Feral cats can be hard to love. They flee when we try to pet them. They pee on our cars. They poop in our flower beds. They fight all night and keep them awake. Some people would go so far as to say that a feral cat is a nuisance that should be eliminated.
Jasper here, who is about to celebrate his 16th birthday, almost lost his life due to that thinking. So I thought it was appropriate for him to pose for today's Sunday Selfie Series for The Cat on My Head. After all, today is National Feral Cat Day.
Jasper started life as a kitten in a colony of feral cats that had set up shop in a warehouse in Portland. There were many cats in this colony, and there was no infrastructure to support them. None of them were neutered. As a result, these guys eliminated everywhere, they fought for food and there were more of them every day. It was a very difficult and terrifying life, and at one point, the owner of the warehouse promised to bring in an extermination team to kill all of the cats onsite and stop the problem for good.
A group of concerned citizens stepped up to trap, spay and rehome as many cats as they could before the extermination date arrived, and Jasper was one of the lucky ones that was saved. He was a little less than a year old when he was trapped, and he was very fearful and worried for the first year of his rescue.
Hubby was a part of this rescue, and he worked with Jasper to help acclimate him to the kindness that humans had to offer. In time, Jasper did learn to trust. (Some of the other cats hubby rescued were never this trusting.) But he maintains a few feral habits, including a complete disregard for cleanliness and a deep-set need to fight with other cats. So he lives outside, with a heated space to sleep.
Many feral cats in Jasper's colony weren't so lucky. Those that couldn't be trapped were killed. It didn't have to be this way.
I support trap/neuter/release programs for cats like Jasper--particularly programs that assess the ferals for adoptability. Programs like this can shear cats with potential for good homes away from the feral life. These programs also allow altered cats to live in the communities they know, without reproducing. And they allow active communities to feed those cats where they live, so they aren't constantly fighting for food.
Today, I stand with Ally Cat Allies to support TNR. I think Jasper would be proud of that.
I also wanted to thank everyone who responded with such kindness and concern this week, due to Popoki's dental. I'm happy to say that she recovered from anesthesia quite nicely, and she didn't need any dental extractions. She's still not eating as much as I might like, but her anorexia is getting better. I think we're on the mend.
I'm glad she's better, as I'm heading out of town on a business trip today. So she'll be leaning on hubby for care (and she can be a little more aloof with him than she is with me). I hope she doesn't test him!
Since I'll be out of town, I won't be blogging on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday (as I normally do). But I have something really special to share on Wednesday, so be sure to check back.
And check out the links. You'll be glad you did. And leave me a comment, so I'll know you were here! I'll be back next Sunday with more great cat photos to share with you.