Six months worth of cats
If one would count a day for every cat this special Lady has been or is taking care of, it would add up to at least six months worth of cats! But having that many cats in her possession would make her either a rescue or a hoarder!?
She is neither!
She watches over colonies of those treated as bad as humanity treated humans with plague hundreds of years ago!
"A feral cat is a descendant of a domesticated cat that has returned to the wild. It is distinguished from a stray cat, which is a pet cat that has been lost or abandoned, while feral cats are born in the wild; the offspring of a stray cat can be considered feral if born in the wild." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_cat)
During a trip with the car a few months ago she kept pointing left and right, describing the colonies and telling stories about their members. Driving along the highway we spot a dead cat on the side of the road. She is visibly upset, but relieved when it doesn't look like one of her charges.
Still, ...she states she will check on the one looking like this lost soul; and do what needs done.
I look at her and I can see the loss she feels. It may not have been 'hers', but it was a life she would have cherished!
Driving through the subdivision she points left and right and calls out names, likes, habits, family trees. She seems to know each of them; and even more obvious is her affection for them! Affection for the outcast of society; considered a 'pest' and too often deemed unadoptable; doomed to die the moment the door of the animal control truck closes behind them!
But not if this Lady can help it! Her meager income takes care of so many. She volunteers her time to receive free food for her charges! If somebody finds an orphaned kitten, a short time later its in her lap and being fed and loved. People will contact her for advise; her seemingly bottomless pit of knowledge always ready to answer a question about her beloved feline species. She knows the vets to get affordable spay & neuter, the medications that may help, the food that they should eat! All for the comfort of her feline friends!
They are often victims of overpopulation. An unfixed female gave birth and the loving owner needs to 'get rid of' the problem. Or a farmer keeps cats to hunt mice, but the steadily growing group of cats can't find enough food and walks away. Growing populations become a hassle! Lacking food they won't back away from digging in trash to survive. Bird lovers will see their favorite past-time become victim to the unloved creature. Often starving, injured and sick, the lack of vaccinations provides a breeding ground for deadly diseases; leaving this beautiful creature vegetating until death.
Many animal lovers have seen the problem and stepped up to solve the plight of these unwanted creatures. Live traps will allow to catch them safely. Spayed and vaccinated they are often released at the same location; if it is safe and the cats welcome. Volunteers spend hours each day to provide food and keep them healthy. Germany has many programs in shelters where these cats are also trapped, fixed and then offered to farmers as free micers. The farmer keeps his rodents under control and the cat is taken care of.
But the support is not strong enough yet to seriously help these creatures. Most still face hunger, sickness and death, survival a daily companion. If they are not killed by passing cars, stray dogs or feline diseases, they often slowly starve to death. So here again she loads the truck with bags of food, dewormer and many other things and roles out of her driveway. There are some cats waiting impatiently for her visit. Afraid of most others, having learned to fear them, they are eagerly to return her love in kind.
So she continues to go out there every night. Her schedule is set and every feeding station has its own time. They are already waiting; not demanding, but trusting that she will be there to take care about them. Late at night she starts her rounds to feed them, check on them, spends an extra few hours watching a trap. "You can't trap them during the day!" she says. "They are out at night and that's when you have to be there!"
Her house is always full of crates. A few babies needed a boost and fixed, an injured cat needed a little loving care; one of her 'boys' has a bad ear infection and can't hardly walk straight! A few days later the antibiotics kicked in and he is doing great. I bet she sleeps better now; knowing he will be alright. Her friend, the vet, celebrates every success with her; and often shares her anger and frustration when yet another life was lost.
She should be a vet tech or a vet; as much as she knows about it. And if she doesn't have the answer, help is only a phone call or two away! She won't take No for an answer or give up easily. A life is at stake and she is willing to save it!
Her dream is an association of trappers! Team up with those that care and 'attack' the major colonies that are spread all over town; all over the County she wants to go! She already finished three major colonies with over two hundred cats!
How many rescues can say that they took care about two hundred cats!? And just in a few years!? And all that out of her own pocket and some meager donations of well meaning people; and a good local spay/neuter program for Feral Cats!
Her 'fixed' rate is grate. Out of over two hundred cats there are roughly twenty not caught and fixed... YET! And most are new! Or have even given the master of all feral cat trappers a bit of a hard time! She won't give up! A life is at stake! They will reproduce and their young most likely live as unwanted as they do! She can't allow that to happen!
"If every person in a County sets one trap, every trap will have a cat in it!" And how low is the percentage of those that have anybody to care for them?
These cats didn't chose to be unwanted! The shelters are full of cats and some counties have 80-100% euthanasia rates for cats!
The creatures the old Egyptians worshipped and we once appreciated for their pest-hunting skills, are now considered pests themselves; through no fault of their own!
When you see a Feral Cat, don't throw a rock to chase it away! Remember that it didn't want to be unloved and chased away; we humans made them what they are: Outcasts having to fear for their lives!
If you can't help them yourself, consider donating some cat food to one of those that try to help them and 'fix the problem'. It may save a few lives! Or call one of the trappers or rescues that specializes in trapping, fixing and releasing them!
Don't just walk by and look away! The 'problem' will not just go away! These unwanted creatures will continue to suffer until we humans change our ways!
- Greensboro Cats Examiner - Cats | Examiner.com
Get the latest news and information on Greensboro Cats, including local information on Cats.
- Carole's Ferals
Pest or Creatures of the Gods? Feral cats are probably the most missunderstood creatures besides Pitbull Terriers. While the Egyptians treated cats as something special, most people today see only the colonies of unwanted cats. What we don't see is t
Information on Feral Cats and their Care
- Feral Cats : The Humane Society of the United States
There are many opinions about how to manage the estimated 50 million feral and stray cats, also known as community cats, in the United States. Understanding this complex and emotional issue is essential to combating cat overpopulation.
One of many Feral Cat Programs
- Feral Cat Assistance Program (FCAP)
CAP Citizens for Animal Protection is an animal shelter for dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small animals in Houston, Texas - we provide shelter, adoption, foster care, rescue, rehabilitation, counseling, locate lost pets, feral cats, humane education
San Diego, CA and some good info about the success!
- Feral Cat Coalition
Complete info for people interested in spay, neuter and release of feral cats in San Diego, California.
Lots of good info on Feral Cats
PetPromise - Animal Welfare providing education and solutions to the pet overpopulation problem in central Ohio
A great organization!
- Feral Cat Assistance Program
Feral Cat Assistance Program, Inc. is a volunteer non-profit feral cat advocacy organization that supports non-lethal population control of feral and stray cats through a well-managed trap-neuter-return program as well as the adoption of re-socialize
A program in the Sacramento area
- Sacramento Area Animal Coalition - Working together to save animal lives
The SAAC Feral Cat Assistance Program helps colony caregivers obtain affordable spay and neuter surgeries for feral cats.