Obituary: Parliament Hill’s ‘Catman’ tended sanctuary for 21 years

Beautiful story, beautiful man.

Ottawa Citizen

When Parliament Hill was locked down after the 9/11 terror attacks, one of the few civilians allowed through the security cordon was René Chartrand.

Canada might have been under threat of attack, but Parliament’s cats still needed to be fed.

Chartrand, the “Catman of Parliament Hill,” died Sunday in a Gatineau hospital. He was 92.

Chartand tended the cat colony for 21 years until 2008, when poor health kept him from his daily visits. Friendly, entertaining and bilingual, Chartrand became a tourist favourite.

“He was a one of a kind. He was a unique individual,” said Brian Caines, a retired public servant who befriended Chartrand in the 1990s during his lunch hour walks on the Hill and went on to volunteer at the sanctuary. “God bless him because he’s an example to anyone for kindness.”

With support from Ralston Purina, which supplied the food, vets at the Alta Vista Animal Hospital who provided care, and…

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