The Dundas Seed, Forage & Agricultural Show was held on March 9th at Matilda Hall in Dixon’s Corners. Exhibitors and visitors filled the hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Francis Henderson of Terrdale Farms won this year’s top spot, the Premier Exhibitor. His daughter, Tracy Porteous, accepted the award on his behalf. Kelly Fawcett-Mathers, a representative for TD Canada Trust, sponsor of the award, presented the award to Porteous. The second award, Reserve Premier Exhibitor, and the third award, Premier Forage Exhibitor, both went to Ian and Tracy Porteous of Ayrporte Farm.
A popular prayer group that began in the late winter and early spring of 2011, and coincided with Lent, is returning to Lakeshore Drive United Church beginning on Monday, February 20.
The group began meeting last year in the Church Parlour, thanks to the go-ahead form the Worship and Music Committee of the church. It emphasized meditative prayer.
At one time or another, some 17 people took part in the spiritual exercise with the usual number ranging from six or seven to 10, in attendance.
People came, not just from Lakeshore Drive United, but from surrounding United Church congregations and the Anglican Church.
All benefitted from the experience of the Seaway District of the Canadian Christian Meditation Community.
The accent at each meeting was on silent prayer, of 20-30 minutes. It was a time of sharing in silent prayer, using one or two words– “Maranatha” (the New Testament Greek word for “Come, Lord.”)
The meetings began with an introductory prayer, some singing, and the silent prayer was followed by a time for discussion, sharing, and concern for others.
Each meeting started at 4 p.m. and was limited to one hour.
Again in 2012, the Worship and Music Committee at the church has given the go ahead for the program.
It begins on Monday, February 20 at 4 p.m. and everyone in the community is welcome.
Come and find the quiet centre in the crowded life we lead,
find the room for hope to enter, find the frame where we are freed:
clear the chaos and the clutter, clear our eyes that we may see
all the things that really matter, be at peace, and simply be.
(374, Voices United, Hymn Book of the United Church)
For more information please contact group leader Douglas MacKay at 613-543-4468.
The larger portion of a fisheries compensation project associated with the $35 million renovation at the Port of Johnstown, will be taking place at Riverside Heights later this summer.
Six years of collaboration by several stakeholders to complete renovations at the Port of Johnstown was celebrated at the port April 15.
The cost of the work was covered in a three-way federal, provincial, municipal split.
Started over the winter, the first fisheries compensation project included expansion of an existing Johnstown wetland into a larger habitat for fish and other aquatic life.
It will be completed in June with planting of the shoreline.
Starting in August, under the supervision of South Nation Conservation Authority, a larger fisheries compensation project will be undertaken on property owned by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission at Riverside Heights.
Both projects were required by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to compensate for fish habitat lost due to installation of a new wharf at the port.
Although outside the Port of Johnstown’s home municipality of Edwardsburgh / Cardinal, Riverside Heights was seen by all parties involved as a logical location for additional habitat compensation.
The project will involve creation of an embayment with channels cut into existing marshland.
South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds explained that the portion of the project that will take place in South Dundas, is located on Parks of the St. Lawrence land, on the east side of the old County Road 8 allowance, south of County Road 2, at Riverside Heights.
“It will not have any effect on land use, as it is protected now as a provincially significant wetland,” he said.
SNC chairman Bill Smirle said he’s proud and pleased that all parties – not to mention St. Lawrence aquatic species – will gain from the compensation projects.
If you are a cat owner who enjoys holidaying in the sun, and being pampered and fed in a luxurious hotel, but feel a tinge of guilt at leaving your favourite feline behind, then the PussyCat Hotel could be the answer for you.
The PussyCat Hotel, located just east of Glen Stewart on the South Branch Road, is owned and operated by Judy Amo and Ian Leverett. The two have turned a cattle barn into a palatial cat resort that provides luxurious accommodations for our furry friends.
The Hotel, however, doesn’t answer just the needs of those heading off on vacation. Cat owners who travel for business and those who have to be away from home or unable (temporarily) to care for their cat(s) due to health reasons are frequent customers.
Judy and Ian have filled the hotel’s central catwalk with regular home furnishings…a dining room set, couches and chairs, and a television that on most days features all the things a cat is interested in.
“I like to leave it on through the day so they can watch it,” says Judy, who often heads to the hotel to spend the evening watching television with the cats while Ian catches a sports program back at the house.
