Rita Wood (founder of PurrEver Ranch) & Puddy Tat

PurrEver Ranch opened its cat doors in June 2004 when Rita Wood realized that even though there are numerous animal rescue groups in her area, none of them focused on the homeless, senior or special needs felines. She founded PurrEver Ranch, a non-profit hospice for senior and special needs cats with disease or behavior issues.

Here is the story of how PurrEver Ranch got started – the Importance of Being Special:

In May of 2004, I (Rita) dropped by the shelter to put some aloe vera on some of the sick kitties noses in isolation. I was informed it would be a sad day & that euthanizations would take place. At first I tried to accept the fact that CAS was a kill shelter. I tried to convince myself I had several rescued cats that I was caring for & simply could not afford to take any more in.


I asked if I could feed some tuna to the kitty cat for her last meal & was given permission to do so. As I opened the can, the cat began talking to me. Mewing up a storm. She didn’t have to open her mouth though, I heard every word she said. I refused to look at her. It was then that the cat began waving her paw at me to get my attention—I swear–she waved her right paw up & down. I hesitantly looked into her eyes & heard her scream, “HELP ME!” With tears in my eyes, I opened her cage, picked her up & felt the terror running thru her body. I held her tight & whispered softly, “you’re coming home with me, Special.” I renamed her Special because that is what she is.

It was at that moment that PurrEver Ranch, the cat sanctuary, I’ve been dreaming of for years became a reality. I’d tell you I’ve been rescuing cats all my life, but truth be known—they’ve been rescuing me. (Check out their Facebook page)

senior cat

Save Meow Project:

Through my Save Meow Commentathon project (for each comment you make, I personally donate 5 cents from my own pocket), I have raised $200. It’s not a lot, but I am hoping to take this opportunity to raise awareness of animal rescue. I asked Brian, one of our most frequent visitors to nominate three rescue groups of his choice. One of them was PurrEver Ranch.

It turned out that PurrEver Ranch is in dire need of permanent housing. I decided to send them the donation and am glad that I could help even though it was only a small fraction of what they need.

"Puff. Yes, he WAS that sweet. Gift from the heavens. How anyone could trade him in for a man is beyond me. Of course the boyfriend was gone months later & she wanted cat back. No way, Jose. You took him to a kill shelter. Puff left this earth knowing he was loved, WANTED and full of kisses. Puff the magic kitty. Lived at PurrEver. And in the land of pussycats, Puff was one of the BEST! miss you puffers. miss you so much." - Rita

Other Challenges that PurrEver Ranch is facing:

“We also have close to 20 kittens from several different litters ranging from infants to teenagers. We are not set up for adoptions as we are a hospice and do not receive the spay/neuter grants that most rescue orgs get. Hospices aren’t elligible for grants. Nobody wants to help the unwanted, the old, the sick – the “unadoptable”. Even companies don’t donate product like food and cat litter coz it can’t be sampled.

A local pet store Hollywood Feed in Oakland TN has offered me a place to have adoption events. But vetting nearly 20 kittens is going to be a huge financial challenge. But somebody has to take care of them. There is no animal shelter in Fayette Co, TN and PurrEver is the only cat rescue.”

cute calico kitten
"Puddy Tat! This little girl is quite mystical. When my Sinatra died, for a week following his passing, she did things only he did. Slept where only he slept. When I would cry, would mew & softly paw at my face. When I was worn out with lonliness, she would softly crawl on my chest like sinatra & purr her reassurances. Just like he used to do. There is a song by Diamond Rio, "I Believe" and I do. I believe. You can listen to it on our Pawprints page." - Rita
cute senior cat
"Monte, rescued Katrina kitty. Still looking for his humans but think he might be best having his own home. his own humans. not a packcat. spoiled boy. lover boy." - Rita
cute playful calico kitten playing
Kitty kitty bang bang
cute senior cats snuggling
Figero & Clara Cara
cute rescued bengal cat
"Ace - Male Bengal rescued from a horrid breeder who kept him, his wives & children in a windowless storage room. Now he lives like the leopard he soars to be. Just had to share this cool picture." - Rita
cute rescued cat
cute rescued senior cats
PurrEver Ranch - Hospice for senior cats
cute ginger senior cat at cat hospice
Charlie "Does this make my butt look big?"
cute rescued senior cats
cute rescued white cat
"Isabella came to us from a kill shelter. The Director called me & told me they had a 5 mos deaf kitten that hadn't been properly socialized & was biting & attacking everyone. I picked Isabella up & took her back to PurrEver. A few months here, she was still biting & really creating havoc. Who knew a deaf kitten could scream so loud?! One night in the kitchen as I was feeding the herd wet food, she went on a tangent nearly stroking several of the geezers out. I said jokingly said very sternly (to a deaf cat), "Now you listen here young lady, you either shape up or you're shipping out." It was a hot summer nite & I was wearing shorts when I felt soft paws on my thighs. I looked down & it was Isabella reaching up & for lack of better words, holding me. She pressed her little head against my leg & as I felt her soft wet nose against my leg, tears sprung from my eyes from the sheer tenderness of it all. She held me for several seconds... I scooped her up (she is not a cat that cottons to being held) & said, "you're not going anywhere, sweet babygirl." She rewarded me with a quick swat across the face and a deep mrrrrroooooowwww. Cuddle time was over. That was a few years ago & Isabella is still here. She still trys to stir things up and has the grace of a goat. But she makes me laugh with her silliness and she holds my heart when she is still. I sometimes wake at night to find her sleeping on my chest." - Rita