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Monday, November 20, 2006


Happy Feral Cat Day!

Any town worth its salt has a crazy cat lady. You know, the one who straps opened tuna cans all over her body and then trudges the streets in her night robe during the wee hours of the morning, feeding all the strays in the area.
And of course, she’s the only one who ever cares for the stray cats, right? No way! There’s a huge back-scenes effort all around the country to care for feral cats. In fact today, October 16, is National Feral Cat Day!
Doing its part, Best Friends always provides and delivers food (donated specifically for the ferals) to nearly 1,500 feral cats within about a 120 mile radius of the sanctuary. If a feral cat has to hunt for all her food, she could end up walking on dangerous highways and streets. A well-fed cat, however, won’t visit roads as often and will stay healthier if she doesn’t have to scrounge for every bite to eat. Especially if there are other animals competing for food.
A big part of the feral cat program includes trapping, spaying or neutering, then releasing. The cats are released with a slightly tipped ear to mark them in case of recapture so everyone knows they’ve already been spayed and neutered. Trapped little kittens usually are put up for adoption.
The cat food begins at Best Friends and then spreads all throughout the area to many, many people who want to help. Even rough and tumble cowboys! Some of the old-fashioned cowboy types gruffly explain to their friends that feral cats just happen to be good at keeping the mice away. Stick around long enough, however, and you’ll get to see the truth of the matter as these cowboys saunter over to the ferals and give them a soft smile or two when nobody’s looking. Looks like the crazy cat lady has some competition after all!