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: