Home Sweet-Smelling Home: 14 Cats & Counting

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It took some doing but a California homeowner adapted his beautiful Goleta home so 2 humans and 14 (at press time) cats can coexist peacefully & odor-free.

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Peter Cohen knows about homes and loves cats – put the two together and you get something very special whether you’re a cat-person or not. Cohen founded Trillium Enterprises with his brother Ken in 1989 and the custom homebuilder has carved out an enviable market niche. It’s only natural that Peter Cohen would apply his custom homebuilding smarts towards the goal of peaceful, odor-free coexistence with his cats. The challenge is real: unlike most of us, Cohen has a lot of cats… 14 at press time but as much as 18 in the past.

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When Cohen purchased a charming house in Goleta, California in 1988, he got more than he bargained for: the property came with two cats left by the previous owner. Both were “outdoor cats” and while the region’s climate is about as hospitable for felines as it gets, other dangers lurk in the urban environment. Indeed, it wasn’t long before one of the cats died and the other was grievously injured, both by cars. At this point, both Cohen and his partner had become attached to the cats and they agreed to adopt a cat from the local shelter to keep their injured pet company.

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You can pretty much guess what happened next… another cat was adopted and then another. Eventually a couple of cats were being adopted every few years as the feline population of Cohen’s house settled in the mid-teens as their current cats aged and passed on. Cohen specifically seeks cats that are hard to adopt, notably black cats or those with bent tails – or both, to describe an unfair feline double-whammy.