Let's catch up! We have been busy with cats and landscaping projects (which are, not coincidentally, cat-related). We took a bunch of cats to the new Glendale, Queens, ASPCA spay/neuter clinic, the newly-opened facility that replaces the mobile clinics. In order to better provide mobile spay services to the public, the ASPCA decided to stop running concurrent vans for both regular folk as well as us feral cat enthusiasts. I guess it makes sense, but there is a big learning curve for the new system, for both us and the ASPCA.
Now instead of finding a mobile van near you, everybody has to get their cats to Glendale's stationary clinic. For many folks this makes the process much harder; for us, I am almost embarrassed to admit, this makes the process SO MUCH EASIER. Sorry, TNR people in the Bronx, Glendale is 10 minutes away from us by car.
The ASPCA is still working out other potential answers, such as their offer of transport to the clinic. But this is all a long way from being a workable solution. In the mean time, most of us are stuck with carting our cats to Queens. Which is what we did, joining forces with our friends to bring over 20 cats in.
We had 7 cats, 3 of whom we kept to adopt out. This is not something we take lightly; in fact, we were miserable at first to discover the cats we thought we feral all turned out to be tame as can be. Ferals are easy: fix em and put them back where you found them (okay it's not that simple but at least there's no litterbox to clean). Tame cats need homes.
So we found ourselves with 3 cats, 2 females and a male, all with very unique personalities. Violet is a mouthy tabby-on-white female who doesn't really get along with other cats. She bossed everybody around and demanded to be petted every moment we were with her.
Saratoga is a gentle, sweet young female we found in front of our local library. She was napping in the garden and was so tame she came right up to us and let me carry her home! She had a gross bite wound on her thigh but the ASPCA treated it with antibiotics so she healed fast.
Monserrat is a big tuxedo boy, but he had fallen on hard times. He was skinny and covered in scratches and scabs. Luckily it all seemed to be from a bad case of fleas and nothing more. He is also vocal and especially loves being held, a real rarity, even for the tamest cats.
Normally when I do write-ups like this here, it's part of the overall adoption campaign. But in this case, it's for posterity: all 3 cats have already been adopted! June is Pet Adoption month and for once the adopting public didn't disappoint. Within 3 weeks of just meeting these cats, they were all out of the house! It's the fastest turnaround ever for us. We're now looking at booking another clinic date but so far all the cats involved assure us they're either feral or already adopted. Sure they are.
Meanwhile we continue to prepare the backyard for Big Changes. For nearly 5 years, we have had no fence in our yard and we are finally doing something about it. In a few weeks we will have a tall cedar fence installed, and the garden within will also receive a big makeover. We hope to create a space both conducive to human enjoyment as well as cats'. To that end we're looking at planters and furniture, and every kind of outdoor cat entertainment we can cram into the space. It may take some time to build it up (and who knows what the cats will even think when they see the transformation) but by the fall we expect to have a serious feral paradise out back (and one that is hopefully less visible than things are now, we want to run a more clandestine operation here!)
Finally, nonprofit status is underway for us! Our group is planned to be called "Bushwick Street Cats" but the important thing is that nonprofit status will allow us to do more cat stuff, more often. I hope these cat realize what we're doing for them 🙂
Sorry boys, you'll have to stay on our side of the fence from now on!