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February 1, 2014

Store crew offers 'condo,' care for cats

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — What started as a trip to the local Home Depot, turned into an unexpected gift Friday for a Jefferson woman.

Linda Merwin went to the Oneonta store about a week ago looking to provide a warmer shelter for the neighborhood cats that she was feeding from the deck of her home for a couple of years. There were currently about 15. She told one of the employees her problem and the result was a “kitty condo” that several store employees delivered to her home Friday, along with pet food and a pledge of veterinary services.

“It’s fantastic, I love it,” said Merwin. It may take the cats some getting used to, she said, but “I don’t know what to do to thank them.”

Merwin, who is retired, said she had intended on buying some insulation for a metal shelter she had placed on her back deck. But she told department head, Amanda Forman, her problem and Forman’s response was “let’s see what we can do,” Merwin said.

Associate Manager Jackie Wayman said when she heard the story, she got approval from store manager Kris Miller to make it a Team Depot project. The store handles such projects, Wayman said, to give back to the community locally and nationally.

Home Depot tool technician Dave Seeger built the wooden structure, which has a roof, a cat door and shelves, Wayman said. A local animal feed supply store donated the food, and a veterinarian has offered to spay and neuter the animals, Wayman said. Both declined to be identified at this time.

The five Home Depot employees involved with the project have pets, and wanted to help Merwin and the cats she’s caring for, Wayman said.

“We’re happy to help out,” she said. “If it wasn’t for people (like Merwin) we wouldn’t have a business.”

Although Merwin had to be informed that a delivery was coming to make sure she was home, when the Home Depot truck pulled up with the condo, she was still surprised, she said.

“This should make it easier,” Merwin said.