Fifty-one felines: Page and Whisker looks back on successful first year

·2 min read

It has been just about a year since the Page and Whisker opened its doors downtown.

The store opened on Jan. 10 last year with the goal of selling books, raising cash for Alberta Pound and Rescue Centres, and of course, finding homes for cats.

Since opening, the store has adopted out 51 cats for APARC, which equals about one per week of the calendar year. Considering the store was closed for a quarter of 2020 due to the pandemic, that number rises to more than one per week.

“We had to close multiple times last year,” said store founder Sam Sandidge. “We also had times when we couldn’t have cats because of the air conditioning, which is still not working.

“You always want more and to push to be better, but considering everything, I think 51 is really good.”

Sandidge says Medicine Hat has found ways to support the store through its first year.

“People have been great,” he said. “Even when we don’t have the cats, people still come and support us.

“I think people like to support businesses that help others.”

On top of the adoptions, the Page and Whisker averages about $5-600 donated to APARC each month. It has also held two book sales, raising about $2,000 each for the pound. The bookstore has also held bottle drives and food drives for APARC.

Sandidge says he hopes to see more businesses become socially-minded in the community.

“It wasn’t hard for us to turn a retail store into a socially-minded enterprise around animal welfare,” he said. “I think there’s plenty of opportunities for businesses in Medicine Hat to use their business to do some good in the community.”

The store is hosting a sale that starts today with the hopes of getting rid of old stock.

“This is the first time we’ve had aged inventory and we want to make space for new stuff,” said Sandidge.

Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News