Greater Houston Area Cat Bleg

I received an email yesterday from a reader/lurker looking for some help regarding feral cats in Dickinson, Texas. After a few emails back and forth, I got the details nailed down. Here’s what she sent me:

I live on 517 West in Dickinson, Texas and we have a very bad situation with feral cats. They are continuing to reproduce, too many kittens. We need some agency to come in with cages to capture, fix, and release these cats. This is a senior living center and most cannot transport animals. We need help with this situation. This is so unkind and cruel to these animals. Please respond so we can get some help. Thank you.

The population of cats is getting out of hand, there are some individuals who have been feeding them and don’t understand they are doing more harm than good.  Hopefully some of these cats can be adopted.  Thank you for your concern.

I talked to someone inside the city of Houston and they do not operate in my area.  I am just hoping for someone willing to come and catch the cats, etc. The lady I talked to didn’t know of any agency here that would do what we need.  I thank you for any help you can give. Once again thank you, Laraine.

So any Juicers who live in the greater Houston area and have some suggestions on how to help out Laraine, please sound off in the comments. I’m going to email her so she knows to check in in the comments, or at least lurk, so she sees what you all recommend.

Thanks!

Open thread.

88 replies
  1. 1
    rk says:

    Trump gave a two hour long speech at CPAC. Who gives 2 hour speeches? Who listens to two hour speeches?

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rk: How, exactly, does that help with the feral cat problem in Dickinson, Texas?//

    Also, Castro, Mussolini, Hitler…

  3. 3

    Alley Cat Allies, is group that I would suggest.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Are they in Houston?

  5. 5

    @Adam L Silverman: They are nationwide. Houston will most likely have a chapter.

  6. 6
    Another Scott says:

    I did some googling and nothing jumped out as a good fit. Galveston County animal services apparently doesn’t cover Dickinson.

    Maybe these folks will have some ideas? https://bayouanimalservices.org/

    Otherwise, I think she’ll have to get the local government involved. The Animal Control office is part of the police department. They claim that they try to adopt out animals – https://dickinsonpd.com/divisions/animal-control/ – but every animal shelter is pretty much guaranteed to be bursting at the seams these days.

    It’s a bad situation. I hope this helps a little. Good luck to Laraine, and the fuzzy ones.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  7. 7
    Sandia Blanca says:

    This page has a nice collection of links: https://www.homelesspets.net/feral-cats/

  8. 8
    MazeDancer says:

    Money will help.

    If the poster can call rescue groups and say this project is funded, more attention will be paid. So tell us where to send money.

  9. 9
    trollhattan says:

    @rk:
    What’s Trumplish for Sieg Heil?

  10. 10
    Mayim says:

    Not local to Houston but Tinykittens {Tinykittens.com, a resue that specializesin feral rescue and colony management in Ft. Langley BC} might know who is doing feral colony management in the Houston area.

  11. 11
    niepolski says:

    there is a high volume clinic in La Marque: http://www.animalalliancetx.org (listed on homlesspets.net for Galveston Co). HOPE has good resources, they helped a family friend with good information (and connection to loaner traps) when she kind of inherited a colony from a relative. (in far north part of Greater Houston)

  12. 12
    Ohio Mom says:

    @rk: I watched a few “highlights” of Trump’s raving rants on Talking Points Memo’s Twitter.

    My favorite part was the crowd cheering when Trump complained about us still being in Iraq — these are the very same jokers of course who cheered when we first started over there, and were incensed when the rest of us said, Um, let’s don’t, this is going to be a huge mistake.

  13. 13
    Kdaug says:

    Yeah, I know the area – she’s right next Texas City and LaMarque. Best bet is going to be animalalliancetx.org.

  14. 14
    Auntie Anne says:

    @MazeDancer: I agree. I’m in for sure – I am owned by two former ferals myself.

  15. 15

    @Ohio Mom: Doesn’t surprise me. After all, it was Obama who got us mixed up in Iraq, right after Bill Clinton let the terrrists bomb the World Trade Center.

