Friend of Ferals Award Badge - Apply Here

35 year catdad

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Location
Santa Rosa Ca
A friend has been feeding a feral colony for about 3 years.I send her food but it got out of hand.
She went broke trying to feed them on low income when the number got to 22 (even after she TNRd 12)

I caught 18 since October 16th, had them all fixed, microchipped, tested, vaccinated. wormed, de flead etc etc (except 4 already done)
and took 12 home to my small condo, and tamed/rehabbed them there after surgeries.
My 2 cats were not happy but I kept them separate from the ferals.

I put in the ads for adoption, vetted the people, and visited the properties first where the barn cats went.
Is been about $1,200 for surgeries and food/litter plus 12 hours of driving but hey its all elec and free at a local DC quick charger.
Some folks payed back $40 per cat which is what it cost me at a low cost feral spay neuter organization.
They have done over 40,000 cats since 1990. More than 2,000 last year mine included.

Five were tamed by me for indoor only bonded pairs- (I kept one) and the rest are carrier/barn cats in pairs or threes.
Soon I finish with the remaining 4-5 while leaving two already spayed for rodent control.
We have already seen the "vacuum" effect with 2 new aggressive males.
 

35 year catdad

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Messages
249
Purraise
394
Location
Santa Rosa Ca
If you help feral cats on a regular basis, whether by managing a colony, involvement in TNR operations or advocating for feral cats in your community, we'd like to award you this badge -


To get your badge, please post to this thread and let us know how you help feral cats! The badge links back to this page, so you'll be helping us spread the word about helping feral cats.

Not sure what this is all about? Please check out these resources and see how you can help us help ferals!

Please note: If you wish to nominate another member for the Friends of Ferals badge, please do so by PMing a moderator, rather than posting in the thread.
I just realized I need to post about myself here too, as I am going to award myself with the badge, unless there are any objections. I have always helped feral cats for as long as I can remember. I have TNR'ed over a dozen feral cats, and at least three of them so far have become "our cats", two of them tame enough to live with us. Oh, and I have this website where we really try to promote awareness to feral cats and how to help them
I live in a very lovely mobile home park. It is surrounded by apartment buildings on the streets that border it. The end result is that when someone moves out of their apartment and leaves their cat to fend for itself, it often finds its way over to our park. We get a newsletter every month, and every month they have the same message in it - don't feed the stray cats, don't take them in, call and have them removed. As for us tenants, we can only have one cat. For the seven years I've been here, I have seen many poor, starving strays. I have sneaked them into the space between my storage shed, made beds and houses for them, cared for them, and found them homes. I have been threatened more than once by the management to stop caring for the feral/abandoned cats, but I just tell them it's against my religion to ignore a starving animal. When Hershey, my beloved dark chocolate Burmese Service Animal of 17 years passed away last June I was beside myself. Eventually, I adopted my Heinz 57 Tortie, Minja. No one wanted her, she had been adopted and returned numerous times because of behavioral problems. Love, patience, and lots of one-on-one training put an end to her bad ways and now even my mother can't believe she is the same screaming, out of control cat I brought home a month before. Shortly after that, a got a call from one of the Humane Societies in Denver, CO, they just turned up a dark brown Burmese. When Hershey passed, I had tried to find another dark brown Burmese, but could not. Apparently, they kept my name on file. They interviewed me several times as they wanted to make sure I could handle her - she was a true feral. My experience has been with abandoned and part-feral cats, but not with an actual feral who had 2 months of human contact. Her foster mom was a lovely woman who met me at the Denver airport ( I live in San Diego) and handed Hershey Rose over to me. Before adopting her, I had contacted both TSA headquarters and the TSA manager at Denver Airport and was assured that if her carrier was labeled "FERAL ANIMAL" a Supervisor would come over and just do a visual inspection, she would not need to be disturbed. This made me feel better as her foster mom told me she had to be drugged to get her into the carrier, and she would be a wild child if they tried to remove her. Assured by TSA, I accepted her and adopted her by fax. Upon reaching Security at the airport, however, it was an entirely different story. A brazen young man decided he needed to remove her and inspect her see-through carrier. They took Hershey Rose and me into a small room where he grabbed her and pulled her out of the carrier. She went crazy. She bounced off the walls, ceiling, floor, knocked over a lamp which broke on my head, and was totally terrified. This went on for almost 30 minutes. Later I found out he had NO authority to touch her, he was a lead, who decided to show off in front of the female TSA officers. His boss, the real Supervisor, was furious that he touched a feral animal, and that a customer was injured because of his breaking the rules. I don't believe he works there anymore, and I could care less. Everything Trish, her foster mom did, working with her and trying to get her used to humans was destroyed. When I finally got her home, she was one ferocious animal. Her bites landed me in the ER several times. My doctor advised me to get rid of her. My mother and her sister ragged on me everyday to have her put to sleep. It only made me more determined to win her over.

