Tucked against the back wall of Blake Veterinary Hospital — past the reception lobby, rabbit cages and life-sized bear statues — is an enclosed room with three large viewing windows. Inside the room, the occupants mill about, soaking in the sun shining through the room’s two skylights.

The room’s current occupants — two very outgoing black male cats and a shy female tiger cat — are being housed in what is considered the new feline rescue wing of the hospital. Here they have everything they need — open space, play areas, toys, food — until the time comes when they are adopted into foster homes.

Until this past March, when it was completed, the rescue wing was just one of several ideas Dr. Justin Blake had for expanding his hospital but did not have the revenue to pull off. Rescue cats used to live in large cages in the lobby, an arrangement that was feasible in the 3,000-square-foot space. But when the number of cats awaiting adoption reached 30, which it sometimes did, the hospital was limited to cages, and the cats were unable to socialize properly.

Then in February an unexpected barter took place, and the idea of a feline rescue wing became a reality.

Beneath one of the two skylights in the rescue room is a slab of wood with the words “Club Foots Korner” cut out in raised letters. That’s the name given to the room by the carpenter who built it, C.J. Coyle, 51, of Belmont. Coyle named the room in honor of the cat that brought him to Blake Veterinary in the first place: a stray cat he adopted and named Club Foot for the six toes it had on each paw — seven toes if you counted every nub, Coyle said.

“He just kept hanging around last spring and he was good company to me, so I adopted him,” said Coyle. “Or you could say he adopted me.”

In January Coyle took the cat to Blake Veterinary to treat its injured paws, which he suspected had gotten caught in a trap of sorts. It took several visits to repair, and then, just as Club Foot’s paws began to heal, Blake detected feline leukemia.

Coyle, who had been laid off, told Blake he could not afford the payments.

“The doctor could have just said, ‘Get lost, you don’t have any money,'” said Coyle. “But he didn’t. He went over and above in his care for the cat. He even told me flat out they would do what they could and absorb the loss if need be.”

Club Foot finally succumbed to the leukemia in February.

“What they tried to do to help the little guy out, God bless them,” said Coyle, whose bill snowballed to more than $1,000. “It would have taken me forever to pay it off. None of us planned on it getting that expensive.”

Coyle insisted he wanted to work something out with the hospital, some way to pay for the services they had provided to Club Foot. Blake, thinking of Coyle’s skills as a carpenter, told him about his idea for the rescue wing. A month later, the room was completed.

“It was a really nice gesture,” said Blake. “We have no private funding, and we don’t have a lot of revenue to invest in that room.”

Blake said the room was a project that had been in the works for some time, and it was just one of several changes he hoped to see implemented at the hospital. Eventually he would like to transform one of his three buildings into a fully functioning feline rescue facility that would be capable of rescuing cats from all across Waldo county.

Currently, Blake Veterinary Hospital has a contract with the town of Searsport, which offers the hospital a small stipend to rescue stray cats and dogs from Searsport, medically treat, vaccinate, spay or neuter them, and adopt them out. Blake said he would eventually like to extend his service beyond Searsport.

He also has plans drawn for a canine rescue and dog boarding facility, which Blake envisions as a 25-by-60-foot layout, with 14-foot walls with open ceilings, 24-hour video surveillance and an indoor/outdoor section where dogs can play and go for nature walks. Blake said the town of Northport will be reviewing the site plan for the new facility within the next month. But until substantial donations or funding from the state or county come in, any building on the facility will have to be done gradually.

As for Coyle, who is still looking for carpentry work, he said he has yet to adopt another cat.

“They tried to convince me to take in one of their cats free of charge,” said Coyle of the staff at Blake Veterinary Hospital. “I told them if you find one that looks like Club Foot, let me know.”

Coyle said building the rescue room was a tribute to his late cat.

“I just built the thing, that’s all,” Coyle said. “It’s no big deal. I’m not looking for any real credit on this. It was really for the cat.

“I miss him. The little guy was good company.”