Feral cats are often referred to as “the forgotten cats.” They’re elusive, nocturnal, and many times misunderstood. The people who help these cats can be equally misunderstood. Family and friends will ask, “Why do you care what happens to these cats?” We wanted to give our volunteers and caregivers a place to tell you why…
“WHY WE DO IT”
Lorelei: “The reason I got involved with TNR was to help reduce the homeless cat population. We not only spay & neuter, but provide discreet feeding stations with fresh food and water, as well as hidden weather shelters. Being part of a humane solution has enriched my life – it’s made me a better person, and one who sleeps sounder at night. When I see an ear-tipped cat on any property, I’m warmed by their exotic beauty and comforted knowing the company/companies chose to act with kindness, and chose non-toxic rodent control.”
Amy: “Although I’ve been an animal-lover my entire life, I did not know much about feral cats or Trap-Neuter-Return before I moved back to Waco in 2007. That’s when I attended a public forum hosted by the Animal Birth Control Clinic, and I immediately knew I wanted to get involved. The TNR process made sense: Fix the cats, put them back. Plus they get a rabies vaccination. TNR gives us control over the health of the cats living outside. Brilliant! Every Tuesday morning, I would show up at Waco’s Lions Park to help trap and transport feral cats to the ABC Clinic and back. Sometimes my family and friends don’t “get” why this means so much to me, but it is the same “calling” others get to minister to the elderly or the homeless – it just so happens my calling involves animals, and in particular feral cats. I believe God entrusted the animals to us, and to me that is the same as a parent entrusting his child with a babysitter. My life is blessed for helping people with TNR, and I’m humbled when I see all the progress Comm C.A.T. of Greater Waco has made in the past 4 years.”
Claudia: “I believe God put a love for all creatures in my heart. My heart breaks every time I see an animal abused, neglected or abandoned. Animals, children, the mentally ill, and elderly are among our most vulnerable and helpless. With that being said, I also believe that animals receive the least compassion from most. People throw them out like garbage or play things no longer wanted. I do what I can to take care of ferals, strays and cast aside animals because I believe it is TRULY MY CALLING. As an added note an animal will love you, will trust you when nobody else will. While ferals may watch you from afar, as you feed and monitor their stations , they are truly grafeful for your help, and I would do this for them, even if they weren’t. Like the young girl on the beach, ‘I made a difference to THAT one.’ ‘All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, The Lord God made them all.’ Thank you to my Comm C.A.T. of Greater Waco friends!”
Fallon: “These kitties are not responsible for the hand they were dealt, and I’m glad my small act of compassion can make their lives better and help keep my community healthy and safe as well.”
Evelyn: “Growing up, my house seemed to attract every animal within 2 miles. None of them were ever turned away. With that kind of background, I guess it was inevitable that I would end up with my own group of strays. I believe that the cats know a safe haven, and I feel blessed and honored to have been chosen by so many. The joy of having a feral let you pet it the first time, or wrap itself around your legs as you try to walk is indescribable. To refuse their trust would deprive me of some of the best friends I have known. With that trust comes responsibility – to feed them, to see that they are protected from illness, weather, and overpopulation through the TNR program. It is a responsbility that I, along with so many others, have gladly accepted. There are, however, many cats still needing help, so new volunteers are always welcome. We ultimately benefit just as much as our cats.” “I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Suz: My Grandma Brown in Timpson, Texas, taught me to love and care for cats. She and Grandpa lived on a farm and appreciated their “barn cats” for policing the area for rodents and snakes. Of course, the snakes could have kept the rodent population down, but with children and grandchildren playing everywhere, the cats were more comfortable agents of rodent control. My siblings and I made it our mission to befriend the shy felines and I developed a life-long love of our sweet little whiskered friends in the process. Grandma supplemented their rodent diet with table scraps and we kids took turns taking the scraps out to the yard. We would set down the cats’ plate and hide to watch them come and eat. When Grandma brought the food, the cats would run to her and begin to eat right away. Our reward was to see happy, healthy, well-fed cats scampering to eat before running back to their stations in barns, out-buildings, and pastures. They did not bother her birds or her chickens. We never saw a rat or a mouse in, under, or around Grandma’s house, despite her country habit of keeping copious amounts of flour in a drawer in her kitchen. Occasionally, a favorite “tame” feral cat was allowed indoors to investigate and secure against any vermin activity. It was an exciting event when she would allow us to pet her. Now, when I feed and help with TNR for a feral colony, I’m filled with a sense of nostalgia and the satisfying knowledge of doing something good for the kitties and for the local ecology.
Gillian: “I know that whether or not I feed, they will be there. Feed and care for them and they are healthy. They can act as rodent control. I also sleep better at night, as Lorelei said.”
The following Testimonies provide a glimpse into the positive impact that Trap-Neuter-Return and Comm C.A.T. of Greater Waco has made on the lives of not only the cats, but the people who live in our own community.
F.J. “I’ve always loved cats. All my kitties have always been ‘indoor’ much loved pets. When I purchased my first home it came with a few feline tenants. The mom cat was pregnant, so I got her fixed and placed her kittens into homes. There were also some feral kitties, and I was worried they’d start having more kittens. I didn’t know what to do so looked up Alley Cat Allies. That’s where I learned about Trap-Neuter-Return. It seemed a good plan so I embarked on TNRing my ferals, and then did the whole block in my neighborhood. I enjoyed the exhiliration of trapping and the reward of knowing the kitties were healthy, fixed and vaccinated. It’s a plus also that they’re fixed because they aren’t fighting for mates and keeping us awake at night.”