This past Sunday afternoon I was lying on the couch with my electric throw, reading and fighting off the flu. I felt my Minja jump up on the couch, squirm her way between the back of my legs and the couch cushions and lay down to take a nap. "Hello, Minja" I said, not looking up. Minja let out a little meow when she heard her name. But the meow came from the other side of the couch. When I looked down at my legs, my heart literally stopped! There, sleeping on my legs, was Hershey Rose. Tears of joy ran down my cheeks as I realized, after all she had been through, she finally found a human and a home she was comfortable in.

Hershey Rose is a permanent member of my household, and is my Minja. Yes, we are only allowed one pet. But Hershey Rose and my late Hershey look a great deal alike, and no one but my family knows Hershey passed away. As for Management and the rest of the neighbors, Hershey Rose is still my Service Animal (who legally cannot be counted as a pet), and Minja is my one allowed pet. Sneaky, yes. But without people who care enough to help these creatures, they are doomed to short and hard lives. Here's to those of us guardians of these beautiful, furry, four-legged lost souls! May they be lost no more!

Lei Ann
I have a lump in my throat reading your wonderful feral story Hersheys mom.! I am allowed two in my small condo but had TEN in October -
I am the same as you......no healthy feral deserves to starve or be breeding out of control.
The number re-homed by me is now 18 ferals with new homes (5 were tamed by me and live indoor with a buddy) and the rest are
barn cats (with buddies) with about 4 to go, then....no more kittens! whew what a labor of LOVE.
One of them is my new boy Striper who loves everybody and was "nursing" one of the kittens in his colony. I HAD to keep him!
I have Alley Cat Allies listed in my living trust as a beneficiary. We REALLY miss this target tabby Gracie who Striper loved but my calico (my avatar) Mooky hated them all! She was feral 4 yrs ago ad I spoiled her rotten....she wants to be the only one.
striper nurses (1).JPG
 
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cayz

TCS Member
Young Cat
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Feb 21, 2022
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Smyrna, DE
Do I qualify for a badge?

Since 2015 I've been doing at least "weekly" visits to the Port Penn Cat Colony, a colony that started out with 15 cats in 2015, and still has 8 survivors seven years later (and most of the outdoor-only cats were at least 5 years old when we started the colony). Actually, I visit every other Sunday & Monday. In addition to doing all the stuff that a "normal" volunteer does, when I get there on Sunday, I check all of the levels of supplies, and take the dirty wet food bowls home, then put the bowls in the dishwasher while I go shopping, to bring everything needed on Monday. Most of the normal volunteers have a set day of the week ("Tuesdays").

I posted a bunch about the colony in my Hello Post (Howdy from Smyrna, DE (Delaware, not Germany)), and also in my first question (the reason I joined) (Unusual Feral/Stray situation; need advice). And also my Bio.

Thanks. I like earning Badges - I'm like Russell in "Up!"

James
 
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Captain "Hook" O'Malley

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To be honest, right now I am not sure if I am worthy of this badge of honor
I have a colony in my mobile home park that usually varies from 8-14 fuzzy buddies.
Right now I am down to nine. Two live at my home, one under or on her heated barrel and one, a huge Feline Leukemia diagnosed male lives in my heated shed at night and goes out during the day. I wouldn't feel right about doing this normally but I believe the test was a combination test with a false positive and he is neutered.

The rest live around the park wherever they find a warm spot. I feed them moist food twice a day and keep their water up for them.
I have given them all names so they are not just Hey KittyKitty. I wait patiently, some a year or more and still timid, for them to honor me by being able to pet them.

One girl had just begun to let me until some POS cat hater shot her with a pellet rifle last summer because she was in his yard hunting and hit her in the left eye.
I made plans to trap her for vet care, when I realized she had two 6 week or so old kittens, probably born last June or early July. So I had no choice but to leave her to care for them, by the time they could care for themselves her eye infection had cleared up but the eye is useless and a Grey color.

