A few years ago we heard that Disneyland in Anaheim, CA had and actually cared for about 200 feral cats who keep the theme park free of rodents.
Cats roaming Disneyland were discovered in the 1950’s. Rather than “get rid of them” the park decided to house and care for them so they could help keep the park clear of mice and rats.
All of the cats are part of the program we know as TNR – Trap Neuter Release. The tipped left ear is what tells you that the cat has been spayed or neutered, and is part of a feral colony.
During the day these cats are kept from the public in special cat ranch hidden on the property. At night they come out to hunt and play! But sometimes one or two sneak out and make themselves seen. This home video shows one of them being fed a few scraps of food at the park’s Hungry Bear Restaurant:
This LA Times article from May 2, 2012 by Hugo Martin tells us all about them!
1) Throw a pot luck party. Ask each invitee to bring a dish to share and a donation. It’s a chance to meet new people, reconnect with the ones you lost track of. You might ask a local wine store, coffee roaster, or specialty food store if they can make a donation. Have fun, eat well, and collect money to donate.
2) Go through your closets and donate old ratty towels, sheets and holey sweaters. Shelter animals also appreciate slightly used cat beds. A lovely way to memorialize a departed cat is to donate their toys.
3) Collect recyclables for “buy backs” and get cash for those cans, bottles etc and donate it. If you are fortunate to have a non-profit organization in your state like RePlanet which is local to California contact them. They’ll help you set up a program to benefit your shelter. RePlanet has helped many organizations make some pretty impressive money! Take a look here: http://replanetusa.com/replanet_fundraising.html
4) Use Google to search for recycling buy- backs in your area. Try these words for your search: buy back recycling
Winter is a cold and potentially dangerous time of year for feral and homeless cats, whether or not a polar vortex is pushing arctic air into your neighborhood. Here’s some ways to help.
Alley Cat Allies is a national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of feral cats (www.alleycat.org). You may have seen their “I’m an alley cat ally” ads featuring Hollywood personalities including Portia De Rossi. Alley Cat Allies has posted a good article on how to help feral cats during the winter at www.alleycat.org/WinterWeather.
You can also find local feral cat assistance groups by doing search via Google for “feral cat (insert your city or area).” Contact your local group and ask how you can help.
One of the best ways to help feral and homeless cats during the winter is to provide shelters to keep them warm and out of the weather. Here’s a great video on how to make a simple low cost shelter from a plastic tote box. It even includes a cute cat helper providing supervision.
Everyone loved the article we posted about the Boy Scout who built winterized boxes to house feral cats in his community. You liked it so much that we searched for blueprints for something similar you crafty folks could make your own. Here are some plans for a larger “Feral Cat Condo” from a Michigan animal rescue group – www.voiceless-mi.org/plans/
So get out there and help feral cats this winter. You may make some new friends – both human and feline.
What wonderful news! Let’s hope this plan inspires countries and cities all over the world to do the same. The life of a street cat is brutal. Depending on circumstances such as weather and climate, a street cat’s life expectancy is just a few years. And those are generally years of hunger and misery. And more kittens, thus more and more street cats. The cycle can easily be broken.
In honor of black cats and Loup Garou (http://www.loupgarourescue.org/) we gave Loup Garou 10% of our sales on Halloween. We’ll donate 10% of our sales Wednesday November 6th to Loup Garou and Tarnish the cat, an adorable and rambunctious black kitten they rescued!
He was found under the car of Jennifer Mieuli Jameson founder and director of Loup Garou. Tarnish was only 2 or 3 weeks old when Jennifer heard his cries from underneath her car. He was so tiny and crumpled that she thought she was seeing a piece of trash. But it was a kitten, near death from starvation.
Now 3 months later, Tarnish is 4 and a half pounds and growing steadily. We’ll post of pictures of him in next week’s newsletter.
And it gets better – for the entire month of November we will donate 1% of our total sales to Loup Garou. When you shop with us please take a moment to use the COMMENTS area to tell us what you like about black cats and share your stories and feelings!
We didn’t tell you this in the last newsletter, but Jennifer and her husband are being forced from their home due to an insane rent increase. The money we raise will help them find a new home and be able to continue this important work.