Cat Lodge is the ultimate in feline accommodations

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

There are people who like cats, there are cat lovers ee" and then you have Mike and Susan Nocket.

They are in a league of their own when it comes to loving felines.

The couple love cats so much that they have remodeled their house into a cat hotel called the Evergreen Cat Lodge, with 32 small rooms for felines that owners can rent. Each room, which is roughly 50 square feet, is decorated like a room in a house. Some have living room chairs and electric fireplaces; others have beds; some are garden rooms and play rooms.

The Nockets believe the home-like atmosphere keeps the cats’ stress level to a minimum.

“Cats experience a lot of stress when they’re in an unfamiliar environment,” Mike said. “We want to make them feel at home.” They believe boarding cats in their cat hotel is better than keeping them in cages while the family is away.

Every cat room has an electric stove, a ventilated litter box and a full-length glass door, so the Nockets can check on the cats.

“We wanted the kind of facility where we would board our own cats,” said Mike.

Three room sizes are available ee" economy, which will hold up to two cats, and the deluxe and the VIP (very important pet) rooms, which will hold up to three cats. Prices range from $22 to $35 per night. Most of the rooms have windows so the cats can see outside.

The word is spreading about the cat lodge, Mike said. Cats from as far away as Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Thornton and Boulder have stayed with the Nockets. He said a family from New Jersey boarded their cat at the cat lodge while the family was moving to Colorado.

The Nockets bought a 6,000-square-foot home on Soda Creek Drive that formerly was a bed-and-breakfast. They spent about a year remodeling it to contain 32 small rooms.

“Once cat owners find us, they won’t go anywhere else to board their cats,” Susan said.

She says they try to e-mail pictures of the cats to the owners while they are away, and eventually the couple want to put Web cameras into the rooms so owners can see their cats at virtually any time.

Cat owners who are finicky about cats’ food and habitat don’t need to worry, because the Nockets accommodate special needs. One cat owner wanted fresh green beans sprinkled on the cat’s food; another brought bottled water. Another cat owner brought a television and DVDs so the cat could watch “Animal Planet” and “Looney Tunes.” Yet another wants his cat to have fresh grass.

In addition to boarding cats, the Nockets provide services for the Evergreen Animal Protective League. Susan is the league’s rescue kitten coordinator. The Nockets also take care of some of the geriatric cats ee" those that are too old to be adopted by families and who have nowhere else to go.

“We try to take care of all the cats as well as we take care of our own,” Susan said, “and we appreciate the extent people go to for their animals.”

For information, visit www.evergreencatlodge.com or call 303-679-1245.

Farmers market, more coming to downtown

Expect a lot of action in downtown Evergreen this summer.

The Evergreen Downtown Business Association is planning several events, including a weekly farmers market, monthly classic car shows and the continuation of the Last Friday gallery walks.

The farmers market will run from 3 to 7 p.m. Mondays beginning June 1, according to association president Chris Vinci.

“We’re going to have 10 to 15 vendors along with all of the local merchants to make it like a festival,” Vinci said. It will be set up in the downtown parking lot.

“We wanted to bring it back to the old-school farmers market,” he said, and all of the vendors will be selling food ee" vegetables, fruits, meats, unique pastries and even fancy whipped cream. He said the later time for the farmers market will allow more people to take advantage of the fresh produce.

On the second Sunday of the month through September will be the classic-car show called the Auto Rendezvous. Classic-car owners are invited to show off their cars, and car enthusiasts are invited to view the vehicles.

The Last Friday gallery walks are from 5 to 8 p.m. at the art galleries in downtown Evergreen. View artwork from local artists and enjoy refreshments.

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Colorado gold rush, the association also is planning a summer promotion in which patrons of downtown businesses and restaurants put their names into a drawing for prizes. The promotion will run through mid-September, Vinci said.

For information, contact Vinci at 303-679-0360.

Dollar store comes to Evergreen

Mountain Dollar will open by mid-June in the Evergreen North Center, which is just south of the post office.

Owners Kim and Bob Conroy plan to have many of the items that one would expect to find ee" party supplies, school supplies, food products, cleaning supplies, pet toys, makeup ee" “little things that shouldn’t cost a million dollars,” said Kim Conroy.

Eighty to 85 percent of the items will cost a dollar or less, Kim says, but some items will be as high as $2.

Hours tentatively will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Kim, who lives in Conifer, said she started toying with the idea of an Evergreen dollar store about a year ago. After extensive research, the couple rented the space where M&M Music was and will have 1,400 square feet of retail space.

Kim says she has a wish list, so customers can tell her the types of things they would like to see the store carry.

Have tips about businesses in Evergreen? Contact Evergreen resident Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com.