If we do not relocate, what are the cat’s options? They might work their way out into the surrounding neighborhood – which has a high level of feral population already. Who knows how successful their attempts at relocating themselves might be. We are talking about 20+ cats in all. We know that they will absolutely still come to the nursing home, the residents may resume feeding them inappropriate food, they will resume dumpster diving, as ferals are creatures of habit and once they have received food somewhere, they will continue to expect food there. If the cats continue to show up and we are not allowed to feed them, what will the nursing home management do? Probably contract for their removal and euthanasia or contact animal control.
There is an argument that these cats do not belong to Feral Fixers, but to the nursing home. If we do take that stance, who will attempt to see that these cats have any chance at a good life? The property belongs to the nursing home, we have been guests on that property, we will no longer be welcome.
Even if the cats are relocated, it is highly likely that new, possibly intact cats will move in – but then it is up to the nursing home management to control the residents and ban feeding. This would keep the status quo in the surrounding neighborhood.
I just got off the phone with one of our volunteers who thinks she may be able to absorb several of the cats – that is just wonderful! There is a barn on her property, the property is fenced in, limiting predators. Even if it doesn’t work out, the offer was a high point as we are looking at a long project ahead.
So, good relocation opportunities are few and far between and would have to pass intense scrutiny, all of which must be accomplished in less than 3 weeks, so we would need help in evaluating these locations, and possibly transporting also.
Please help. If you know of someone/somewhere, close enough but not too close, who can absorb 2 or 3 or 4 cats, please call us, 630-881-3977. We do not want to do this, but feel that this may be the best solution to a bad situation. Feral Fixers has microchipped all of these cats and would still feel a responsibility to them, so would need to know where they went and be able to remain in contact with their new caretakers.
Feral cats are part of our community and we need your help to continue to practice TNR and provide support. Please pass on the word of our fundraising events and our need to relocate the nursing home colony. We will be immensely grateful!
Thank you for all of your help!
Update - June 6th, 2009:
The June newsletter was also mailed out to individuals who do not receive it electronically. We have already had a very warm reception to the story about the Nursing Home Cats and wanted to update you as to their progress.
Today, one of our volunteers was able to speak to the neighbors who live next door.
The shelters were moved into a wooded area at the back of the neighbor’s lot this afternoon. We will continue to feed them there, the neighbors will supplement in the winter, and everything should be fine!
We will speak to the nursing home administrator on Monday, advise him the houses have been moved and the cats will no longer be fed by us on nursing home property and as long as his residents don’t feed them, the cats should spend less and less time there.
I have not met the neighbors personally yet, but hope that this is a long-term relationship we are building here. They have offered to keep an eye out for any new cats joining the bunch and to verify that all the current residents are ear-tipped. They have seen one new cat show up recently, we are planning on trapping it in the near future as soon as the dust settles and the cats are comfortable with the new arrangement.
As of right now, in this location, we will not need to relocate and I am sooooooooo glad! Please continue to think of locations for cats should it become necessary for other colonies, or should the nursing home still be unhappy with the cats, we may have to revisit relocation, but keep your fingers crossed for the cats!!!!