Finally last fall the two kittens let me touch them but it took awhile for them to warm up to me. Mom, who I named Butterscotch, will come a couple feet from me now and occasionally meows but so far she has not let me touch her since her injury, and that breaks my heart.
The babies I called Butterbabies until I got to know them, then I named them Butterball and Butternut. I had several months of love from them, head butts, kisses and even grooming from one I called Butterball.
That ended last week when a neighbor told me of an Orange Tabby along side the road at the end of our lane. It was Butterball, and it broke my heart again. He was still warm when I carried him home in my arms, which I never got to do when he was alive. He is awaiting burial out back in the Catnip Garden, because the ground is frozen solid and it is a high of 20° or lower here almost every day right now. I have 4 fuzzy buddies out waiting for burial, two I never knew that died on the main road or the highway behind us.

The other is my Best Fuzzy Buddy Forever Rotten Boy, an Orange Tabby Maine Coon whose mom I rescued 11 years ago when someone dumped her and two kittens In our old park. They left a bell collar on her, so she couldn't even hunt enough food for her and the 2 kittens so she was starving herself to feed them anything she could catch.
It took 2 weeks of feeding her to get close enough to take the collar off with one hand. Immediately her eyes changed and she let me pet her and nuzzle my hand, even gave a few kitty kisses! I was her best friend after that. She wouldn't come in but she let us have her little boy Scrappy. He lived about 6 more months before he had an inoperable blockage of some kind in his intestines and had to go to sleep for the last time. I promised him I would take his mom Tabi in, and by that time she was ready. Her little girl wouldn't associate with people for a couple years and would never go inside a home.

Tabi gave us a litter before we could have her spayed, and we kept one male Tabby that looked like Scrappy that I named Rotten Boy. He slept with me most nights, sometimes on my head or neck like he knew my injuries were hurting worse than usual.
We had him 10 years until January 17th, 2022 when he had also developed an inoperable cancerous mass in his abdomen. He was way to weak to even try surgery, he went from being a little under the weather to that point over the weekend. I took him in and got that news. It was the first time in my life I had to say put him to sleep and I still cannot hardly swallow when I think about it. I held him close for about 10 minutes crying like a baby and called the vet back out to the vehicle to let him go to sleep comfortably.

I sleep on my left shoulder. He slept on top of me on my right shoulder every night for about 3 weeks before that day, maybe he knew and was saying goodbye, I don't know.
Every day I see him on the bed or the sofa, especially when I see his mom Tabi. She is a short hair but that doesn't matter. I accidentally say his name every day when calling the other cats. I start to fall asleep at night and wake up calling him because he isn't there. I miss him like I would miss a son. He was my son, and I was his dad.
In the last 9 months, I have lost at least 4 fuzzy buddies from my colony and one indoor buddy.
I have three left indoors, my wife and I cannot bring any more in or we would. We have a 1 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath home with a small catio for the indoor buddies to enjoy nature without being in danger from our POS cat hating neighbors.
I want to build a Catio for the Strays/Ferals but we are on disability and there is never enough money as it is. If I could, I could keep all the homeless fuzzy buddies in the neighborhood there safe and with access into my carport/shed for cold weather.

With vet bills and food costs on the rise, the local Sterile Feral cannot help me with this, and I will not even ask because I understand. They help me with vet bills on the strays/ferals when I ask and I hate doing that.

I do not feel I do enough every time I lose one of my fuzzy buddies. I certainly do not feel I deserve an award for what I do, because I lose so many and cannot do enough for the ones still with me. But maybe if someone here feels I do deserve to be noticed for what I try to do and what I wish I could do, maybe it will make the pain of this more bearable and honor the many fuzzy little buddies I have lost in the last 25 years.
I leave with a couple photos of my Tabi and Rotten Boy, singing a duet with their band
The Cat's Meow, along with band members Hairy Houdini and Mama Q-Tip.
Screenshot_20220224-105428_Gallery.jpg
Screenshot_20220224-105306_Gallery.jpg
Screenshot_20220224-105724_Photos.jpg


20220224_114759.jpg
 

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TSBLD

TCS Member
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We have some ferals in our yard we take of. When we moved in, there was a girl and a boy. We got the boy fixed, but the girl kept evading the trap. She had 2 litters - we have her daughter, who got sick and spent 3 or 4 days at the ER in 2019. She lives inside.

Mom eventually vanished and we haven't seen here in a couple years. Now we have 4 boys, only 2 of which we managed to neuter. We feed them in our garage, which also acts as their house when the weather is bad or they need to take a safe nap.

It's not much, but we've caring for them about 4 yrs I think.
 
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mani

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To be honest, right now I am not sure if I am worthy of this badge of honor
I have a colony in my mobile home park that usually varies from 8-14 fuzzy buddies.
Right now I am down to nine. Two live at my home, one under or on her heated barrel and one, a huge Feline Leukemia diagnosed male lives in my heated shed at night and goes out during the day. I wouldn't feel right about doing this normally but I believe the test was a combination test with a false positive and he is neutered.

