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From The President
Written by Tammy McAuley   
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Monthly Giving


Have you considered monthly giving to Feral Fixers? Without solicitation (nobody asked them to do this) three of our donors send us a donation each and every month. In addition to the much needed funds, it is a special feeling to know that we are in their thoughts every month as they send those donations in, and we cannot thank them enough!


Frosty Claws Silent Auction Items


If you have items that, while you no longer wish to keep it, but know others would value – or, okay, why would anyone have given you that expensive purple scarf? – consider donating it to our Frosty Claws Silent Auction. To be blunt, no used, gawdawful stuff that we couldn’t even give away, but if there’s a gift certificate that you, personally, will never use, jewelry (you never wear it), perfume still in the box (you’re allergic for goodness’ sake!) or a papier mache enormous cat that has been handed around to friends repeatedly (last year’s hit), please let us know! If you, or people you know, have businesses and could donate services or products, cool! Please contact us by 1/10/14 so that we can make room in our Silent Auction! 630-881-3977, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it – subject “Frosty Claws Silent Auction” or post on our Facebook.


And Speaking of Frosty Claws


We will most likely have the most jam-packed Frosty Claws ever. The VFW is so good to us, its hard to replace them! We’re still looking but this year we will still be in our familiar surroundings. So hang your coat up, and join the party because this should be the most excellent Frosty Claws ever!


Technology Makes a Difference


I’ve been saying for years that we never could have made such a difference with TNR without the use of cell phones. Being responsive in an emergency, increased availability, getting problems solved in minutes instead of days because you can talk to five different people and reach a solution so quickly. Technology is also helping us to see just what animals are out there – it isn’t just feral cats, but all of the other wildlife that has an impact on our neighborhoods. In the study below, highly populated areas were examined, but I hope that more suburban locations will be looked at and we can get a true estimation of just what feral cats DO when we aren’t watching! Please take a look at this study.


Record Numbers of “Ferals” Turn “Friendly”


Feral Fixers has had a huge number of cats become friendly in the past year. Cats that have been outside for years are coming knocking on doors, newly neutered cats are making the change more quickly and older kittens, 4months+ are turning into purring, happy felines. The big indicator was when 5 torties and calicos, well past the age of turning easily, became major purr machines – if you didn’t know, torties and calicos are notorious for being difficult to tame – quite the minds of their own usually.


I think that people are thinking about the cats more and are more willing to accept them as they are and the cats are responding. Once you give an animal (or person) permission to be themselves. without criticism, the walls can come down and everything improves. Animal communicators have helped me so much and I wanted to share this with you.


Despite the burdens of so many cats becoming adoptable, I hope it continues until the numbers outside are manageable. We will always have feral cats, but it would be great if there were a lot fewer!


As I said there are burdens associated with so many adoptable cats. Where do you put them? The shelters are full, the fosters you have are tired, there just isn’t room! We’re doing the first step, reducing the numbers coming in. Now those numbers have to be managed correctly. I want to tell you about a solution that is spreading around the country. Kitten Nurseries. They are a shelter specifically designed to support and care for kittens. They have to be staffed around the clock – all babies have emergencies in the middle of the night and kittens are no different. Volunteers work in shifts, feeding, cleaning, interacting and making these kittens the friendliest, most well-adjusted cats possible. Usually the kittens are broken down by ages – bottle babies in one room, 4 – 10 week olds in another and then the 10+ weeks, neutered, final stages of socialization in a 3rd - adoptable. My personal vision expands beyond this, but the basic 3 room model is spreading around the country. Fosters feel so alone when they are facing a kitten in crisis. Volunteering in a Kitten Nursery could give them the experience and confidence that they could then take home and use for fostering there – ‘cause home fostering will still be needed! So many people cannot take kittens inside themselves, so many shelters are overrun all year long with kittens. So, those kittens stay outside, grow up, don’t get neutered in time and go on to make more. This is the next step in managing those animals, removing them from uncontrolled conditions and shutting down the cat overpopulation problem. Here are some groups doing this ground-breaking work:


Utah Pets Kitten Nursery


The Kitten Nursery of Williamstown, MI


It may make some people uncomfortable, but it is time to look at the inevitable kittens as a crop to be managed. Too long shelters and individuals have been hoping there would not be a big kitten season – WHEN has that worked out? There’s such a thing as disaster management – the onslaught of kittens every year is a disaster that needs to be managed and planned for until it is obsolete.


All of our supporters have helped us make great strides – the numbers of cats we have neutered is phenomenal! We ask for your continued assistance as we work towards the long-term resolution of feral cat overpopulation, cat overpopulation and reduce the rate of euthanasia in DuPage County!


See you at Frosty Claws but until then,


Happy Holidays!!!


(To see a full size picture of the Snow-covered traps at Tammy's house, just click on the picture thumbnail.)

 

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