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North Texas Group Rescuing Siamese Cats

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Elizabeth Dinh
Elizabeth joined CBS 11 News from Seattle's KOMO-TV in December 2...
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CORINTH (CBSDFW.COM) - There’s a red house in Corinth that, from the outside, looks like a cat lover’s heaven. Step inside to see it is actually the cat haven known as Texas Siamese Rescue.

Just as director Alisa Lee set down breakfast plates for the cats, she asked, “Anyone hungry?” Many of the 70 felines responded with a meow. Most of them are Siamese or part Siamese. But, no matter the number of cats, all of the full-time volunteers — including Lee — know the names of each and every single animal.

During an interview, Lee continually played with the cats using a toy. That is part of giving them the constant attention, Lee explained, that the cats commonly crave. “It’s great social interaction, and it keeps them busy,” she said. “Since they’re indoor cats, they need lots of exercise.”

Texas Siamese Rescue is different from other shelters, Lee said, because it lets the cats roam. They feel less like orphans and more like they are in a happy home. “You will not go into another rescue,” Lee said, “and find this many cats that are loose and enjoying their home environment as much as possible.”

In some cases, the animals were rescued from a crowded shelter, where they would have been euthanized.

Even though Texas Siamese Rescue is just five cats away from reaching maximum capacity, there is no time limit on how long the cats can stay. And there is no rush to push them out, either. “We really are here until they’re here,” said longtime volunteer Tami Manning. “When we take them, it’s for life, no matter what, until the end.”

“We try to make this place like home, until they go home,” Lee added.

Siamese cats, on average, live to between 20 and 25 years. Lee explained that many will be lifetime commitments.

The Siamese Cat Rescue organization — which includes the Texas location and ones in California, Colorado and Virginia — recently reached a major milestone by saving its 20,000th cat. At the local North Texas chapter, more than 7,400 cats have been rescued.

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