Carolynn Chittim’s neighbors were accustomed to her trapping feral cats to spay or neuter them, as well as feeding and caring for unhomed animals near her central Springfield home. In her retirement, she continued the nurturing instincts drawn from her 45-year career as a nurse-anesthesiologist in the Mercy health system.
“For every two cats, she might catch a possum or skunk,” says her brother, Rev. Clayton Chittim, of Blue Springs, who, along with his wife, Mary, took in Carolynn’s surviving pets.
Chittim’s next-door neighbor in her Rountree neighborhood was Tea Bar & Bites owner Colleen Smith. She recalled various stray cats the café shared with Carolyn, including longtime resident Mr. Happy, who once made a bride’s day when he appeared as if on cue at her wedding on the café’s patio. They coordinated spay-neuters, caring and adoptions together.
“She was such a generous person — such a big heart,” Smith says.