I have 4 cats and 4 dogs. All my cats were once living a feral life and of the 4, Savannah is still semi-feral. She heads for cover whenever someone stops by. If cats could cringe, that’s what she’d do when I pick her up. When all the others gather in the family room in the evening, she retires upstairs. I’d say she’s a cat who enjoys her own company.
During the day, the animals come and go through the pet door to enjoy the backyard. But then one day Savannah discovered how to access the front yard via the hot tub, a short leap onto the fence, a walk alongside the shed, then down into the front garden under the maple tree.
Savannah’s garden escape
To Savannah, I suppose it felt like the feline version of the movie, The Shawshank Redemption.
So often in our feral cat rescue (Marin Friends of Ferals) it feels like we’re barely making a dent in controlling breeding. You think rabbits and mice are prolific baby-makers? Well, unaltered felines are like polygamists with 5 kids per wife, or maybe the Duggar family (19 Kids and Counting). They have no Off switch.
But the difference with cats is that they can’t control their mating and subsequent reproducing. No, I’m afraid this one’s on us. People refuse to spay and neuter pets for many reasons: they believe it will make the animal lazy and fat (false); some are simply against birth control; others just can’t be bothered. You name it, I’ve heard it.
To seamlessly segue from last week to this, Loretta and I ultimately accomplished our goal of giving cat beds to Slinky, who lives under a bridge at a local college and also to Bridget, who lives under another bridge on campus. Granted, that doesn’t sound exciting. But when you realize these two have spent 13 years living in dirt under their respective bridges, offering them their first beds was a big deal. (To us at least!)
Now don’t get me wrong; even though college administrators wish the cats, and we who feed them, would disappear, what they fail to recognize is the gumption of our feral rescue volunteers. These are no wussies. We hold our own when faced with unreasonable requests, like allowing elderly ferals to starve.
When Loretta and I decided it was way overdue that we provide our two ferals a bed, did we fear arrest? Nah. Call us crazy…those cats were getting a bed come hell or high water. And let me tell you, the water was high. (The creek under the bridges was rushing like a river after a recent storm.) So anyway, we waited for the cloak of darkness before pulling off the cat bed caper. Continue reading →
Now don’t get me wrong. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but to those who know me, it’s practically a miracle. You see, I haven’t been to the Big House in a couple years.I used to be one of those holiday church-goers. You know the type; we attend for Christmas and Easter. Then it got to where I only appeared for weddings and funerals. But I’m relatively certain last Sunday wasn’t a holy holiday and nobody I know died or got hitched. Continue reading →
Today I was thinking about my late business partner, Susan, while I trapped feral cats on a 50 acre water buffalo farm where they produce mozzarella in rural Marin County. Talk about farm fresh. As you’ve probably guessed, it’s uniqueness is evident. I mean, seriously, it’s where the buffalo roam. (And, I’m guessing, where the deer and the antelope play.)
Anywhere rural is bound to have feral cats. Like being in one of those revolving doors at fancy hotels, they tend to come and go. But not before we ensure they stop having kittens. Still, that’s a tall order to fill when, if we miss 2 cats of the opposite sex, well, there ya go.