In the winter of 2015, Terry Leclaire Quist had a stray cat visiting her home in Sherwood.
Quist began to leave food out for the stray but quickly realized there were other hungry animals around who also wanted in — which gave her an idea.
“I noticed that there was a cat coming over and I was feeding it but it was outside during the winter months and my food wasn’t really being protected so that’s when I decided to buy the cat house,” Quist said.
Along with the first house, Quist also purchased a heating pad to go inside to keep visitors warm during the harsh North Dakota winters.
Fast forward to the last couple of weeks, Quist says she now has eight cats in total coming in and out of the cat houses. The animals are a tad skiddish, which lead her to purchasing security cameras.
“I kept trying to watch them through my front door but they were so scared that they would run,” Quist said.
She says between the cost of the houses themselves, heating pads and cameras she has spent roughly $300 on each, but she feels the benefits definitely outweigh the money spent.
“I can actually sleep at night because if I know there’s stray animals outside and around my house and they’re hungry and they’re cold. If I can’t provide for them then nobody else will,” Quist said, “They’re gonna eat, they’re gonna be warm, so that’s what I get out of it it makes me feel really good.”
Quist also says she has had help from two other community members, and they all just want to make sure these animals and more stay safe especially as winter approaches.