Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Feral Cats Deserve a Better Life

There is billions of feral cat’s world-wide because of human negligence. Feral are the cats that nobody wanted. These cats were abandoned by their owners and left to survive on their own.  

Some cats survived in areas close to a food source others perished. These cats are living a life much like the wild cats of Africa. They are competing for food water and shelter and just want to carve out a space for themselves so they can live a peaceful life with humans.

I have been a colony caregiver since 1998 and in that time I have trapped, sterilized and given the feral cats their vaccines, tapewormer and treatment for fleas, ticks and ear mites. 

 All of the feral cats that I have trapped were either socialized for adoption or released to a controlled colony where they are safe from human traffic.

My husband and I care for the feral and stray cats.  At present date we have 10 cats in our colony.  The colony where the cats reside is on a side of a mountain ridge that is located in a forest of 25 acres. The cats live in limestone cracks and crevices as well as large thicket dens or hallow trees. 

 All cats are fed twice a day and get fresh water at the feeding station.
In the winter the cats are welcome to sleep and get warm in my  old shed.  It is a drafty shed, however it is dry and it does provide the cats with a good wind block and straw filled beds. 

Some feral cats will go where they go when weather turns extremely cold or hot and these cats do suffer. They are too wild to realize that the shed has heat and an air conditioner.  

The feral cats are terrified of the nose that the heat and cooler product puts off and so they burrow into the leaves or the brush in the forest. For these wild feral cats we will hike out to them to provide them with food and water.  And when the snow is too deep we will make a path to them.   

It is not easy to be a feral cat, most humans fear them and believe they are viscous and diseased.  Many humans think the best interest to the feral cat is to trap them and euthanize them, that this action is humane.  

I have trapped and taken the feral cats in for sterilization, tested for feline aids or leukemia and out of the 298 cats there was 1 sick cat. 

Feral cats did not ask for this life, they really had no choice as their human  abandoned them long ago.  They are feral because of human neglect, a human error that can only be fixed by the  caregivers that dedicate their service to trap, spay or neuter and then care for the cats in colonies.  

Feral cats deserve a better life, where they can co-exists with humans without being feared as dangerous animals, with no purpose on earth.

Feral Cat Sepia Print print



vallain said...

It ought to be a crime to dump a pet. The long-term consequences are so great to the animal, environment and community.

Susan said...

I am for laws of ownership for pet owners and advocate that cities laws must enforce that all pets be spayed or neutered, except for breeders and they must pay a fee yearly on all unaltered pets. Also all pets must have a city license. In addition, a community law that fines plus community service or jail time for pet owners accused of abuse or abandoned of an animal.
Pets are not disposable. I have met so many people that think I am nuts for caring for these cats…Many of them tell me “they are JUST cats." If one dies, get another. I reply…”what is wrong with you? Have you no sense of good and bad? These cats could teach you a thing or two…and the first thing you would learn is to think of others and not yourself.”

Virginia thanks for your comment.

JK North said...

Lucy is a beautiful cat.
I think that anyone who adopts and cares for at risk animals is truly a special person.

Susan Golis said...

JK North: Thank you for commenting on this post. I agree people should adopt and care for feral cats. Especially if the cats can be socialized I trapped two feral cats when they were adults because they needed medical care. I had full attention to return them to outdoor colony but on the day of the release the weather was bad...that was two years ago. While it did take time to socialize feral cats, and it may take a year for them to trust you 100%, I can tell you that it is well worth the effort. My feral cats sleep with me on top of the bed and are very loving. I say "Adopt a Feral Cat or Kitten and Save a life"

Poochu said...

You are a true Human, who really cares for the mute creatures.

I am from India and like to share this with you that the stray kitten which took refuge in my home is more attached to me than any other Human, and avoids all other cats even if I try to leash walk her into a feral colony (a mission which needs more time).

Kittens which find love from us, would never cheat on us ever and remain our companions for life.

Susan G said...

Thank you for your comment and for taking the time to read my posts all the way from India.:) I have socialized many adult and feral kittens and I agree with you these feral cats appreciate human companionship and make loving and loyal pets. God bless you for caring for the feral cats.
Susan G

Nancycarol said...

I'd read about Lucy in your writings, but did not know the story of her mother. How sad that some people have no compassion for living things. Lucy does deserve better than her mother's tragic end, and I pray you are able to continue to help her. God bless you Susan, for the good you do for these poor creatures.

AJ Tyne said...

Susan, I thought I knew all about Lucy, but I never knew about her mom. That is so awful, and you are right it is human neglect, not nature. People like to think that cats and dogs are really still wild creatures that revert if abandoned. What a lovely lie! They are 100% domesticated animals that do not really know well how to care for themselves. Researchers have found that cats generally do better on their own than dogs, because they have retained a little tiny bit of their wild nature -- but as you noted, their lifespan is extremely short. In fact, even a house cat that is well-cared for but allowed to go outside and roam has a drastically shortened life expectancy. It's very difficult to do the kind of work you do. The weight of the sorrow is overwhelming. Only people who are able to focus on the good they do, and still allow themselves to feel the pain of what they see (so they can heal somewhat) are able to continue working for years as you do. Most people either shut themselves off from their feelings and eventually become bitter and tired, or they allow their feelings to completely overtake them and then they are no help to the animals still in need. You are a wonderful balance.

S Golis said...

AJ: I agree with you, people believe that housecats will be fine if they are left in a park like area. They think that they will know how to hunt and find shelter. I have observed two declawed cats that were left by my home, they sat in the field during a thunder storm because they did not know what to do. I went to get them and they ran because they were afraid. An indoor outdoor cat is subjected to incurable cat disease, cars that don't stop and stray dogs. It is not safe for an outdoor cat, unless there is an outdoor enclosure or a yard with a cat fence.

Thanks AJ for your comment about being balanced...I have cared for the same feral cats for many years, I was able to save 15 cats by socializing them and getting them into good homes, but the remaining like Lucy and Bob...worry me..Even though I know they are feral and free and living the life they choose I still worry about them and look for them when they do not show up at the feeding station.