You are going to need a box of Kleenex for this story. In 2000 electrician Roza Katovitch suddenly lost her fiance to a heart aneurysm. Three days later her father died. This sent Roza into a tailspin which led to depression and eventually homelessness because she was not emotionally able to work.
Every day she would go to the cemetery where both men are buried to tend to their graves. And she would be there all day long. She got to know the animals who came around. There were skunks, birds, raccoons and of course, feral cats. Carolyn Jones staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle will tell you the rest of Roza’s story in this article which ends well for Roza and Miss Tuxedo the cat, with great photos.
And yes, we noticed that her last name is KATovitch! Cats must be her destiny!
Film maker Morgan Spurlock spends a week at an animal shelter!
Didn’t you just love Morgan Spurlock’s film Super Size Me? Currently he has a series on CNN called Inside Man. Just like in Super Size Me he physically dives into the week’s topic. In the episode which just aired called “Pets in America” he works for one week at The Animal Rescue League of Berks County in Reading, PA so he can firsthand experience everything that happens. He nurses a 3 day old kitten who was not expected to live (but did!) to cleaning kennels and witnessing euthanasia.
“Where I worked in Reading, PA is one of thousands of these types of shelters across the country. You see these animals who are so sweet and so nice and a lot of them who won’t get adopted and will end up getting killed. That’s the sad side of the story. But the fact that there are people who every day make them first in their lives is phenomenal.” -Morgan Spurlock
In this short interview Morgan gets interviewed about this episode of “Inside Man” and what he learned about cat and dog over population.
We tried to find a copy of the episode online for those of you who missed it, but we couldn’t find one. If CNN releases it for online viewers we’ll let you know. It will be repeated on CNN so if you have a DVR you’ll find repeats of this show.
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.