Today was the first time in eight weeks that I helped transport cats to/from PAWS. As some of you know, I herniated a disc near the end of August and have been in recovery mode since then. Because of the large number of cats today, Tammy asked me if I could transport some of the cats, with others doing the loading and unloading. Of course I said 'Yes' and the other volunteers did all the heavy work - they were under strict orders to not let me pick up / carry cats. I felt kind of useless, but was able to contribute by holding doors open, buying bagels for the PAWS crew and working on paperwork (and driving, of course). Hopefully I will soon be able to sling cats with the best of them (in the nicest possible way, of course :) ).
While I've been unable to do transport, a whole plethora of volunteers have stepped up to fill the void and I want to thank them all. I have detailed their names over the past several weeks in my blog entries and I again want to say "thank you" for stepping up and helping to keep Feral Fixers in the high-volume TNR business.
There were originally 52 cats scheduled to be transported to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic for spay/neuter surgery today, but one of them took ill at the last moment, so we wound up bringing 51 cats to PAWS. Super-volunteers Charli and Jennifer helped me transport cats this morning (actually, I should say that I helped them a bit - that would be more accurate) while super-volunteer Cathi and new super-volunteers Mark and Linda helped me pick up the cats from PAWS this evening and bring them back to Tammy's for recovery. It was a very busy day at PAWS, so the cats weren't ready until 6:30pm and we didn't get out of PAWS until almost 7:30pm.
Of the 51 cats brought, 33 were ferals while 18 were 'friendly ferals'. One of the ferals turned out to have already been neutered and two of the friendlies were deemed not healthy enough for surgery, so a total of 48 cats (32 ferals and 16 friendlies) were done this day. I don't have a count of how many were males and females, but it's safe to say that there were a bunch of each :)
Super-volunteer Judy was at Tammy's both this morning and evening helping out - Thanks Judy!
With these 48 cats, Feral Fixers has now processed 138 cats for October, 1,080 for the year and 7,056 overall.
Baby did come down out of the rafters, there was a perfect opportunity to nab three juveniles and PAWS was okay with us sending 4 cats in and Kurt was available for transport! It all fell into place!
This brings us to 90 for the month, 1032 for the year and 7008 since we began!"
October 18th Adoption Event
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Yesterday, Feral Fixers held another Adoption Event at the Rice Lake Square PetsMart in Wheaton. Feral Fixers Board member and Adoption coordinator Sue gives us the details:
"Just a quick recap on the adoption event today.
It was a quieter day than some at PetSmart today. Not a lot of customers - possibly due to the cold & dreary weather.
However, we had a wonderful group of kittens - 29 in all! Everyone was very well behaved - some more happy about being there than others ;-) There were kittens being held, getting photographed, and meeting new people all afternoon long.
While most of the folks that stopped by were just looking, Penny won the heart of a 13 yr old girl, who did an outstanding job of convincing her mom to take Penny home. This family has 4 other cats, but had 5 in the past. So Penny will have lots of the feline companionship she enjoys. Mom is clearly a wonderful cat lover.
Another couple placed a hold on Twix. Unfortunately, he was coming down with a cold, so not available to be taken home today. Hopefully he will be ready to go home in a week or so.
We also had a wonderful group of volunteers at the event, including Bernie, Toni, Debbie, Arlene, and Lauren. They have set-up and clean-up down to a science, so it all goes very quickly - thanks so much! Gail came by and took wonderful photos of all of the kittens. Meggie also stopped by later in the afternoon and took some photos.
Thanks to the foster moms that brought their kittens to this event, including Joanna, Haley, Bethany, Judy P, Jennifer, Amaris, Mary Rosa, Francine, and Julie. Special thanks to several of the foster moms that also stayed and helped with the event. This included Haley, Julie, and Mary Rosa. Judy W brought Francine's fosters to the event and stayed for quite awhile to help. Tammy also stopped by and brought some supplies. Thanks much!
I will keep you all posted.
Thank you Sue and thank you to all the volunteers (and Fosters!) who came out to help!
(The picture thumbnail is of the newly-adopted Penny - click on it to see a full-size version)
From The President
Written by Tammy McAuley
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
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
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!
Audios / Visuals of the Week
Written by TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsKatt
Monday, September 22, 2014
Despite our best efforts, uninformed people still ask the age old question; "Who's smarter, cats or dogs?"
Behold Exhibit A: (my favorite part is the dog still believing what the cat told him :))