Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Feral?

            A few months ago, right before my dog Jackie past away I came across a gray and white cat, her coat was dirty and matted and she was very skinny. I found her after I fed Jackie her lunch, the cat was watching me and waited until I went back inside. Now Jackie wasn’t really eating, she slept most of the day. I watched and waited to see what the cat would do I wasn’t kept waiting long, she walked cautiously toward the bowl and began to eat I didn’t have the heart to chase her away. It was a few days later that I found her litter of kittens, they were using my neighbors garage as their home, going in and out through the vent.
           Slowly the mama cat began to look healthier and after my dog Jackie died I continued to feed the cat. The kittens were still nursing so I didn’t worry about them-- yet. The mama cat began to bring her kittens over into my backyard and as they grew they became more active and would wrestle and chase leaves that blew into the yard. They wouldn’t let me get to close to them even after weeks of feeding them instinct kept them away.
          I began to research the care of feral cats wanting to help them; I knew that if I took them to the pound their chances of survival were slim. I’m not saying pets don’t get adopted at shelters, they do I’ve adopted my cat from our local shelter. My cat by the way is an indoor cat. While researching I found programs for feral cats, programs that are proactive. I learned about TNR: Trap Neuter and Release. Ally Cat Allies is a wonderful program that raises awareness and teaches humane treatment of the feral population. The TNR program works like this: The cat is trapped in a specially designed cage, neutered, vaccinated and then released. Other programs that offers help are Spay California and Fix Nation. Not to mention the hundreds of volunteers who are godsends.
         Today I took mama cat and her kittens to a vet office to be spay/neutered, I borrowed two traps from a wonderful lady whom I met through Ally Cat Allies. I should have taken three traps because I have three cats. I thought that the kittens who are always together would go for the food I had placed inside one, but it didn’t work out that way. The mama cat was without a trap! After taking the kittens to the vet I came back with an empty trap and caught the mama. Catching them was not hard at all. Although I would have gladly have paid someone to come and do this for me, I see a business opportunity here for someone. My hope is that if there is awareness that these kinds of programs exist and if we are proactive then we can reduce the number of feral cats in a humane way.

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