The rest live around the park wherever they find a warm spot. I feed them moist food twice a day and keep their water up for them.
I have given them all names so they are not just Hey KittyKitty. I wait patiently, some a year or more and still timid, for them to honor me by being able to pet them.

One girl had just begun to let me until some POS cat hater shot her with a pellet rifle last summer because she was in his yard hunting and hit her in the left eye.
I made plans to trap her for vet care, when I realized she had two 6 week or so old kittens, probably born last June or early July. So I had no choice but to leave her to care for them, by the time they could care for themselves her eye infection had cleared up but the eye is useless and a Grey color.

Finally last fall the two kittens let me touch them but it took awhile for them to warm up to me. Mom, who I named Butterscotch, will come a couple feet from me now and occasionally meows but so far she has not let me touch her since her injury, and that breaks my heart.
The babies I called Butterbabies until I got to know them, then I named them Butterball and Butternut. I had several months of love from them, head butts, kisses and even grooming from one I called Butterball.
That ended last week when a neighbor told me of an Orange Tabby along side the road at the end of our lane. It was Butterball, and it broke my heart again. He was still warm when I carried him home in my arms, which I never got to do when he was alive. He is awaiting burial out back in the Catnip Garden, because the ground is frozen solid and it is a high of 20° or lower here almost every day right now. I have 4 fuzzy buddies out waiting for burial, two I never knew that died on the main road or the highway behind us.

The other is my Best Fuzzy Buddy Forever Rotten Boy, an Orange Tabby Maine Coon whose mom I rescued 11 years ago when someone dumped her and two kittens In our old park. They left a bell collar on her, so she couldn't even hunt enough food for her and the 2 kittens so she was starving herself to feed them anything she could catch.
It took 2 weeks of feeding her to get close enough to take the collar off with one hand. Immediately her eyes changed and she let me pet her and nuzzle my hand, even gave a few kitty kisses! I was her best friend after that. She wouldn't come in but she let us have her little boy Scrappy. He lived about 6 more months before he had an inoperable blockage of some kind in his intestines and had to go to sleep for the last time. I promised him I would take his mom Tabi in, and by that time she was ready. Her little girl wouldn't associate with people for a couple years and would never go inside a home.

Tabi gave us a litter before we could have her spayed, and we kept one male Tabby that looked like Scrappy that I named Rotten Boy. He slept with me most nights, sometimes on my head or neck like he knew my injuries were hurting worse than usual.
We had him 10 years until January 17th, 2022 when he had also developed an inoperable cancerous mass in his abdomen. He was way to weak to even try surgery, he went from being a little under the weather to that point over the weekend. I took him in and got that news. It was the first time in my life I had to say put him to sleep and I still cannot hardly swallow when I think about it. I held him close for about 10 minutes crying like a baby and called the vet back out to the vehicle to let him go to sleep comfortably.

I sleep on my left shoulder. He slept on top of me on my right shoulder every night for about 3 weeks before that day, maybe he knew and was saying goodbye, I don't know.
Every day I see him on the bed or the sofa, especially when I see his mom Tabi. She is a short hair but that doesn't matter. I accidentally say his name every day when calling the other cats. I start to fall asleep at night and wake up calling him because he isn't there. I miss him like I would miss a son. He was my son, and I was his dad.
In the last 9 months, I have lost at least 4 fuzzy buddies from my colony and one indoor buddy.
I have three left indoors, my wife and I cannot bring any more in or we would. We have a 1 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath home with a small catio for the indoor buddies to enjoy nature without being in danger from our POS cat hating neighbors.
I want to build a Catio for the Strays/Ferals but we are on disability and there is never enough money as it is. If I could, I could keep all the homeless fuzzy buddies in the neighborhood there safe and with access into my carport/shed for cold weather.

With vet bills and food costs on the rise, the local Sterile Feral cannot help me with this, and I will not even ask because I understand. They help me with vet bills on the strays/ferals when I ask and I hate doing that.

I do not feel I do enough every time I lose one of my fuzzy buddies. I certainly do not feel I deserve an award for what I do, because I lose so many and cannot do enough for the ones still with me. But maybe if someone here feels I do deserve to be noticed for what I try to do and what I wish I could do, maybe it will make the pain of this more bearable and honor the many fuzzy little buddies I have lost in the last 25 years.
I leave with a couple photos of my Tabi and Rotten Boy, singing a duet with their band
The Cat's Meow, along with band members Hairy Houdini and Mama Q-Tip.
View attachment 411907View attachment 411908View attachment 411909

View attachment 411921
C Captain "Hook" O'Malley it seems to me like you very much deserve the award.
Thank you for all the wonderful work you do. We cannot save them all :hugs:
Badge awarded. :)
 

mani

Moderator and fervent feline fan
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We have some ferals in our yard we take of. When we moved in, there was a girl and a boy. We got the boy fixed, but the girl kept evading the trap. She had 2 litters - we have her daughter, who got sick and spent 3 or 4 days at the ER in 2019. She lives inside.