  16. 16
    Jay says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    @John Revolta:

    Digby has a post up on CPAC’s “Tribute to Men” that went full MRA/Incel wankspace.

  17. 17
    CliosFanBoy says:

    Alley Cat Allies did a cat rescue in Houston after the Hurricane. They may well still have contacts there.
    You can find the form for asking for help from their network here…

    https://www.alleycat.org/our-work/feral-friends-network/feral-friends-network-connect/

  18. 18
    Mary G says:

    Don’t know of any help, but would also chip in a bit for help if needed. Not much, as I am doing my blue state income taxes and it’s not looking good.

  19. 19
    JGabriel says:

    @John Revolta:

    After all, it was Obama who got us mixed up in Iraq, right after Bill Clinton let the terrrists bomb the World Trade Center.

    And just before Trump captured bin Laden (but then let Osama go, because he said he didn’t know anything about 9/11 and Trump believed him).

    Hey, these alternate histories are fun.

  20. 20
    Plato says:

    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz says that she'll introduce legislation this week to revoke Jared Kushner's security clearance."It's time that the Congress take action to make sure that White House personnel who potentially are compromised cannot get security clearance." @MSNBC— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 2, 2019

    Can the dems do this to anyone in the needy amin admin?

  21. 21
    Kathleen says:

    @John Revolta: Was that before or after Katrina?

  22. 22
    Kathleen says:

    @Plato: Now DWS WANTS TO RIG SECURITY CLEARANCES!!!! IS THERE NO END TO HER PERFIDY???????

  23. 23
    wmd says:

    https://www.homelesspets.net/feral-cats/ looks like the local friends of ferals in Houston.

    Looks like this was already posted. Front page showed zero comments and none showed when I posted. Strange FYWP behavior.

  24. 24
    satby says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Corner Stone is in the Houston area I do believe, he doesn’t seem to pop in much lately and I have no idea if he’s familiar with any groups in the area who can help, but maybe if he doesn’t chime in here you could shoot him an email to ask.
    And Alley 🐱 Allies is nationwide and can usually refer you to a local group.
    MazeDancer is right, funding helps, so I’m in for a donation too once a group responds.

  25. 25
  26. 26
  27. 27
    satby says:

    @niepolski: @wmd: ok, so if either of these groups will agree to help tell them they can count on pledges from several of us to underwrite the project. It sounds like Laraine isn’t able to set traps out and collect them herself.

  28. 28
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Oganized help down here is hard to get. When I had my cat bleg it was still a case of too many cats and not enough support. There was supposed to be a program in development for trap-neuter-return but despite regular follow up on my part nothing’s happened.

    I’m hoping there’s more opportunity on the south side of greater Houston where our lurker lives. And I’ll talk to a couple of people I know who live on that side of town to see if help is available (personal or otherwise). But I’m not optimistic.

    Oh – a follow up. In my case I found someone willing to foster the whole family, who then decided to just keep them all (having means and availability). So those kittens/cats got lucky. I’m going to call that luck (and a lot of phone calls), and can’t offer anything better than the same advice and attempted other phone calls.

  29. 29
    Sab says:

    My favorite cat is a feral who forcibly moved himself into our house one sleeting November afternoon. He was about 9 months old and painfully thin. I named him Stilts because that’s what he looked like. He is now plump and about 9 years old. We renamed him Starscream when he plumped up, and started yammering for food in the middle of the night.

    We had a crazy cat lady who fed them. We had tiny tuxedo cats and kittens everywhere, eating all our birds.

    Half the houses in my development have tuxedo cats from that era. We see them looking out the windows when we walk our dogs. Animal control finally came in. Stilts/Starscream still regards some of them as friends. He yowls out the window at them when they stroll by.

    Not many of the outdoor guys he knew are still around. We do have coyotes. Housecats belong inside houses. Our birds agree.

  30. 30
    Kirk Spencer says:

    One thing I want to mention about Houston. It is sprawled. I live about 45 miles north of this bleg location, and I can drive another 5-10 miles north and still be in “greater Houston” – Spring and The Woodlands. People looking for places to provide support need to know this — agencies tend to keep their support within a 5-10 mile radius to keep their heads above water.

