The Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter and Sanctuary, established in 1965 to serve the Tucson community, is honoring a milestone this fall with a series of in-house events celebrating its feline family and the humans who love them.

“We are celebrating our 10th year of being an accredited sanctuary. It is important to our residents here at the shelter because that means we will never euthanize for space,” says Amber Nix, Hermitage executive director. “Cats can live their whole lives here if they have to.”

Originally then known as the ‘Arizona Animal Anti-Cruelty League,’ Sister Theresa Seraphim founded the Hermitage on Tucson’s east side near 22nd Craycroft. She lived at the sanctuary with a number of rescue animalschickens, guinea hens, peacocks, dogs, a donkey and, of course, catswhen the Hermitage was a small house, expanded over the years into the shelter we see at 5278 E. 21st St. today.

Now, the Hermitage serves only catsmore than 200 of them at any given time, according its staff. The building provides a free-roaming home with both indoor and enclosed outdoor spaces for its residents.

On-site also is a veterinary staff that provides specialty care to cats with extra medical needs, such as those diagnosed with FIV, FeLV, diabetes, or other chronic issues.

Two upcoming events are open to the public and free to attend:

Anniversary ‘Pawty’ celebrating 10-year accreditation Saturday, Sept. 23 2 -4 p.m. at 5278 E. 21st St. Open to the public with cake, Eegee’s, games and face painting First Annual Craft Fair Saturday, Sept. 30 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 5278 E. 21st St. Vendors will be selling crochet, art, pottery, glassware and more

If you can’t make one of the events, the Hermitage is open to the public, where you can play with the cats and perhaps even adopt one or several.

“We welcome people to come into the shelter and pet cats,” Nix says. “We have a ‘read to a cat’ programwe really promote kids coming in to practice that reading, while teaching cats how to socialize with humans, which in the long run makes them more adoptable.”

To learn more about the shelter’s services or learn about volunteer or adoption opportunities, visit the Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter and Sanctuary website.