NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A man who was an animal lover in life is still providing for them, even after his death.
James Bomar Talbot left a large cash donation to Metro Animal Care and Control to be used to care for homeless cats.
“We are beyond words,” said Rebecca Morris with Metro Animal Control. “It is such an amazing thing that has happened to us.”
Talbot left $160,000 for the care of the animals in his will.
“The cats were his life,” said Chris Achord with The Cat Shoppe. “He had a picture of that kitty in his wallet he carried with him, and he loved to talk about her and show the picture to everybody.”
Talbot was 84 when he died. He had close friends but no wife or children. A rescue cat he named Kitty was his pride and joy.
Achord recalled first meeting Talbot 21 years ago when she opened The Cat Shoppe.
“And he said, ‘Do you have the Chesapeake, Ohio railroad calendar?’ And I went, ‘I do have it.’ And he said Chessy the cat looked just like his cat,” Achord said.
The visit turned into an instant friendship, with weekly calls and yearly stops for calendars for friends. He even fostered a couple of cats.
“He asked me one time, when he was making out his will, who he should leave money to, which rescue group did I think would be the best,” Achord said. “So I told him, to the Metro Animal Control.”
The only stipulation was that the money needed to be used to make the cats’ lives better while they were at Metro Animal Control and to help adopt them out.
Right now, 15 cats are currently waiting for homes, with more coming in every day while employees work on a wish list.
“Many, many conversations are going to occur over the next few months,” Morris said. “We want to make sure we use this appropriately in a manner that is really going to enhance the lives of these cats.”
This is not the first time money has been left to the Metro Animal Control, but it is the first time such a large amount has been designated specifically for cats.