To celebrate Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, we’re sharing stories from our program participants, staff, and volunteers about what makes our House so special.
Here, Sharon Babu, former preschool program director, remembers Rex, our beloved House cat—and unlikely saviour of Christmas!
Dave Adair, our director back in the 1990s, was very interested in having animals in the Neighbourhood House. He said, “Animals create different connections and relationships for people!”
So, one day, he got this cat from the vet.
He said he would get a kitten, but he came back with a large, older male cat called Rex.
I remember coming back from a holiday, and Dave had put Rex in my office, so the cat would settle into his new home.
But Rex was not neutered, and he sprayed my whole office!
I told Dave I wouldn’t do any more work until he sorted this out. So, Dave dealt with the problem—and I took care of the cat for many years to come.
Rex the cat even became quite famous!
One night, the building alarm didn’t get set and someone broke into the House. The police were there—it was bad! Someone had gotten an axe and destroyed all kinds of stuff and stolen all our Christmas turkeys. They were all in the freezer.
The only witness was Rex the cat. But he was a very fat and lazy cat and likely did nothing.
The story hit the news, especially since it was around Christmas. The highlight of the story focused on Rex and the donations just poured in after that.
We received more stuff than we could ever use for Christmas and got tons of turkeys. Rex was the star of that Christmas!
Eventually though our famous Rex created some issues for people with allergies, so we had to find him a new home.
Some House volunteers, Charlie and Cheetah, took him in. They were just lovely!
When Rex finally died at a ripe old age, Charlie called me up and invited me to Rex’s funeral in his backyard.
Both Charlie and his wife were in the undertaker business, so we had a proper funeral for Rex. It was quite something.