By Brenda Kerr
I’ve been crazy about cats and involved with them one way or another most of my life – which is quite a bit of time, I can tell you (although I must say – cat people never get old, they just need to stretch more).
I’m delighted we have a feral day on 16 October! When I mentioned to a feral friend the 16th is feral day, her words were, “EVERY DAY is feral day.” And it is!
When are we not out feeding? Trapping ferals to be brought to TEARS Animal Rescue to be sterilised and, YES, it’s kitten season!
Let me tell you what it’s like…
We are called about kittens in all sorts of places. Many times we are asked to fetch new-born kittens walking in a parking lot. Yes, I know – teeny kittens in a parking lot! And with a smile we go to rescue the babies. Oh, of course, we ask about mommy cat. We always go back to trap her to prevent further litters of kittens walking around parking lots.
Then there’s the food story. Food to feed the ever hungry mouths is endless. I know what would help – a magic wand! Then we could feed all the needy cats. Food in abundance for feral cats – that’s what we dream of!
Many feeders have fed their cats for years. I have been feeding at a school for 10 years. These ladies use their own petrol and buy cat food which costs them a huge sum every month. One feeder actually feeds 100 plus ferals every second night and has been doing this for more than 20 years.
This is an ongoing operation as some pass on but others arrive to feed when food is available. No matter the weather these ladies go to the feeding sites because you know the cats will be waiting, hungry, and they come running as the car pulls up, so happy to see you.
Nope you can’t pick them up or even pat them, but we understand them so love them all the same.
Most feeders are very protective of their colonies.
Yes, I can hear a lot of people saying, “But I can pat my feral.” This may be so, but, this is an important point people – these cats do not do well confined in a cattery to be adopted. They belong free. This is where they ARE HAPPIEST.
TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) is the only way to prevent the every growing population of feral cats which will have to be fed. They are free to explore each day and wait for the human to bring a daily treat.
As I said – what do we dream of when we’re not out there looking out for ferals? – help one day with food for these cats. That would be absolutely stunning!
You’ve read this so it means you care. We thank you on behalf of the ferals.
If you feel moved to do something for the little guys out there, the crazy feral cat ladies of the night hope you’ll make a donation or drop some food for the feral – wet or dry – at TEARS HQ (Lekkerwater Road, Sunnydale) or TEARS Charity Centre (281 Main Road, Retreat).