CUMBERLAND, Va. (WWBT) — A Cumberland County man has been taking care of dozens of cats that have been making themselves comfortable under his own house, and now wants to help them find better homes.
Norman Pipkin says he’s hoping his feline friends will meet new friends with new homes.
No matter where you are in Norman Pipkin's home, chances are you're only a few feet away from a cat.
"I think I'm somewhere between high 40s or low 50s," he said.
The cats don't all stay inside his home, but he says they do come out of the woodwork when it's feeding time.
Pipkin says for the past nine months, taking care of all these animals takes up about 60 percent of his day.
"It all started with a little grey cat showed up on the porch one day. So I started feeding her. I called her Tabby," Pipkin said.
But his love for the animals stems from a dark place: He explains that growing up, his parents were both severe alcoholics, and he would take jobs just to get out of the house.
It was one of the men he eventually worked for that took advantage of Pipkin, turning a boy looking for work into a victim of sexual abuse.
"The molestation started. Then it was rape," he said.
He later started volunteering at his local veterinary hospital where he felt in-tune with the furry patients, providing him "relief from all of what I was going through."
He says he's called animal control, local vets and other groups but was told their shelters were all full, and now he's hoping someone will help take them in.
"It's my fault for taking care of them, but that's just the way I am," he said.
Animal control said it doesn't respond unless a cat is sick or injured, but if you do happen to encounter a stray cat that you want to take in, bring it to a veterinarian to make sure it doesn't already have an owner and get it up to speed with its shots.
In the meantime, Pipkin says he's hoping his feline friends will meet new friends with new homes.
"That's all I want. I want every one of these cats to have a good home."
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