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We got about 30 inches of snow in the northeast over the weekend. I am afraid that the colony I've been taking care of is buried under the snow somewhere.
Another caretaker and I have cleared a path to their feeding stations and removed snow around their shelters. It's been 4 days since they have been seen (before the snow started)
I have occasionally seen them go into the storm drain which is now blocked by a ton of packed snow. If they are in there I'am afraid they are already gone or will soon be.

I have not seen any paw prints in the snow anywhere near their shelters or feeding stations.
 

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Oh my goodness, that is a terrible situation. I'm so sorry to hear this. Is there anyway the storm drain could be cleared, or atleast cleared enough for an opening for them to climb out? If I was an animal, I bet that would be the place I'd go, too. :( I hope they're okay and you find them soon. The one positive is that if some snow melts they will hopefully have access to water, wherever they are, to tide them over.
 

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I have no advice to give but am offering my prayers. Poor kitties lost in the snow. Hopefully their natural instincts have kicked in and they are staying safe
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I tried finding the opening of the storm drain but it is somewhere under about 10 feet of snow. Its packed about 5-6 feet around the opening. I tried uncovering it but didn't get very far. I'm not exactly a spring chicken anymore. I'll keep chipping away at it and hopefully some of it will melt.
I just have a feeling that they are in there. They live behind a busy shopping plaza that backs up to a busy highway. Really aren't too many places they can go to seek shelter. I have 4 large shelter totes for them but I haven't seen any evidence that they were used during the storm.
 

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Oh no meggie! This must be so stressful for you. Is there a rescue group that could help you? I wonder if even posting something on craigslist or putting up a flyer at the vet or pet stores saying that you need urgent help to try to save this feral colony would get you some volunteers?

Fingers crossed that they are ok and that you are able to recruit some people to help you!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is the colony I discover last summer. Most of them were between 4-6 months old from 2 different females I think. I call every rescue I could find in my area. The groups who responded could offer me low cost clinics or trap rental but said it was up to me to to do and pay for the TNR project. I trapped 15 and took them to clinic, kept them a few days post op, then released them. Not all were feral but I unfortunately, there was only one rescue who would be willing to take 3 of them (a very tame mother and her 6 week old kittens).

Humane League and SPCA were willing to take them for a fee however, SPCA is a high kill and Humane League is questionable.

The rescues in my area are all volunteer and tight on funds and manpower and overwhelmed with cats.

The other problem is that they are in a shopping center parking lot and management does not want them there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have contacted a feral cat resource group. Hopefully they will get back to me with some advice.
 

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Oh Meggie, I am so sorry to hear this. When the storm was coming all I could think about was how the freaks and stray animals would get through this. I hope you find at least some have survived.
 

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Oh Meggie, I am so sorry to hear this. When the storm was coming all I could think about was how the freaks and stray animals would get through this. I hope you find at least some have survived.
Sorry spelling error freaks wa supposed to be ferals darn predictive text)
 

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OMG Meggie!
I'm so sorry....can you poke holes with a pole around where the storm drain is located? Even small air holes would allow for the exchange of bad air with good air...
I can well imagine, how this must be tearing you up...
Sending Prayers for all,
Sharon
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tried digging some more tonight but the snow is packed even harder. This drain pipe is under probably 10+ feet of snow and I think I would have to tunnel through maybe 5-6 feet. When they cleared the parking lot all of the snow got pushed over it.

Good news though! I saw one of the cats tonight. she was able to get to the feeding station and shelter. So I'm hoping if one made it through the storm the other did too.

The group I contacted got back to me and said that they probably have other hiding spots that I don't know about. They told me to just keep the feeding area clear for them and wait.

As far as the drain pipe, I am thinking that there has to be another opening.
 

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Great news that you saw one of the cats!! Hopefully, they're all old enough and experienced enough to have sought shelter in a place that offered at least two entrances/exits. If the other kitties are ok but just scared, maybe they'll now follow the one cat's lead and feel safe coming out of hiding.

We're all worrying with you and pulling for the kitties to reappear. Hang in there!
 

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Meggie, I'm SO glad you saw one of the cats! I am so hoping they're not stuck -they could just be disoriented and scared from the immense amount of snow covering any familiar areas. When I was a kid, our indoor/outdoor family cat got out during a big snowstorm and it took her a few days to come home - I think the snow covering confused her and she didn't know how to get back. Hopefully you'll start seeing more soon, the fact that you saw one is great. I couldn't imagine that much snow, especially for the ferals and strays. :(
 

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Hi Meggie,
Thank Heavens for one! Have you seen any of the others yet??
Keeping All Paws Crossed for the rest!!
HUGS!
Sharon
 

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Discussion Starter #15
4 of them are back! Still a lot of snow on the ground but they have a clear path to their feeding stations and shelters. Hopefully the others are just taking the scenic route back.
 

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This is good news. :) I was reading in our newpaper how dogs could get confused in snow as it covered the scent trails. So it may just take time.
 

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YAY! If four are back, there's a very good chance, they all made it!
Keeping All Paws Crossed for you, and kitties!
Sharon
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
The colony was originally 16-17 cats. I was able to trap and neuter/spay/vaccinate 15. I'm pretty sure of the two I didn't catch one is mostly likely gone for good since I haven't seen her for over 6 months. The other is a large, older male who only makes an appearance once in a while. He never eats while I'm there and never gets close to the other cats. I've only seen him maybe 5 times in the last 6 months.

I was able to place 5 of them into rescues.

10 were released. Last count there were 7-8 left. It's hard to keep a head count because there are a number of tabbies the same size.

One was hit by a car.

So I think there are still 3 missing. These 3 were always together and quite affectionate with each other. I'm sure they are still together somewhere. They are young and this is their first winter. It's probably just taking them a while to find their way. But the snow is melting and this week will be warmer.
 
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