Thursday, November 20, 2014

T'hursday Thrills

We had about 2-3 inches overnight, and it was falling pretty heavily when I went out this morning.  Luckily, no wind.  Leaving for work an hour later, no snow falling, but windy.  Funny how it can change in the blink of an eye.  I was watching the news of the weather over yonder in Buffalo, and they actually filmed and recorded lightning and thunder last night, all in the midst of the snow careening down.  CRAZY.

I placed a few shelters this morning, and noticed a cat that I suspect is pregnant.  She was trying to escape from me on a porch with a slotted railing.  She was trying to get her belly through, and could just, barely.  I have a spot at the clinic next Wednesday, just what I want to do, ha.  Its hard to trap at this time of year, for me at least, especially with so much snow already.  So I will try to get her first, and if not, one of the unneutered boys hanging around on Central.  I need pallets and I need boards.  I use the pallets to get the plastic totes off the ground.  They are also good to lift the bottom of a feeding station off the ground.  Its hard for me to kneel, and bend, and try to get the plates and bowls inside in some of these spots.  If we got a significant snowfall, the low openings to the totes will be covered in snow. 

And then you have some of these cats, at these large colony locations, that are still waiting to be fed on the snow covered porches.  Like Tuffy.  He is waiting usually at Pennsylvania and 4th.  I am trying to move them all to behind the house where I have placed some nice shelters with feeding area in between, with a board and tarp covering it, and some of them are taking the hint, but some of them aren’t.  This morning I left them with food on the porch, knowing it would be covered in snow in minutes if they didn’t eat fast enough.  Knowing the cats would be covered in snow also.  I don’t know how they do it.

My Boys, LEO and GEORGE
Above are more pictures of the shelters, and the snow, from days gone by…

And here is a good story/article about feral cats and winter:

Winter can be brutal in upstate New York, where temperatures in the single-digits are common. For animals living outside, sometimes even their fur coats aren't enough to keep them alive. No one is more aware of this than Audrey Kramer, a feral cat caretaker from Rochester.

How it began

There are many paths to becoming a feral cat caretaker. Audrey Kramer's path began on Mother's Day 10 years ago, when she found and carefully rounded up a litter of 4-week-old kittens living under her porch.
After she finally found a veterinarian willing to work with her, Kramer tried her hand at trapping the kittens' wild mother. She was elated when she heard the trap door close. Stray Mama's days of motherhood were happily ended when Kramer transported the cat to the veterinary hospital to be spayed, vaccinated, and ear-tipped. Following her recovery, the lucky cat was taken under the wing of an experienced feral cat caretaker who would continue to provide food, water, shelter, and care for as long as Stray Mama lived.

Helping ferals

Once Kramer became involved with feral cats, there was no stopping her. On her own time and dime, she trapped about 40 cats at a local dairy farm. She returned the spayed and neutered cats to the farm and set up feeding stations for them.
Although there was lots of straw in the barn for the cats to burrow into, Kramer also provided straw-filled shelters for those bitter winter nights. On one particular night, Kramer's heart melted when five cats climbed out of one small shelter to greet her.
Although Kramer moved away from the area, she still travels an hour each day to feed the remaining barn cats. If un-fixed cats show up at the farm, it's easier to help them now because there are several non-profit organizations in Rochester helping caretakers like Kramer.

Where are they now?

The four feisty kittens Kramer rescued from under her porch are all doing well. Although Kramer had no experience socializing feral kittens, she had help from her resident male cat, Pookie. He took a particular interest in the rambunctious kittens, regularly playing with them and grooming them. Much to Pookie's delight, Kramer kept two of the kittens, who she named Mac and Arthur. The two other kittens were adopted out, and, after all these years, Stray Mama continues to do well thanks to her dedicated caretaker.

What you can do to help feral cats

In addition to food, water, and shelter, feral cats need to be spayed and neutered so they don't continue to reproduce. You can make a difference. Thanks to many dedicated people and organizations, it's now easy to find assistance to help feral cats. Who knows where the path may take you?

"God hath not promised skies always blue, flower-strewn pathways, all our lives through; God hath not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain.  But God hath promised strength for the day, rest for the labor, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love."

1 comment:

  1. Janine I think you're wonderful. I have been doing something similar in Detroit for many years but my health suffered and I have stopped now. With some friends I went out to all my stops and we trapped as many cats as we could and placed them in a couple of barns north of Detroit. I don't know how you do this by yourself. It is such hard work and it must be wearing you down. You must remember to look after yourself.