10.16.2008

Happy National Feral Cat Day!

Celebrate NFCD today- October 16th and all year round.


As I mentioned last month, I recently discovered a feral colony of cats living in the parking lot of a grocery store I frequent. This little fella, or gal (?) pictured above, I've dubbed Curly Tail. He was the first kitty I noticed.. well, hard not to, as he skampered in front of my truck as I was pulling out of a parking spot (then again, I seem to have an 'eye' for homeless furbeans)! I pulled over, and as I spoke softly to this kitty, 3 more gray kittens appeared from behind the milk crates... then a black one, then 2 or 3 torties...Oh my! A Colony!

Here's a better pic of Curly Tail, who really stole my heart. I did some research about curly tails in felines, and apparently this anomaly has been noted in gray cats. Or it may be due to inbreeding of colonies. These cats won't let you touch them, as they've never been socialized.

I could not get these cats out of my head. After Googling local animal-rescue/ stray cat sites, I located a Chicago feral cat group, who had coincidentally worked on a colony in the same exact location years prior. And good news! With their help these cats are now being TNR'd (trap-neuter-released) and will live healthier lives, without the burden of reproducing continuously, and causing literally thousands more cats (420,000 kittens in 7 years!) to be added to the overpopulation. It's the most humane solution for ferals, who would otherwise be euthanized at pounds/ shelters.


Alley Cat Allies, the leading advocate of TNR, is a great resource/ network to find others who can help. And guess what? Through Alley Cat Allies, I was able to find a no-kill animal shelter to TNR a cat colony living around my father's property in rural Pennsylvania! And I did it in just a single day, from my computer. Horrah!

I'm so grateful there are groups/ organizations/ individuals out there who are helping the cats and raising awareness about TNR for ferals. I certainly could not have done it alone. It all began with a little curly-tailed cat, who seemed to say "follow me, please help". And so I did. As the saying goes~ a stitch in time saves nine :)

For the cats, and all homeless, unwanted animals...please spread the good word today- National Feral Cat day, and all year round: Spay and Neuter your pets! Together we can be part of the solution.

Learn more about feral felines and find out how you can help cats in your community:
in Chicago:

6 comments:

Mare said...

What a good thing you did! We have a feral cat program here like that too(trap, neuter/spay and release)I once thought i would volunteer for a cat rescue and when they showed me the feral cat room, i decided not to work with them. They kept these wild, terrified animals in a dark room, huddled onto a suspended shelf. The cats came down at night to eat and do their thing but spent most of their days hiding. I like the idea of spaying and neutering and then releasing them back to the world they know. I don't think they are happy or comfortable in captivity.

Peng Peng said...

hi Mare, you are absolutely right! It may take YEARS to socialize a feral cat, and even so, the cat may just get used to the feeder/caretaker and no one else. Kittens if caught early enough/just weaned are good candidates for socializing.. as all kittens need to be handled.

Glad to hear your town has TNR program!! Thanks for sharing, fellow cat lover :)

Kingfisher Farm said...

You know my formerly feral cat came to me as a kitten and rules the house! SHe is the best mouser we have ever had. And my daughter named her Dash because she is so fast. Get some work done my fellow feline lover! Pam

KSedlak said...

Peng Peng

It is so wonderful of you to share these photos with us and to help us become aware of our feline friends who like being out in the world. We have a group in our area that traps, neuter/spays and releases the cats back too. I am so glad there are people out there willing to do this for our feral friends.
Curly Tail and her/his friends are so darn cute.
Hugs to you
Karen

Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi pp!
what a great post. it is so wonderful that there are organizations to help look out for these kitties.
you have a huge heart.
xo
m & e

Leticia said...

You're an angel.