The Land of Shields is a real place, and all of these cats live there. The land is owned by Bruce and Terri Shields who live there along with their youngest daughter Rebekah. Surrounded by farmland in Northern Michigan, the Shields' have been visited by stray and abandoned cats since first purchasing the property in 2011.
The cat profiles, timeline and stories are just a fun creative way of telling what is happening in the Cats Kingdom. Most of which is real, as far as names, dates and events, although some of the stories may (or may not, depending on which cat you ask) be embellished with artistic license to make for better reading.
The timeline on The Baron's Lineage shows the approximate dates for the arrivals of each cat.
The Shields' decided to do their best in finding homes for the cats, however this turned out to be more difficult than they had anticipated. Most of the cats were born in the wild, offspring of strays and cats abandoned on neighboring farms, and although were willing to accept feedings, were less than enthused at the notion of being held, which makes it near impossible to home them.
Over the years as new kittens appear, The Shields' youngest daughter Rebekah would try and tame them, taking her time in friending them. For those who accept her, we quickly find homes for them. Although there may be many kittens in one litter, they do not all as quickly accept human kindness.
For the ones too wild to hold, and others who are still too young to trust human contact, Terri has built outdoor houses for them to find shelter from the harsh Michigan winters. Aptly named the "Cat Condos", we currently have 4, each capable of comfortably housing 2 to 3 cats. Each season the bedding is replaced and maintenance done if needed. The condos are made from 2 rubbermaid totes, a smaller inside a larger, with hay between for insulation. The hay is also placed on the bottom and top before replacing the lid.
The interior has either blankets, cat beds, or multiple layers of sweaters which the cats seem to prefer.
When the cats first started appearing, there were just one or two, they would receive a meal and only show themselves periodically. After about a year they came more often and brought friends. At one point we had approximately 16 cats showing twice a day for a meal, to which we obliged.
For those who were friendly enough to hold, we found homes. Some who had signs of worms we would deworm, and one, which was covered in about 100+ ticks around his neck we gave tack & flea medicine, and within a few days they were off of him.
Since 2012 the cost of housing, worming, tick & flea meds and two meals per day is getting expensive.
We will continue to do this work as long as strays and cats that have been abandoned on neighboring farms keep showing up.
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