Been a nice, cool summer hasn’t it?
We realized recently that the number of kittens and pregnant ferals we are encountering might be totally due to the climate! Normally, with the temperatures soaring, the unfortunate result is that many ferals do not make it thru the Summer heat – probably more die in the Summer than the Winter in fact. You know, you can always put more clothes on...
From My Cousin Vinny –
Vinny Gambini: "I bought a suit. You seen it. Now it's covered in mud. This town doesn't have a one hour cleaner so I had to buy a new suit, except the only store you could buy a new suit in has got the flu. Got that? The whole store got the flu so I had to get this in a second hand store. So it's either wear the leather jacket which I know you hate, or this. So I wore this ridiculous thing for you."
The handful of volunteers who can do trapping and set up caretakers to do TNR are completely exhausted and yes, some of us have the flu. Many of us do multiple tasks, people who trap also foster and transport, etc. - we are just in over our heads. At a time when the number of fosters and volunteers is at an all-time low, we are desperate. If you’ve been keeping track of us for awhile, you know that we do not ask for help unless we need it. And, boy, do we need it. We have over 50 kittens waiting for fostering. They are currently in cages, as that is the only way to get them off the streets. Its good enough for now but being in a home would be so much better and get them on to being adopted that much faster. How do you leave a 5 week old kitten outside to be picked off by raccoons and possums and predatory birds? How do you put back out a 12 week old that as soon as you touch it, it begins purring, trembling with the newness of the experience but still wanting to come inside and join the humans? If you can answer me these questions, with good answers that we can all live with, please share them. In the meantime, we may not get to all the cats that need TNR – because we cannot create more time in a day! We tried to take a full break – that didn’t work out well – still so many responsibilities. So, we’re going to have to slow down – instead of 40+ cats in a trip to PAWS, trying to limit it to 20 cats. Hopefully, with your help, we could reopen the “store” and crank out more cats, but for now, we might not get to everyone we would really like to.
At Feral Fixers, Do We Ask Too Much Of Ourselves?
As far as I can tell, we are the only organization in the area without a brick & mortar that does as much as we do with as few people in such a short time. I was looking at other organizations’ information and one really stood out to me. They had incorporated at roughly the same time, just over seven years ago and were (quite rightly) very proud that they had neutered 700 cats in that time. I read and re-read it. This is a TNR group and yes they also do adoptions, etc., like we do. I just had to really pause and think. 700 is a huge number of cats that will not be re-producing. It made it clear to me that perhaps we are doing too much overall.
I know other organizations are able to JUST do TNR. That’s it. They do not take in kittens and friendlies, they do not provide after care or care for injuries for the ferals in the area, they do not help with “end of life care” - taking the cats to be euthanized when they need it, they do not help relocate cats when caretakers have life changes and the ferals will suffer. What do you think – are we just plain nuts? What should we change?
We do all of this because we care what happens to each individual cat – each one deserves individual consideration and that’s probably why we’ve neutered almost
7,000 cats in seven years!
Happy Anniversary to us!
How many cats ARE there? Numbers to Think About
Pets by the numbers
U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics
I was playing with the numbers that I could find online. Taking the total number of households in DuPage County = 335,532, multiplying by .304 (magic number to determine cat-owning households) = 101,901 cat owning households. Multiply that by 2.1 (avg # cats per household) = 213,992 owned cats in DuPage County. Say cats live a high average maximum of 20 years. Divide the number of cats by years and you might calculate that 10,000 homes become available each year in all of DuPage County – it should even out that new cat owning households as kids move out and people not replacing cats that have passed would roughly balance each other. Just some numbers to think about!
A Project with Really Good Numbers – What Others Are Doing!
The numbers in this article from the University of Florida are astonishing: Five square miles, 2,366 cats trapped – only 54% of what was there, 1,169 returned, 912 adopted or transferred to shelters, 61 cats relocated. This project covered a wide range of demographics – university campus, trailer parks, downtown district, and industrial areas – all places that typically have large feral cat populations. Unfortunately, it did not include the information of how many households or addresses in the area covered. But what a huge impact!