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If you bought a large historical building, what would you do with it? Many real estate investors turn them into new factories or into affordable apartments. It’s also been known for old buildings to be turned into theatres which is pretty cool. But one particular famous building in York, Pennsylvania has gone from a prominent wire cloth company in the 1800s to helping serve a cat colony!

From A Cloth Factory to a Home for Kitties

The New York Wire Works, originally called the York Wire Cloth Company, was built in 1888. It served as a factory to produce wire cloth for insect screening. Over the years it traded hands and served many different purposes. But it always dealt with wire products…until now! 

Cute feral cat at New York Wire Works

Cute kitty living at the New York Wire Works

In 2019 Mark Lane Properties purchased the Wire Works and they found some tenants came with the building. Because by this time, a cat colony had made the old factory their home!  Luckily Mark Sherman, the owner of Mark Lane Properties, is a huge cat lover. Since the factory was the cats’ home, he felt responsible to care for them instead of leaving them homeless. So he came up with a brilliant plan.

feral cats at New York Wire Works

The Kitty Land Project

Over the past three years, Mark has partnered with local rescues to establish a TNR (trap-neuter-release) plan for the colonies.  Here, the cats also have little homes and healthcare. Each cat humanely trapped has received vaccinations and medical care. And they aren’t going to stop until they’re all caught and treated!

cat houses made by Jak Arts (found inside The York Merchant)

“The start of our Kitty Land project, featuring cat houses made by Jak Arts ” via New York Wireworks

cat houses made by Jak Arts (found inside The York Merchant)

Cute cat houses made by cat houses made by Jak Arts.

The Kitty Land Project started with small cat houses built by local artisan Jak Arts, who lives in the building. Now each member of the colony has their own kitty condos!

Mark stated that building the condos was inspired by the Ernest Hemingway Home. He is famous for his love of cats, specifically polydactyl felines. And the Hemingwag house in Key West, Florida, is home to about 60 gorgeous kitties!  

“We are happy to be able to honor these cats and give them the best chance at a long, safe, and happy life. We believe that it is our responsibility to not just help transform the community around us, but the community within as well. Saving one animal may not change the whole world, but for that one animal, their whole world has changed. We believe that humanity and love will always reign supreme, and we are grateful for the opportunity to do our part in changing the world, one cat at a time.”

cute cat house for feral cats

“We love mornings with our community cats 😻” they posted to Facebook.

New York Wire Works feral cats

Feline-Inspired Art and Businesses Help Care for the Cats

There are many feline-inspired products and decor in the building from local artisans. The proceeds from the cat-themed art go to the care and other expenses of the cat colony. If you are in the area, do visit this lovely building of art and its kitty colony. But, keep in mind these are stray cats, sometimes easily spooked. However, there are also many who will come right up and give you some love if they happen to be nearby!

Are you interested in volunteering with any of the New York Wire Works community cat projects? Please feel free to reach out to the building’s proprietor at wireworks@marklaneproperties.com.

Images via New York Wire Works. You can follow them on Facebook here.

Also, you can follow the artist who makes these adorable cat houses, Jak Arts, here.

New York Wire Works cat house by Jak Arts

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