Mom eventually vanished and we haven't seen here in a couple years. Now we have 4 boys, only 2 of which we managed to neuter. We feed them in our garage, which also acts as their house when the weather is bad or they need to take a safe nap.

It's not much, but we've caring for them about 4 yrs I think.
Thank you for caring TSBLD TSBLD :) Hoping the others will allow themselves to be caught and neutered soon. :crossfingers::crossfingers:
Badge awarded :)
 

dbc

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Hi! My sister started feeding ferals where we work about three years ago. To help her, I started feeding them on the weekends since I live closer. Since then, my sister works from home so I feed them throughout the week. They mostly stay hidden, and it's rare I see any. My sister was much better at hanging around long enough for them to make appearances. It's unknown how many there could be.

Over two years ago, one of the friendlier cats had kittens, whom she was keeping in an abandoned groundhog mound. She lost one kitten, and wasn't caring for the other. Long story short, I ended up taking the mom home, though I was depressed that it wasn't along with her remaining kitten. We believe the mom was most likely a stray. At the vet she tested positive for another pregnancy, even though we got her only two weeks after she gave birth, and she is only indoors. Another long story short, she grew and grew, went overdue, so they took xrays and found just "debris". She had an emergency spay because they feared it could be pyometra. She came through it well, though they didn't definitively know what happened to cause her condition. I sometimes wonder if it could've been a phantom pregnancy since she lost her kittens.

A few months later I trapped a (very) large feral male because we were trying to get one of the others who appeared injured (it wasn't realized until later that it wasn't him). At the vet it was discovered that he was FIV so I kept him. He was filthy and not caring for himself. After he was fixed and got a bath, he started to get better. After several months of nasty looks from him, he finally let his guard down...and now he's a big cuddler.

A year later I trapped an older kitten because she was very vocal and we were afraid she'd be easy prey. It was also a cold winter, and she had a heartbreaking cry. It's my guess that she was separated from her mother too early. She chirped when other ferals would stay silent, and she doesn't follow social cues. She's also a little biter.

The night after I got her, I trapped my fourth little one. He ended up being the one who had been injured the year before, we think....though it really could have been any one of them. He had a permanent scar on his lip where it had been cut through; several abscesses on his legs, fractured and infected teeth, a fractured elbow from an old injury, a uti, and FIV. From the way my other cats interact with him, he was an easy target. It's taken much longer for him to acclimate, as he's a good bit older than the others, too. He needed sedated every time he went to the vet, which was often. It was very stressful for everyone to try to get him there....especially him. But after a year I was able to touch him at a distance, and at a year and a half now I can pet him and give him a kiss on the head. He purrs occasionally. And I can groom him, and sometimes pick him up (though he really doesn't like that). I do it just so he can get used to it, so I can get him into a carrier if needed. He's really an amazing little man. He was totally worth it.

I often get a sinking feeling in my heart that he migh've been bonded to another cat, and I separated them. I used to catch him in his room on the video calling out in the middle of the night when he knew I couldn't hear him. He seems depressed, though he has moments when he'll play with the youngest female. I've often felt like it would be kinder to let him back out to be with the one he might be missing, but with his multiple conditions it would be a death sentence. It's also not a guarantee that he was bonded at all, or that if he was, the other cat might still be there. I'm torn most of the time because I just want him to be happy.

I did a TNR once, a young spunky bobtail. But they clipped his ear so low that I was devastated that I caused him to be marred like that. I've been scared to do it again. I kept him for a week to make sure he was healed before we released him back to his home. He was definitely not an indoor cat. Since the other two males were FIV from that area, I asked them to test him, too. He was negative, thankfully. :)

That pretty much brings me up to date. I joined this forum a year or so ago so I could get insight into my little ones. I started reading the boards long before that, though. This forum has been instrumental in helping me care for my stray and ferals at home, and also at work. I'm very grateful to everyone involved, and to all of those who post their experiences. This is such a great site. Thank you for listening!
 

fionasmom

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D dbc Thank you for all the work you are doing to try to help these cats. It is certainly not always easy, but you have continued on and made a difference in their lives. Badge awarded!
 
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