On the 28th of February, I received an unusual call on the Feral Fixers phone – a woman had gone out to dinner with friends and the next morning heard a meow in her garage and saw a cat scamper under her car, ending up under the hood. This was a soft-top convertible but the woman eventually got the car out from the garage, cat stayed in the garage, the woman parked the car outside for 3 days. The woman searched for someone to help her, found our information. We arranged for her to pick up a trap and attempt to trap the cat, this was Sunday, the dinner had been Thursday night. The cat rode from a restaurant in Lyons to Westmont, where the woman lives. This was a very hungry cat and had been getting 3 meals a day in this garage. But, no more than an hour and a half after the woman left with the trap, she was calling to say it had been trapped. She very kindly drove all the way back to my house with the cat, which was thin and rather shell-shocked. Since then I have discovered that Carla, as I’ve named her, is a girl, a gray tabby/white, about 4 months old, and is definitely coming around, but just picture riding 10 miles, give or take, under the hood of a car? It will take awhile. Her constantly peeved expression has greatly improved and she is now rolling over for belly rubs! What a lucky cat!
People want to help ferals everywhere
We received an e-mail from someone wanting to know if we had a branch in Canada. She was helping her parent’s ferals and needed low-cost s/n for them. It was fun doing the research to send her some options; I hope she lets us know how it worked out.
Cats decide for themselves when they want a home!
We received a call from someone who wanted to bring a cat indoors that seemed to be begging to come inside, she was in a hurry tho and didn’t want to wait several days to have us take it to PAWS, but still wanted to do the rest of the cats she was feeding. The next morning, we got a call from a local vet that they had one of “our” cats. This has happened before - called them back and while I looked up the microchip number, heard the story that the lady bringing in this cat had a home for it with a friend but it had tested positive for FIV, which wasn’t a big deal because it would be an only cat, at least for now. When I found the cat in our database, she had been spayed 11/08 and the caretaker at that time had had her tested and she was FIV positive at that time. I asked the vet to have the new caretaker call us so that we could get more information. Turns out to be the woman I had talked to the previous day – small world! – and her sister-in-law was going to adopt the cat. The cat is still healthy, no signs of the disease and has become very friendly. I gave permission for the vet to release the cat and I contacted the former caretaker who is just thrilled that this cat has found a home. The two locations are a block away from each other. Another cat has found it’s own home and all parties are very happy!
Demolition to start soon
This past week we have been involved in trying to TNR the remaining cats in the O’Hare Expansion area in Bensenville. Demolition is due to start soon and the management company is very concerned about the feral cats. We have trapped two, one was neutered and released outside the impending demolition area and the other has indications of being a “friendly.” We have a new volunteer in this effort, Lisa Garcia has worked in animal rescue for a very long time, we both wondered how we hadn’t encountered each other before now! She has put in almost 40 hours in trapping time this past week. Only 6 cats have been seen, we’ve trapped two. The cats have a huge territory, and since there are so few cats remaining we feel that having the cats relocate themselves to surrounding colonies would be the best for them. Our main concern is to get them neutered before they move on. We have been working on TNR in this area for a very long time and most of the cats are neutered, so will not result in a feral cat population explosion for Bensenville. In 2007 we were invited to do TNR in Bensenville in order to counteract the effects of the feral and abandoned cats left behind as people moved out of their houses in the O’Hare Expansion Project. We have neutered over 300 cats and have removed approximately 100 for adoption since then. This is an example of people working together for the good of the cats!
It’s Yowling time again
It’s mating season again (or did it ever stop?) and Feral Fixers is in full swing starting the third week in March – I’m on vacation from my day job. The new traps are handed out, we are lining up transport for that week, keep your fingers crossed that we have the most successful week ever!
We have received some very encouraging information from DuPage County Animal Care & Control – in 2008, 486 feral cats were euthanized and in 2009 the number of feral cats euthanized dropped to 314! As Ted has pointed out, this is a 35% reduction in feral cat euthanization in just one year. We are making a difference! This is entirely due to the tremendous participation of feral cat caretakers, volunteers, the rescue community and our generous donors! I hope this will encourage everyone, knowing that progress is being made and we are getting results that will have far-reaching impact on feral cats and the cat overpopulation problem. Way to go!