  31. 31
    Yutsano says:

    @trollhattan: “Believe me!”

  32. 32
    Keith P. says:

    @Kirk Spencer: I drive 45 minutes to work each day, and I’m only going halfway across town (from NW – Cypress – to NN – IAH). I know people who commute to/from Clear Lake (45 minutes south….that’s be an hour and a half drive for me, without traffic)

  33. 33
    Sab says:

    @Yutsano: You Okay? Hope so.

  34. 34
    plato says:

    Trump saying that the Green New Deal will eliminate all cows, planes, cars, and buildings is why Democrats should never make policy based on what we think Republicans will say. They will never criticize the policy on the merits. They will always tell the craziest lies.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) March 2, 2019

  35. 35
    Another Scott says:

    In other news… Twitter:

    God @TheTweetOfGod

    The Aztecs felt the same way.

    Pope Francis Verified account @Pontifex

    In order to pray well, we need to have the heart of a child.

    8:35 AM – 2 Mar 2019

    8-D

    (via JC’s feed)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  36. 36
  37. 37

    @Another Scott:

    The Aztecs felt the same way.

    The Mayans would agree.

  38. 38
    plato says:

    We have a president who's going to run for reelection in 2020 purely to avoid facing indictments and federal prison, yet we're going to pretend it's a normal election where one of the two candidates isn't a career criminal staring down the entire federal law enforcement apparatus— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) March 2, 2019

  39. 39
    Immanentize says:

    @satby: Isn’t Plato just Cornerstone with a new nym?

  40. 40
    Another Scott says:

    @BruceFromOhio: The Simpsons, also too.

    Hehe.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  41. 41
    debbie says:

    @Plato:

    Well, he would be the guy who knows bullshit when he sees it.

  42. 42
    Immanentize says:

    @plato:
    Convinced about what?

  43. 43
    debbie says:

    There is no greater desecration of the American flag than the image of Donald Trump humping it. Make him stop that!

  44. 44
    Another Scott says:

    @plato: Really? I never would have suspected.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  45. 45
  46. 46
  47. 47
    Immanentize says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Who isn’t these days….

  48. 48
    plato says:

    It's #SaturdayMorning. That means @realDonaldTrump is using his public office for private gain, again. Also, does it sound like @POTUS thinks there is somehow a "national emergency" when he is making official statements about his private golf course? https://t.co/s1GzjOAYKN— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 2, 2019

  49. 49
    West of the Rockies says:

    OT (forgive me, please), but is there a Democratic version of CPAC? There have been so many loony stories the last couple of days about that not-very-august gathering. I am aware of no gathering that draws so many knuckleheads in the name of progressive policy.

  50. 50
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Just to tie in your comments from earlier today — Dickinson, TX is the Home of the Fighting Gators!

    It’s all a seamless web.

  51. 51
    MomSense says:

    Alley cat allies helped me with a feral colony. The local humane shelter also put me in touch with volunteers who fostered the kittens. We have a barn cat program so some of the cats were adopted to farms which is a great gig for a feral kitty. Warm places to sleep and plenty of food and adventure.

  52. 52
    Immanentize says:

    @West of the Rockies: Netroots Nation?
    Just kidding….

  53. 53
    Jay says:

    Long, ugly read,

    “Between 1988 and 1990, 100 migrants had been murdered in San Diego County. Hilario Castañeda, who was 22, and Matilde Macedo, 19, were walking along a back road when the teenage Kenneth Kovzelove, dressed in black, popped up from the bed of a passing pickup. “Die, die, die,” Kovzelove, who had just enlisted in the military because he believed that the US was about to go to war with Mexico, yelled, firing his semiautomatic rifle and killing Castañeda and Macedo. Both victims were legal residents, farmworkers with visas. “So you guys were out specifically looking for Mexicans to kill?” Kovzelove was asked in interrogation. “Yes, sir,” he replied.

