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.
I have many adventures in feral cat rescue and meeting interesting people is part of the adventure. Now don’t get me wrong; interesting isn’t always so great. Take, for instance, two bozos I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with who work at a local college.
Slinky, an elderly feral our nonprofit has been feeding for 10 years, lives under a bridge at the college. But the head honchos (the bozos) have always prohibited us from offering him shelter. Why, you ask? Because they have their heads up their butts. I’m talkin’ way, way up there.
Everybody has rats. And I, for one, couldn’t be happier.
Now don’t get me wrong; unlike Michael Jackson in the movie Ben, I am not best friends with a rat. I’m quite content with my human friends, thank you very much; taking on a rat is beyond my bandwidth. No, the reason I’m happy is because more rodents mean more feral cats will be saved.
Michael and his besties
You see, my nonprofit, Marin Friends of Ferals, takes under-socialized, un-adoptable sterilized cats (ferals) and relocates them to outdoor homes. Because ferals are the Eco-friendly answer to rodent control, our Career Cat program is booming. While receiving daily meals from their guardians, the cats do what they do best: hunt. It’s a win-win situation…well, except for the poor rodents. Continue reading →
Recently I received a call from a gal named Kyle. She and her husband live in the mountains of Santa Cruz. She heard about my nonprofit feral rescue and wanted rodent control on her 5-acre property. Kyle tried calling organizations closer to her but never heard back. Hum, I wonder why? Sometimes groups are busy and ignore calls. Now don’t get me wrong; we aren’t that group. So I answered her call.
Santa Cruz mountains
Since Santa Cruz is a couple hours away, it’s not easy to hop over for a look at the property. So I asked Kyle to take photos and did a phone interview about their needs and whether the cats would have safe zones from possible predators. (They will.)
Loretta, my trusty volunteer, even took the day off work to help me relocate the 4 ferals. Something must be wrong with her. She loves doing relocations, no matter how far away. She accompanied me when we went to Fresno recently and trapped 6 stranded cats. That was a long day and night but she loved every minute. Like I said, something must be wrong with her. Continue reading →
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 →