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The Abandoned Cat Lady House - Burlington, Ontario

The Cat Lady House

The Burlington Cat Lady House

The Cat Lady House

The Cat Lady House stands out for many explorers because it was the first place where they had an opportunity to explore their first time capsule house. 

A time capsule is a reference to a location that’s been perfectly preserved for several years if not decades. The house was located at 4250 Walker’s Line in Burlington, Ontario. It belonged to Flora Fern Miller (b. 1909). Flora and her husband Simon McCullough moved to the city of Burlington during the 1970s. 

The Cat Lady House
Flora, now retired, decided to open a hobby farm under the name of Ferndale Farms.

Animals on the farm included ducks, geese, and racing horses. Fern also provided care for the neighbour's horses.

The 43-acre property was home to many animals that randomly showed up to the farm, "Outsiders" as Fern called them. The animals included 24 raccoons, 3 opossums, a wolf named Pinocchio, 5 deer and several rabbits. 

As Fern grew older, she sought the assistance of neighbours for help with feeding the animals and cleaning the barn.

The Cat Lady House

The Cat Lady House

To avoid being snowed in during the winter Fern had a second house built close to the road. The older house was given to a couple who in turn would help in the upkeep of the aging property.

The Cat Lady House

The Cat Lady House

The Cat Lady House

Fern was an avid lover of cats. She owned between seven to ten cats. Her house was filled with cat decorations, cat scrapbooks, cat calendars, cat ceramics, and of course pictures of her cats.

The Cat Lady House
Photo credit: DIIV
Fern owned a Cadillac that had cats airbrushed onto the body and a custom license plate “Cats 14”.

The Cat Lady House
Photo credit: Miche

The house was uniquely decorated with almost every room in the home covered in wallpaper including the ceilings. Even the bathroom was wallpapered!

The Cat Lady House

When Fern was hospitalized in 1995, she had a friend visit her three times a day to care for her and to deliver meals. This friend would regularly visit Fern to provide her with food, take her for ice cream, etc.

With her health fading, Fern signed a “Do Not Resuscitate” order on February 17, 2000. She passed away the following day. 

The Cat Lady House

The Cat Lady House

Fern had previously expressed a desire for her property to be used as a conservation area or wildlife refuge and that some of her belongings be given to the Oakville Humane Society.

It appears that a legal dispute arose between the person once responsible for her care and with Conservation Halton, the organization some believe Fern willed her property to.

The house was originally shared to the urban exploring community by an explorer named Freaktography. It quickly became the "hot spot" given its untouched state.

Some of the items found by explorers included a note left on the fridge instructing “Dad” to handle the kittens three times daily. There were various items spilled across the kitchen counters though the kitchen was remarkably intact.

The Cat Lady House
The rummaging by trespassers is evident. Photo: DIIV

The Cat Lady House
Graffiti idiots. Photo credit: DIIV

There were medication containers in the kitchen and personal hygiene items on the bathroom counter. The fridge contained food from 2002.

An unmistakable smell of cat urine hung in the air from the litter boxes stacked on top of another.

Within a year portions of the ceiling began to fall down. By 2013, vandals had found the property and spray painted the walls and television.

The Cat Lady House
Photo credit: DIIV (above and below)

The Cat Lady House

By 2014 most everything inside had been tossed about, destroyed, succumbed to natural events or been stolen. In 2014 a German medium (a person who can speak with the deceased) alleged that Fern contacted her stating that she was still living in the house.

The story of the Cat Lady House came to an end on February 2nd, 2016 when it was destroyed by arson.

The Cat Lady House
Photo credit: ChloeteylorLeonard

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