July 16, 2008

Occidental Teresa and Feral Tom

"Teresa Tudury channels Ethel Merman," said Ani Siamese as we listened to Ms. Tudury's song "Goodbye Philadelphia." What a singer, say I! "Who could ask for anything more?" quipped my Ani, an erudite young rescue kitty (photo below).

Ani Siamese rescue kittyWhat Ani wants is to meet the tomcat whom Teresa Tudury sings about. Tom and Teresa live in Occidental — in west Sonoma County, northern California. Charming Tom never comes inside. He just hangs out, appearing as if he'd like some loving. But, nope, Tom has his feral ways.

Tom isn't totally feral, though. Feral cats run when they see us, and have to be trapped to take them to the vet or relocate them. Nice organizations exist to humanely trap and then release feral cats after spay/neuter. Adult feral cats are often returned to their old habitat; many would have a hard time living with humans. But a lot of feral kittens get placed in permanent homes.

Too many feral cats in U.S.!People who do trap-neuter work are needed to help reduce the feral cat population and give cats a better quality of life. There are more than 60 million feral cats in the U.S. — a staggering number. The homeless U.S. cat population is close to being as large as the population of U.S. dogs with homes, which is 70-some million!

West Sonoma County has a special non-profit group called Kitty Committee. "Head cat" is Laura Comyns. Dog-ma first talked to Ms. Comyns when the group was getting ready for an annual rescue of feral beach kittens on the Sonoma coast.

Kitty Committee volunteers not only find homes for feral kitties, but they also network and act as liaisons with rescue and foster groups, people who find feral cats, local veterinarians, the Humane Society, and organizations like Forgotten Felines that do spay/neuter. Paw-leeze visit Kitty Committee's website to learn more and to support this small group of people with big hearts.

Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County helps feral cats in the county and beyond. This nonprofit org has about 200 volunteers, and the endorsement of animal control agencies. They spay/neuter feral cats; manage feral colonies; remove colony cats who are adoptable; provide food assistance to people caring for colonies; and educate the public about feral issues.

Forgotten Felines practices what's called TTVAR-M feral cat control: "Trap, Test, Vaccinate, Alter, Return and Maintain." At the Forgotten Felines website, you will find feral cats you can adopt and a lot of info!

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