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Discussion Starter #1
Today I received an e-mail from my favorite rescue group, Animalkind:

Deb, another question (again) there are 20 feral cats that will be euthanized by the HS if we can not find outdoor placement, the two caretakers are both hospitalized (over 85) and won't come back. I have a place for 8. Anyone you could take?? (I can provide life time food, etc..)

This is my current situation. There are five feral cats in my barn that I feed every day. For a while now, I've looked at this as my financial limit, because I have seven at home. 12 cats. That's a lot of cats. If the barn cats have health problems or need meds or flea/tick treatment, that is additional expense.

Food is of course the biggest expense. In this e-mail, Animalkind geneously offered to give me food for life (!) if I would take some more cats. I've never accepted food from them before when they placed their ferals with me. I figured these were my cats now and my responsibility.
Plus Animalkind has cats of its own to feed.

I am thinking, though, that if these cats will be put down, I will accept this offer.
 

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there is a FIV+ female feral that had 5 kittens not far from my colony. when my local animal control officer asked if i could lure her into becoming part of my group i did it w/o hesitation. but she brought my number up to 4 total ferals, so it wasn't all that much more stress on my finances. once in a while my aco stops by with a donation of food, it does help out.

with the number that you would have should you do this i wouldn't feel bad about accepting at least some of the food that they offered as i would guess that such a large number would strain your financial resources.

bless your heart for the good you do.


ps- if they want to try to relocate a couple of them to connecticut....
 

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I'd do it. Then, again, I'm the one who, since I started volunteering with TNR and feral rescue, increased my catkids by 14 --- making a total of 19 right now! And I can not afford that many......

BUT. The email said: "(I can provide life time food, etc..)" "etc." might mean help with some of your ordinary expenses such as flea treatments, dewormings, vaccinations? They probably have a lot of their food donated to them and get other supplies or medications free or low cost.

Good luck. And the Cat Gods will bless you.
 

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Last fall, with my colony established, Animalkind called and asked if I could take another two ferals in their care. I had to say no, because of the reasons above.

But this is a little different...these cats will be put down by the Humane Society, where they are now. (Animalkind works closely with the local HS.) It is much harder to say no.

The reality is, there will always be more feral cats in desperate need. There is no end to them. After only a year managing a small colony, I have already been contacted by two other rescue groups, inquiring if I could take more. If I said yes to everyone who asked, I could have 30 cats now. And that's just in 12 months.

I will take some of these otherwise doomed cats from Animalkind this time.
 

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you are absolutely right, there is no end in sight. i try to not let it get to me and focus on giving my small group as great of a life as possible but sometimes i still feel like i want to wave the white flag.

you are doing a wonderful thing by giving a few more a chance at life.
 

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Thank you, Whaler.
My success rate with retaining ferals is only around 50 percent, but even if some of these new ones don't stay they'll at least have a chance to live a free life. The weather will be decent until November.
It beats being euthanized.
 

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You have a big heart, Greenport.

By retain, do you mean the cats leave the colony? I have just the opposite problem. Within the last year, it seems to have grown...not by kittens either. I know of one case of cat hoarding in the street behind me, and some were left behind when AC took them. My nephew and I used to go over and leave food for them. They were all black kitties. Somehow, they found their way to my house. I accused my nephew of bringing them but he denied it. Then another house in the neighborhood was condemned, as was the cat hoarder's house, and I have more showing up at the food bowl. I have two I'm sure are pure Siamese but they don't act like they were ever pets.

Yes, it would be very easy to become overwhelmed as the problem is never ending. Common sense must rule our big hearts.
 

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it is weird that in the case of my colony there has been no change in size. i really figured that i would have at least one new arrival but so far no change. i tend to think that the stability in size is due to so many predators in the immediate area. just today as i was driving back from doing errands i passed by a red coywolf dead on the side of the road no more than a quarter mile from my colony.
 

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By retain, do you mean the cats leave the colony? I have just the opposite problem. Within the last year, it seems to have grown...not by kittens either.
Yes, it would be very easy to become overwhelmed as the problem is never ending.
Yes, about half the ferals I've taken in have left, even after living up to a month in a big cage in the barn to acclimate. The ones who leave are mostly adults and usually very, very wild, wanting no human contact at all. I've had better luck with younger ferals - 1 1/2 years old or less.

I am out in the country, only a few houses around. It is rural, a mix of pasture, woods, hedgerows. There are quite a few barns close by, though only one working farm. I think Whaler is out in the country too, next to a conservation area. So there aren't many local feral cats that might add to the population.

Yes, predators are scary. Especially fishers, as it's harder for cats to get away from them. Fishers can go anywhere a cat can go. I have yet to hear they are in my area, though they aren't far away any more.
 

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Yes, about half the ferals I've taken in have left, even after living up to a month in a big cage in the barn to acclimate. The ones who leave are mostly adults and usually very, very wild, wanting no human contact at all. I've had better luck with younger ferals - 1 1/2 years old or less.

I am out in the country, only a few houses around. It is rural, a mix of pasture, woods, hedgerows. There are quite a few barns close by, though only one working farm. I think Whaler is out in the country too, next to a conservation area. So there aren't many local feral cats that might add to the population.

Yes, predators are scary. Especially fishers, as it's harder for cats to get away from them. Fishers can go anywhere a cat can go. I have yet to hear they are in my area, though they aren't far away any more.

fisher were quite rare here in connecticut, that is until 1988 when the state dep reintroduced them. now they are everywhere and the population of outdoor pets is being decimated as well as a couple of attacks on humans. not a very well thought out idea by the dep.
 
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