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Photo Credit: GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - Evan and Ardie Kalik pose with one of their friends at the Cat Alliance Team Sanctuary, a 3,600-square-foot facility the Kaliks built just outside of Sherwood city limits.
Evan and Ardie Kalik pose with one of their friends at the Cat Alliance Team Sanctuary, a 3,600-square-foot facility the Kaliks built just outside of Sherwood city limits.


Riley, a domestic black-and-white tuxedo cat, sprawls his massive body across the kitchen table at Evan Kalik’s rural Sherwood home. The animal seems comfortable enough despite the fact he only has three legs, the unfortunate result of a scuffle with a dog. But Kalik and his wife Ardie helped nurse him back to health like they’ve done for so many animals over the years. And Riley isn’t alone; other cats who wander the Kalik home all have some sort of story attached to them.


Kalik, who founded Sherwood’s Cat Adoption Team (better known as CAT) in 1998, readily admits he can’t say no to animals.

“I’m an animal fanatic,” he said. “I can’t help it.”

And his love for cats is particularly evident.

“I’m screwball enough when a cat looks into my eyes, I can’t walk away from them,” he said.

A lifelong animal lover, Kalik can trace back to the days when he became an animal activist intent on saving dogs and cats. It was a watershed event that occurred while he was living in Florida in the early 1990s, when he spotted a dog with mange, a skin disease caused by mites.

“A bone was sticking out of his tail and the ‘owner’ said, ‘That’s my dog, do you want to buy him?’” recalled Kalik, 77. “I said, ‘No, but I’ll get him out of here.’”

The man agreed, and Kalik immediately took him to a veterinarian and paid all the animal’s bills.

“Six months later, he was the most beautiful chow I ever saw in my life and we adopted him out at no charge,” said Kalik.

After making his money in the scrap metal business, Kalik began vigorously helping to save dogs and cats, plucking the sick or injured animals off the streets while living in Florida.

“I saved 100 to 150 (animals), and I spent $100,000 to $150,000,” he said.

Originally a dog person, when he met his wife, Ardie, the ex-Marine warmed up to her cat and became a bona fide cat person. Along the way he would give up hunting and eventually become a vegetarian.

“I don’t eat meat anymore, and I can’t kill anything anymore,” he said.

Then, two decades ago, he and Ardie moved to the Sherwood area, settling just outside the city limits.

Photo Credit: GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - Christi Perryman, a full-time employee at the Cat Alliance Team Sanctuary, keeps an eye on two of her many furry friends. Perryman  In 1998, Kalik built a retail fireplace business at 14175 S.W. Galbreath Drive for his sons. They took over 25,000 square feet, and he took over 3,000 square feet on the top floor to care for homeless cats. A short time later, he founded the Cat Adoption Team. When the fireplace business eventually went under, Kalik decided the bottom floor would make a perfect cat hospital.

“We were the first no-kill shelter with (its) own private, in-house hospital on the West Coast,” said Kalik.

Even to this day, Kalik doesn’t believe in euthanizing cats unless they have a fatal disease, are in pain or aren’t eating.

“As long as (they’re) still eating, I do what I can to keep him alive,” he pointed out.

Photo Credit: GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - One of 75 friendly felines prowls the rooms at the Cat Alliance Team Sanctuary, a private facility outside of Sherwood that was founded by Evan Kalik.

Kalik later donated his building to the Cat Adoption Team, eventually withdrawing his affiliation with them in 2013, but is still proud of the work he did while he was there.

“When I was there, we adopted 30,000 cats,” he said. “That’s a lot of cats.”

Still, Kalik didn’t retire. Instead, he devoted his energy to continuing to help cats. He recently built a 3,600-square-foot, two-story cat sanctuary on his property, dubbing it the Cat Alliance Team Sanctuary or C.A.T.S. (not to be confused with CAT).

To ensure that diseases aren’t spread from animal to animal, Kalik had an elaborate ventilation system installed, one where each of the six rooms in the facility has its own separate air intake and outtake.

Now he needs help adopting the cats, and finding volunteers for the sanctuary, and he hopes to embark on some fundraising projects as well.

“When I make an animal healthy...that’s the good Lord kissing me on my cheek,” Kalik pointed out.

Currently, the sanctuary is home to about 75 cats. So passionate is Kalik for the animals that when he heard about a cat that needed a home (and insulin injections to survive), he acted immediately despite the fact it was Christmas Eve.

He made arrangements to have the animal picked up in the small Oregon community of Creswell, finding a private driver from Eugene who brought the sick animal to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin inside a Lincoln Town Car. For 45 minutes, Kalik placed his hand on the sick animal to make sure he was comforted.

Initially, the cat wouldn’t eat, but that soon changed, and Kalik received a call from the veterinarian, telling him of the cat’s improvement.

“He said, ‘This cat has eaten everything in sight,’” said Kalik.

Now the cat he dubbed Tommy Miracle gets two shots of insulin each day as he wonders around the sanctuary.

“Look at these guys,” Kalik said during recent tour of the facility. “What they need most (are) homes. They’re sweet.”

The person who watches over them is Christi Perryman, a full-time employee at the facility.

“I love working here,” said Perryman. She said she appreciates what Kalik has done, noting that many of the animals she helps care for — who are suffering from everything from heart murmurs to cancer to feline immunodeficiency virus — would not be able to live without help.

Photo Credit: GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - In 2014, Kalik teamed up with author David Michael Smith to self-publish the book 'The Man Who Wouldn't Kill Cats.'“They do get a lot of love and care,” she said. “To them, this is kind of like a home. They’re happy.”

There are other unforgettable animals that have entered Kalik’s life over the years as well, he points out. There’s “Jappy,” a cat who he helped rescue and was thought to have cancer but later turned out to only have rheumatoid arthritis.

“He was so sweet and friendly,” recalled Kalik. “He was doing ‘figure 8s’ around me.”

And there was Louie, who had ruby-red paws that later turned out to be the result of blood poisoning, something discovered by a veterinarian who later removed a shot from a pellet gun found lodged behind the animal’s ear. A vet removed the offending object, and a vet technician ended up adopted him.

“And now he’s thriving,” said Kalik. “He looks like a million bucks.”

In 2014, Kalik teamed up with author David Michael Smith to self-publish the book “The Man Who Wouldn’t Kill Cats.”

He said he was reluctant to do a book but changed his mind after being convinced that even if it inspired only one person to help out needy cats it would be worth it.

“I haven’t kept a penny,” he said of the book. Rather, all profits from the sales go back into helping his sanctuary. The book is available on Amazon as well as Kindle.

Kalik and Ardie still spend much of their days caring for his cats plus a menagerie of other animals that live in the rural setting. Many times he’ll begin tending the animals beginning at 7:30 a.m. and not finishing until after midnight.

“It’s a lot of work, and it’s not cheap, but I can’t think of anything more rewarding,” he said.

Anyone interested in adopting a cat or volunteering can reach Kalik at 503-625-0800, 503-625-1154 or 503-998-8805.

Photo Credit: GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - Cats peers out from a cozy perch at the Cat Alliance Team Sanctuary. Evan Kalik, who built the sanctuary, is looking for homes for the more than 75 cats at the facility.

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