I had just lost the most “special” cat in the world — how could there be another?
After gaining some perspective (as well as adding two 3-year-old kitties to our family), I picked up the book and really enjoyed it. I wish I had had the opportunity to visit that library while Dewey was there. It got me thinking about places I have visited with resident cats. The first place that came to mind was The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. When my husband and I checked in, a resident cat and dog greeted us — a great first impression for me. What we didn’t know was that Morris the cat had lived there! There was a portrait in the lobby with a poem about Morris and a grave on the grounds. We were told that most of the cats in Eureka Springs were related to Morris (I guess he was a real “Tom”). The bed we slept in was uncomfortable, and I didn’t get much sleep due to the ghost tours, but the resident cat and dog spent time with me as I sat in the lobby and helped me feel comfortable there.
The other place I remembered was an inn in NH that we stayed at several times: The Notchland Inn. During our first visit, it was run by a husband and wife: she was a fabulous cook and he was the tour guide/entertainment/social director. They had a golden retriever that would greet the guests, as well as llamas and other animals on the grounds. The second and third time we stayed there it was run by two men. Food still great…but I don’t remember the animals.
Yet another place I stayed with a resident cat was the Dew Drop Inn in South Paris, Maine. My husband was in town on business and the business suggested the place. I was the only person staying there at the time. The owner, an elderly woman, sat with me while I had a cup of tea and told me a wonderful story about how she adopted in the calico cat in residence from a Wal-Mart parking lot. They also had a cow that took a shine to my husband!
I’ve never forgotten any of these places, not only because they were interesting or lovely places to stay, but because of the resident pets that made me feel at home.