In cat rescue, I never know what I’ll encounter on any given day.
I might get a call about kittens stuck inside the sub-flooring of a basement and find myself crawling over rodent skeletons to reach 3 kittens huddled in the farthest corner (naturally) after mom was hit by a car.
I might have to traipse through poison oak, even though I’m horribly allergic, because it’s the only way to reach an injured feral. And once in a while I have to steal feral cats from a property where I brought them for rodent control.
I’ve fostered 241 feral kittens and never kept one of them. Not a one. And believe me, that’s super hard when I work for weeks and sometimes months to socialize for adoption a basically wild kitten. It’s incredibly rewarding when they eventually realize I’m not a predator and soon thereafter shower me with love and adoration. So letting go isn’t easy.
Then a couple months ago Anna called. She does rescue in the East Bay and found 4 kittens living dangerously close to the freeway. She trapped all 4 except an orange and white kitten who then somehow managed to escape the trap. Practically unheard of.
The next day Anna re-trapped the hungry kitten and promptly named him after escape artist, Houdini. Turns out he is a she, so she became Dini. Three of the 4 kittens were feral and will be Career Cats, re-homed to properties for rodent control but who receive shelter, daily food and water. Dini, however, went into foster.
Let’s just say my dream isn’t the usual, like winning an obscene amount of lottery money or being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. And, sadly, it doesn’t compare to Martin Luther King’s noble human rights dream. No, mine is much less life-altering and electrifying.
This is it: I hope one day to get arrested. In fact, it’s #12 on my bucket list, right after Visit Australia and just before Bike Tour in Maine (neither of which I’ve accomplished yet).
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not actually trying to land in Marin County jail for just any crime. I’m not planning to rob a bank, as I don’t own a gun. Besides, it’s not in my nature to hurt anyone, so murder is out. I won’t even burgle a home to steal its contents and here’s why: Continue reading →
So you know how I relocate un-adoptable feral cats to properties for rodent control? Well, last week’s relocation was slightly different. The property owner was referred to me by one of our volunteers so I thought, okay, great.
It’s rare that I know the people I’m bringing cats to. How it works is: they contact us, I get their address then go see if their property is a good fit for ferals. I never give it a second thought. And on second thought, maybe that’s not so smart.When I pulled into the driveway of Steve’s 7 acre spread, I noticed two houses. The one in back, where Steve lives, has an old barn attached that once housed ranch hands nearly 100 years ago. It sits at the end of a long dirt driveway. And as I drove in, I noticed a figure pacing back and forth through the lone upstairs window. Sorta eerie. I have to tell you, the whole scene reminded me of Norman Bates in Psycho. But maybe I’ve watched too many thrillers.
Trapping feral cats for sterilization means encountering something different each day. It’s the fun aspect of this work. Now don’t get me wrong; that doesn’t mean it’s one big party. On the contrary. The list of unpleasantness is long, but I’ll refrain from boring you with most of that.
Needless to say, working with Marin Friends of Ferals has its moments…I’ve broken my finger, been bitten through my knuckle by a kitten barely bigger than my hand, been saturated with poison oak and nearly lost the tip of my pinky from another bite. Scrapes and bruises come with the territory from efforts to spay and neuter feral community cats, yet I love what I do. But as it turns out, love hurts.
One joy of the job includes meeting new people and traveling to places in Marin County (and beyond) where I don’t often venture. For instance, last week a family in Sebastopol contacted us wanting 4 ferals for rodent control on their 5-acre spread. Continue reading →