Elain Harvey is the founder of Puddy Tat Protectors, Inc., a non-profit that is dedicated to the rescue and care of homeless cats and kittens. In 1994, Elain was volunteering at Goodwin’s Nursery in Germantown, Tennessee, and decided to care for the cats and kittens who had been dropped off or randomly showed up at the nursery. After volunteering for about four months and caring for over 60 cats, she started putting together a team of volunteers and now runs Puddy Tat Protectors.
The cats are all adopted through The House of Mews, which is a cat sanctuary and adoption agency also run by Puddy Tat Protectors. Elain is the only full-time staff member at The House of Mews, which has been located in the Midtown neighborhood of Memphis for over 20 years. It is fully staffed by non-paid volunteers.
The sanctuary is an alternative to government-run shelters and does not buy or sell cats. Instead, it operates on the principle that the cats’ lives are not marketable, and those who are approved to adopt the felines are encouraged to make a donation to cover veterinary expenses. The House of Mews also asks anyone who wants to adopt to cover the cost of spaying or neutering the cats. Cat collectibles and trinkets can be purchased at the sanctuary, as well as cat food and supplies.
At The House of Mews, cats roam freely through the building, and many can be found sitting in the windows, lounging on couches and chairs, or climbing on the counters. The center allows people to visit and play with the cats for as long as they want, and even has a kitten room where the baby kittens live. Just make sure to sanitize your hands before entering.
Currently, there are almost 90 cats at The House of Mews available for adoption. Generally, a cat is allowed to run loose after a period of two months in a cage without being adopted. Cats live in large, shelved white cages while staying at The House of Mews. The santuary has adopted over 8,500 cats since it opened in 1994.