Reunited: ‘Elderly people need their cats. It’s very important to them and sometimes it’s all they have’

A Prince Edward Island senior who went into provincial housing has been reunited with his 19-year old cat Red Edward and his seven-year-old cat Rug Rat.

photo credit Laura Meader
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Eric Lapierre was happy when he moved into the housing. His family had search for an apartment for about a year, always stressing the cats would have to be welcome.

When the move finally happened, Eric took his cats with him in mid-October and thought life was good. Until a week later when the building’s manager told him the cats would have to go. They weren’t allowed.

Sonya Cobb with the housing committee said they do their best to fulfill the needs of their tenants but sometimes the person has to take what’s available at the time until something more suited to their needs comes along.

Red Edward and Rug Rat were fortunate to stay with family while things were worked out but Eric was unable to visit due to accessibility issues.

The province eventually covered the cost of moving to a new apartment just a few days before Christmas after Eric’s doctor wrote a letter stating the cats were necessary for his well being. Arlene MacDonald-Smith, Eric’s niece, said they did what they had to do to get his cats back with him.

In an interview with, Eric described how he felt without his cats

“I was just lost without my cats, I didn’t feel good, I wasn’t sleeping right or anything. But having them back now for a couple of weeks, it’s just great, I’m sleeping better, we’re all happy here now. We lose so much in our old age and we get so attached to them, they’re just like our kids. Elderly people need their cats. It’s very important to them and sometimes it’s all they have is their cats.”

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1 thought on “Reunited: ‘Elderly people need their cats. It’s very important to them and sometimes it’s all they have’”

  1. So heartening to see both a family and a local authority working together to keep Eric and his little family companions together.

    It must have been devastating to him to have his peace of mind wrecked by that building manager.


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