    The border patrol, for its part, continued being what it had been since its founding: a frontline instrument of white supremacist power. Patrollers regularly engaged in beatings, murder, torture and rape, including the rape of girls as young as 12. Some patrollers ran their own in-house outlaw vigilante groups. Others had ties with groups like the KKK. Patrol agents also used the children of migrants, either as bait or as a pressure tactic to force confessions. When coming upon a family, border patrollers usually tried to apprehend the youngest in the group first, before the others dispersed, with the idea that the rest of the party would give themselves up so as not to be separated. “It may sound cruel,” one patroller told a journalist, “but it often worked.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/28/how-violent-american-vigilantes-at-the-border-led-to-trumps-wall

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:

    @plato:

    Well, I’m convinced. How ya been, CS?

  55. 55
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Immanentize:

    A Sanders speech maybe?

  56. 56
  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Plato: Congress has no control over security clearance in the executive branch.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    Immanentize says:

    @West of the Rockies: Jill Stein’s dinner parties?

  60. 60
    West of the Rockies says:

    @John Revolta:

    Sometimes… Sometimes.

  61. 61
    Immanentize says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    He has a tell.

  62. 62
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I read that and was wondering what authority does DWS thinks Congress can use to get that done? Maybe the spending power? A bill to prevent any federal funds to be spent on Kushner, his travel, office, phones, etc.? It could be done, but way complicated.

  63. 63
    chris says:

    @John Revolta: Not the same at all.

    The closest thing the left has to CPAC is Netroots, which is far more focused on small breakout sessions and activist spotlights than red meat speeches. Tom Steyer used his 2018 speech to talk impeachment and the crowd was silent https://t.co/4jizVDA2QE— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) 2 March 2019

  64. 64
    Another Scott says:

    @Immanentize: Horse’s mouth:

    (Sunrise, Fla.) – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) will file the White House Security Clearance Accountability Act when she returns to Washington D.C. next week to address threats posed by President Trump’s troubling direction to approve a family member for a top-level security clearance, despite the warnings and objections of career experts in the intelligence field.

    The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump ordered his son-in-law Jared Kushner to be granted a top-secret security clearance over the objections of official intelligence experts, despite earlier White House denials. The White House Security Clearance Accountability Act would revoke the security clearance of any White House employee who lied about contacts with foreign nationals on their security clearance forms, and anyone under investigation by a federal law enforcement agency for aiding a foreign government. It would also prevent the issuance or renewal of security clearances under such circumstances. Finally, it would require the Government Accountability Office—Congress’ independent, non-partisan watchdog—to submit a report to Congress detailing any instance since January 20, 2017 in which a White House official received a security clearance over the objection of career security staff.

    “This latest news report, if true, is yet another dangerous example of the President’s flagrant disregard for our national security,” Wasserman Schultz said. “The President continues to jeopardize our national security in service of his own personal interests. Congress must now act to create explicit laws ensuring the personal interests of a President do not overrule extremely basic national security protocols. That is why I am introducing the White House Security Clearance Accountability Act.”

    While testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform last week, Michael Cohen told the Committee that it was possible that the Trump family was conflicted or compromised with a foreign adversary in the months before the 2016 election, due to their involvement in the Russian Trump tower deal. Democrats have been trying to address this concern for years. Wasserman Schultz pushed for amendments in the 2017 Appropriations process to revoke Jared Kushner’s security clearance. The White House Security Clearance Accountability Act is a necessary and urgent step to address this critical national issue.

    “Nepotism should never override national security,” Wasserman Schultz said.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  65. 65
    Jay says:

    @Immanentize:

    “Wasserman Schultz’s White House Security Clearance Accountability Act would strip any White House employee of clearance if caught lying about foreign contacts on security forms.”

    https://floridapolitics.com/archives/289803-wasserman-schultz-wants-jared-kushner-clearance-revoked

  66. 66
    NotMax says:

    @rk

    Who gives 2 hour speeches?

    Given half a chance, Bill Clinton.

    ;)

  67. 67
    Immanentize says:

    @Another Scott: I’m pretty sure that Congress can’t do that.

