One was found ill in a chicken coop under the chickens. Another was left behind when his owners no longer wanted him. The third was left on the doorstep in a diaper box.
Now the three cats live permanently at Ufuri pet salon in downtown Port Huron.
Meet the mellow residents
Banjo, Scout, and Eleanor can often be seen lying or playing on the living room counters, watching pedestrians pour in through the window.
Older cats, Banjo and Scout, will approach customers for pets and chin scratches. Young Eleanor is a bit more nervous and prefers to play out of reach.
“They’re awesome, they don’t care about dogs, they don’t care about people,” said salon owner Spring Burrell.
Banjo is a long-haired orange and white cat who was found very ill in a chicken coop under the chickens. Scout is the big orange cat with the “goofy ears,” Burrell said.
A client brought Scout for a meeting. When Burrell called to tell the customer he could pick him up, he said he wouldn’t be picking him up.
“So now he’s not leaving,” she said.
About two months ago, a diaper box was left on the living room doorstep. Burrell picked it up and heard a click. She looked inside and saw a small black kitten dragging one of its hind legs. And that’s how Eleanor joined the living room residents.
The cats permanently reside in the salon and the employees watch them on weekends. People wonder if cats should live alone like this, but cats love it, Burrell said.
And people love cats. They are “super nice” and bring people to the business. A customer used to bring toys for the cats.
It’s more than just grooming
When it comes to running a salon, Burrell said it’s not just about grooming and making a dog look better.
It’s about educating people about animal care and the different options for saving animals.
She has been grooming for 35 years and unfortunately deposited animals come with the quarry.
They left several animals there for dates and “people aren’t coming back,” Burrell said.
“It sucks,” she said. “It’s not a good thing to have to deal with it.”
But, if the living room is the last alternative for a safe place between homes, they will, she said.
The show applied for association status but was not accepted. Next year, they want to organize a dog event to shed some light on the problems with pets. It could be something of a dog festival next year to bring in rescue groups and raise awareness of what they have to offer, she said.
Learn more about Ufuri Pet Salon
The salon has moved to its new location at 414 Huron Ave. as of August 2018, it was previously located at 235 Huron Ave.
“It’s been wonderful,” Burrell said. “We love it here.”
She said the new location is better for the dogs because there is less foot traffic and distractions for them. The parking is better and there is an area at the back of the store where they can walk the dogs.
The salon washes, brushes and cuts the hair of cats and dogs. The salon also worked for other animals, including a pot-bellied pig and ferrets, and Burrell once tried working for an alpaca.
“Pretty much anything that has four legs,” she said.
Some of the services provided include sling-less treatment for $ 15, tooth brushing for $ 5, and nail trimming for $ 10. There is also a dog daycare and a boarding house for small cats and dogs.
Hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. by appointment.
The salon has three groomers with over 35 years of experience “handling the smallest of puppies and kittens to the oldest pet with gentle, loving care,” Burrell said in a Facebook post.