Off the catwalk are the cat suites, that range from the ‘royal suites’ (up to four cats), to ‘economy’ (one cat). The hotel has 22 rooms. All were filled during the 2010 Christmas holiday, the first holiday the PussyCat Hotel was in operation.
When Ian and Judy first met 20 plus years ago, they owned and bred Persian and Himalayan Cats.
After cleaning homes, Judy took a dog grooming course and worked in that business for a number of years.
Ian has tried his hand at a government position and running a craft business. He built a busy disc jockey business in the Ottawa area, ‘700 dances a year” then a successful snow ploughing operation, “which was worse.”
The couple eventually settled in the Kemptville area where they launched a pet sitting business which developed into their boarding dogs in their own home.
“We went to our first home where there was a dog chained outdoors,” says Ian. “It was 40 below, so we decided to take the dog home, and that’s how it started. We eventually had 500 clients.”
Unfortunately, caring for upwards of 20 dogs in their home at any one time became a health/safety issue for Judy, when she had a knee replacement.
They sold the business and moved to their new home on the South Branch Road in the spring of 2010, with the intent to build a boarding kennel for dogs. However, a clause in the sale of their Kemptville business and municipal regulations led them down a slightly different path…a return to their first love, cats, and the resulting PussyCat Hotel.
“We love it here,” says Judy of the six acre farm. “It’s so quiet and the neighbours are so friendly. When we opened (November 2010) we had an open house and all the neighbours came.”
In designing the PussyCat Motel, Ian says, “we figured cats don’t belong in cages just like dogs, so we designed the rooms. Most places just have cages and the animals are confined to the cages for weeks on end.”
“We spent a lot of money on this. It was a horse and cow stable.”
Ian’s vision included pillars which run the length of the central hallway. Each of the suites opens off the grande hallway with screen doors.
The top room is the (up to four cat) ‘king suite’ which measures a little more than eight by seven feet. Located on the west side of the Hotel, it offers maximum afternoon sunshine which shines onto window perches. There are also climbing ramps, poles and extra large cat trees.
The (up to three cat) ‘queen suites’ catch the morning sun Slightly smaller than the ‘kings’, they too feature ramps and large cat trees. The 40 square foot ‘royal suite’ houses up to two cats as does the 36 square foot ‘presidential’. The 30 square foot ‘economy condo’ has no window and is designed for one cat.
Litter boxes and feeding stations are located in each room.
Prices are per room (not per cat) and range from $30 per day for the ‘king’ down to $14 per day for ‘economy’.
During their stay, the feline guests can roam freely throughout the hotel. Some cats are quite comfortable around the other guests, while others take a couple of days to warm up to the idea. A few choose to remain in their rooms.
The cats are confined to their rooms at night. “Then we know they are safe,” says Judy. “During the day they have their freedom. They don’t get bored. There is always something for them to do. I come in and play with them or watch TV.”
Last Wednesday, there were nine guests and two expected to arrive on Thursday. Two were catnapping on their window ledges, while Smokey and Sheeba (ragdolls) were hiding, like cats do, under the couch. Then there was the very curious Hawkeye who joined Ian and Judy for the interview on the dining table.
Smokey and Sheeba were on an indefinite stay while their owner recuperates from a medical issue. “The lady who owns them phones every day. She misses them,” says Judy.
The beautiful decor, featuring pillars and chandeliers and laminate (wood) flooring that runs down the centre of the PussyCat Hotel are only surpassed by the pristine cleanliness of the entire operation.
With the exception of a few wisps of cat hair (an unavoidable part of the business), the hotel is immaculate.
First time visitors can expect to be ‘wowed’ with what they see.
Judy cleans every day. She says she seldom has problems with the cats and all use their litter boxes.
Judy has also returned to dog grooming which she does in a specially adapted room in the couple’s home well away from the PussyCat.
Ian’s philosophy is, ‘if you offer a service a lot of people need and a lot of people like, then you are going to be successful.”
With reservations now being made for the upcoming Christmas season and winter travel time, Ian and Judy are hoping that indeed the PussyCat Hotel is a service folks and their felines need. It is certainly one that any fuzzy, fur ball can’t help but like. After all, The PussyCat Hotel is billed as ‘Canada’s largest and most luxurious cat hotel’ and it’s located right here in South Dundas.
For more information and pictures or for reservations at the ‘purr’fect kitty getaway contact the PussyCat Hotel at www.thepussycathotel.com or call Ian and Judy at 613-652-9082.