    ETA as Adam said, the security clearance is an executive branch function as is classification of documents. I don’t see any power in the Constitution that gives Congress power over deciding who gets a clearance…. Like I said, they could defund Kushner or all Presidential “advisors” if they chose. Or make everyone in an advisor position get Senate confirmation. But I don’t know what their power is to mess with the President’s power to grant security status.

  68. 68
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Immanentize: Hey Twin (of the Northeast as my original twin is from Pineville KY). I hope your weekend’s going well. I owe you a reply, which I’ll send tomorrow so you’ll see it Monday – assuming it’s not Mardi Gras break or something up there.

  69. 69
    different-church-lady says:

    IN WHICH the WaPo validates Cole’s pinned top tweet:

    At times erasing the principles that conservatives had claimed as the foundation of the party for more than a half century, Republicans are wholeheartedly accepting behavior and policies from President Trump that would spark outrage in the GOP if they came from a Democratic president.

  70. 70
    plato says:

    Coming from Daniel Dale, that's… a lot.👀 https://t.co/xsJ9BoUIMZ— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) March 2, 2019

    This is 100% the weirdest Trump speech I've ever heard.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 2, 2019

  71. 71
    Immanentize says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: it might be a snow day Monday! But email is email…. Want to help if I can.

  72. 72
    trollhattan says:

    @Yutsano:
    Bingo.

  73. 73
    debbie says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Would spark outrage? Wasn’t that what practically the entire Clinton administration was about?

  74. 74
    Another Scott says:

    @Immanentize: I would have thought that Congress stripping funding from ACORN was clearly an unconstitutional “bill of attainder”, but it happened and the courts said it was fine, so I dunno.

    Maybe she’s thinking that she can modify 50-3343 (druggies can’t get security clearances) via some language, and force the Senate to pass it, and force Donnie to sign it? Lots of magic would need to happen, but maybe that’s the mechanism.

    But, I dunno. IANAL.

    At this point, it’s clearly little more than (important) virtue-signaling.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  75. 75
    plato says:

    Good point.

    Good but not enough. What do you think will happen if Jared asks Trump for intel? "Sorry kid, but you lost your clearance, and you know me — I'm a real stickler for protocol!"Trump will give Jared whatever he needs and he'll commit crimes until you indict them. All of them. https://t.co/0WvTiqtowo— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) March 3, 2019

  76. 76
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yutsano:

    Am only just catching up with the last 24 hours’ worth of posts and comments. Jesus, man, what’s going on with you? Sending all the best wishes and vibes and light. Damn. Let us know, okay? And heal fully and quickly.

    Edited for fucking apostrophes.

  77. 77
    Immanentize says:

    Have a snarlin’ good night, jackals! Uber Dad must now hop to the pick up point!

  78. 78
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Keith P.: What is this “without traffic” of which you speak?

  79. 79
    Keith P. says:

    @Kirk Spencer: 6am (or earlier) on the toll road. But otherwise, yeah, no chance.

  80. 80
    plato says:

    SDNY will be 'waiting with cuffs' when Trump leaves the Oval Office: MSNBC legal analyst https://t.co/gWBxXFWEDv via @rawstory This is ridiculous, if he’s indictable then, he’s indictable now. The office he stole shouldn’t shield him from consequences.— Propane Jane™ (@docrocktex26) March 3, 2019

  81. 81
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Keith P.: Yeah, should have put in the sarcasm/tongue-in-cheek note.

    Near Greenspoint to 610 at alt-90. If I leave before 5:30 am it’s 22 minutes. After 6:30 it’s about 40 (35 if I take Hardy instead of 45).

    I keep looking for a Houston meetup. I’m beginning to think we need to do it in quadrants, though, so everyone has at least one they can attend while driving less than an hour each way.

  82. 82
    TriassicSands says:

    @Plato:

    And all of a sudden they’re trying to take you out with bullshit.

    All of a sudden? Yeah, they started investigating back before the election — all of a sudden. And the investigation still hasn’t run its course. All of a sudden.

    Donald Trump speaking “truth” to power. Needless to say, his use of the word “bullshit” brought about many conservative orgasms. And the crowd went wild.

