The Fredericton chapter of Cat Rescue Maritimes is facing an unprecedented influx of felines after a house fire in Sussex, N.B. 

Twenty-one cats have come into the organization's possession and it has reduced adoption fees for the animals in an attempt to speed up the re-homing process.

"The cats were so friendly the animal protection officer in all consciousness could not euthanize them, and that was his other option," Sue Knight, president of CARMA New Brunswick said Saturday.

The cats lived with a couple in Sussex, who Knight said were a "go-to" for people dropping off cats in need of care. They did not wish to be named.

After the woman had to move into palliative care, the man was living with the cats alone. Earlier this month, their house was badly damaged in a fire, to the point where it was ordered to be demolished.

The man gave the cats up afterward.

New territory for group

Knight said the cats are mostly well-trained, calm adults. But well-behaved or not, the group is not used to fostering such a large number of adult cats. All of them are living in one foster care home in Oromocto.

She said she hopes the reduced fee will help speed up adoption, though it is a tactic they have never tried.

"In all honesty I don't know, because we've never been in this situation before … normally we have three or four litters of kittens. It's very rare for us to take mature cats."

The fees are reduced from $125 per cat to $75, or $125 for two cats.