Our "guest blogger" is BZ TAT, an artist and former counselor/therapist who is the founder of Okey's Promise, an outreach through public art designed to create awareness about the connections between animal maltreatment, child abuse and domestic violence.
The original posts can be found at the Okey's Promise blog.
Profiles of Hope: Another Feral Cat Story
I have been helping a friend in her recovery from open heart surgery. Her recovery is going well, but it will be some time before she is able to resume her usual activities. One of her usual activities is tending to the numerous feral cats who show up on her doorstep.
My friend lives in the country – one of those picturesque, rural Ohio roads that we all dream of in greeting card bliss. It is one of those places where deer roam freely, the snow drifts in beautiful, undisturbed mountains of white, the grass and meadows shine in verdant greens in summer, and the trees are a blaze of color in the fall.
You know. One of those places that people go to dump the unwanted offspring of the pets that they failed to get spayed or neutered.
I am not sure how many cats there are, but my friend’s colony is growing. I feel a need to help her intervene at this stage, especially since she has her own health issues to worry about.
I have been considering the prospect of expanding Okey’s Promise into actual rescue efforts for some time. In fact, I have been considering helping this friend with Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) with her colony for awhile. I believe that the time is now for Okey’s Promise to take action. There are cats in need, and we have the opportunity to help.
There are some adoptable cats in this colony. Some have already been vetted and spay/neutered. I will be posting images of them in the coming days. If you have an interest, or know someone who does, please let me know.
There are also kittens in this colony approximately 3-4 months old. These kittens have health issues – eye problems and possible upper respiratory concerns. I plan to start a fund raising campaign within the next week to make it possible to get these kittens well and hopefully ready for adoption.
There are adult cats in the colony who will not be likely candidates for adoption. Fund raising will be initiated for them as well to get them spay/neutered and vetted from disease. They will be returned to their habitat so that they can protect their colony, yet avoid further reproduction.
I have learned from engaging in the Okey’s Promise projects and this website that feral cats are perhaps the most vulnerable creatures when it comes to animal abuse. Not only are they cast offs from society, they often become victims to those who abuse animals as a way to release their own sense of powerlessness.
Caring for a colony of feral cats is a preemptive strike against animal abuse. I plan to research the best methods for managing and providing TNR for this colony so that my friend can rest assured that her cats are getting what they deserve. Your help in this effort will be greatly appreciated.
I look at my 5 cats and realize that, had someone not intervened, each of them would have had the same fate as these creatures at my friend’s home in the country. My beloved pets were each one step away from a sad ending to their stories. Yet they are living happily ever after.
My hope is that Okey’s Promise Keepers will help make this feral cat story have a happy ending too.