  83. 83
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: wait, what?

    @plato: how’s the youngling?

  84. 84
    ghost cat says:

    Laraine, you might try here:

    HOPE homepage
    “Homeless & Orphaned Pets Endeavor (HOPE) is a coalition of animal advocates dedicated to ending the homelessness of cats and dogs in the greater Houston area through foster to adoption, feral cat Trap-Neuter-Return, and education.”
    and links here:
    feral cats

    I hope you find agencies or in your area that can help you. If not, there might be solo trappers already doing TNR in your area. You might try finding them through your local veterinarians and mobile spay/neuter clinics–they could be providing low-cost neutering to these trappers. If there are people in your area that want to learn how to trap, neuter, and assess the needs of these cats, you might also check out the excellent resources for safe feral cat trapping and handling at tinykittens.com. TinyKittens is based near Vancouver, BC.

    Here’s a longish synopsis of TinyKittensn, with the hope that it will be useful to you or other people in Dickinson who want to figure out what’s best for these cats.

    TinyKittens is an all-purpose rescue. If the Dickinson colonies are a mix of ferals, lost housecats, and dumped cats, you might look for assistance from a rescue like this in your area. Or the cat lovers, veterinarians, and local officials in your county might be willing to come together and make it a long-term goal to develop a group of rescues to address all the needs of your community cats. TinyKittens manages multiple feral colonies. This includes daily feeding by volunteers, providing adequate shelter during bad weather, keeping an eye out for new cats that need to be neutered, playing with the cats who want human interaction and could be adopted out, and identifying cats that need medical attention. For the community, TK provides blitz or gradual TNR programs for population control on farms, properties slated for development, etc. They foster orphaned litters that come from many sources. Pregnant females–anywhere on the spectrum from feral to fully socialized–that come into their care by one of many routes are moved into their caternity ward so they have a safe place to give birth. TK doesn’t spay and abort. Example of the many routes to TK: a few years ago they took in a gorgeous pregnant snow Bengal from a backyard breeder. The mama cat, Felicity, was being kept in a cage in an outbuilding on the breeder’s property. She had a nasty upper respiratory infection, fleas, ear mites, intestinal parasites, and a possible uterine infection. Fortunately, someone persuaded the breeder to give her up. According to the breeder, she was due 2 weeks after she landed at TK. Instead, Felicity gave birth 4 days later, before TK even had time to do a sonogram. Thankfully she gave birth to two healthy full-term Bengal kittens.

    All TK kittens are socialized and adopted out. Mama cats are spayed after weaning and, depending on their attitude toward humans, are either returned to their colony or socialized for adoption. TK goes to amazing lengths to provide the best vet care for all their cats, and they’re the best model I’ve seen for humane population control of homeless cats. But it’s also true that TK has the financial resources, committed volunteers, and community support to go to great lengths for all their cats. Many or most TNR groups in the US must spay & abort because of limited funds, and they cannot afford vet care for special needs cats and kittens. I hope you are able to get immediate assistance for these cats and kittens in Dickinson. But overpopulation of feral and otherwise homeless cats is ubiquitous in the US, and there will likely be no end to this problem in your area. Too many people don’t spay and neuter their pets, and they dump rather than take responsibility for a pregnant cat. Kittens can get pregnant by age 4-5 months and, depending on the climate, have 3-5 litters per year. Population explosion is inevitable once kitten season rolls around. Short- and long-term solutions are needed, but most communities refuse to address this issue. The outcome is too much needless suffering and death. TinyKittens might be the model to aspire to for a long-term solution in Dickinson/Galveston County if you have a group of like-minded people in your area. A colony is considered to be stabilized when 70% to 80% of the breeding population is spayed/neutered. But it only takes a few new fertile females for a new explosion, so colony oversight is essential. Prevention of overpopulation requires long-term commitment.

    TK also has multiple 24/7 cams on youtube (channel: TinyKittens HQ) where they try to show the reality of the lives of feral and homeless cats and the best ways to care for them. TK has videos on how to safely handle ferals or any scared cat with just a towel or blanket to wrap the cat in. If you’re careful there’s no need for a Kevlar bodysuit. You learn what to do first with a trapped cat–treat for fleas, ear mites etc.–and how to identify more immediate veterinary needs. The live feeds are always educational and usually fun and relaxing. What’s not to love about kittens in their drunken sailor stage of walking, or MMA matches in slo-mo? Or a puddle of sleeping kittens? But other times, sad things happen that make you go from calm to ugly crying in a millisecond. TK’s website, facebook pages, and youtube livestreams are a great way to learn about feral cats, TNR, humane treatment of all cats, and the importance of spaying and neutering your cats.

    Also, if any of you Juicers have stuck with this long post, it would be great if all of you could spread the word about TinyKittens to people you know in the Pacific Northwest. You don’t have to live in Canada or the PNW to adopt from them, but that’s where most of their adopters come from. The kittens that graduate from TinyKittens Academy are almost always placed in bonded pairs, and because they grow up with a lot of handling and affection from humans, the kittens usually look for the same from their adopters. Of course, based on a cat’s baseline temperament, YMMV. TK does its best to match all cats and kittens with their future homes. Most litters also attend finishing school with Grandpa Mason, the oldest feral TK has ever trapped. While he was in for neutering and some other procedures, they discovered he had end-stage kidney disease and was expected to live only a few more months. That was 2.5 years ago. They couldn’t return him to the colony after this diagnosis, but rather than euthanize him, the head of TK adopted him so he could live his last months in comfort. They decided to try an intensive treatment to see if they could stabilize his kidney function. It worked. Mason is still not too fond of humans, but he loves kittens, the feelings are always mutual, and his main purpose in life seems to be teaching the kittens how to cat. Mason’s companionship and supervision has been especially important for the orphaned litters he has helped to raise.

    TK has a large following around the world, and they like their adopters to use the book of faces or another website to post updates on their cats for their fans. So before submitting an application, you can see online how well their kittens adapt to new homes. They also try to adopt out the mama cats and socialized cats from colonies they work with on population control. TK would also like to adopt out several true ferals that have decided humans aren’t so bad after all. They would gladly give up the forest for a spot in a barn, in someone’s yard with indoor privileges, or 100% indoors with a fireplace or at least a keyboard butt-warmer. But unfortunately, few people have the desire or experience to work with a formal feral. If you know someone who does, please let them know about TK. These cats are the hardest to place.

  85. 85
    Noname says:

    @ghost cat: Are you Shelly? 😜 Seriously I agree with everything you posted. I started watching TK for the cuteness but am amazed at how much I’ve learned that helps me even with my own two spoiled kitties. And yes, it is incredible how many “feral” cats can be rehomed.

  86. 86
    ghost cat says:

    @Noname: no I’m not Shelly, just a huge fan. I’ve had cats all my life and can’t stand how careless and abusive some people are with their pets and livestock. She’s a force of nature, which I think is key to TK’s success. I was never into watching cams until I came across TK. Several years ago, I lived in Seattle, which has a large homeless cat population. But they also had several TNR groups that managed various colonies. There were no colonies in my neighborhood, but a loner feral & abused tomcat started regularly visiting my yard because I left food outside for my cats. They preferred being out in the yard and had shelter from the rain. I tried to make friends with this tom so I could take him to the vet for a checkup and neutering. It took 18 months of baby steps to get him to trust me, and I thought I’d never see him again after his experience at the vet. Instead, he decided to move in with me. I wish I knew then what I’ve learned from TK. They do such amazing work and I agree with their philosophy 100%. If I didn’t live so far away, I’d love to be one of their snugglers and help take care of the Happy Forest colony.

    I love that Shelly never gives up on any cat with a health problem and will do everything possible unless it causes or prolongs suffering. The amazing success she’s had with Aura, for example, gives other people the courage and a roadmap of how to care for a kitten born with a cleft palate. It’s a hard road but it can be done. I’m a lapsed scientist so I also love that research, such as the DNA mapping project with UC Davis, has become one of their prime objectives. But Shelly also has an amazing support network in Langley, including the fabulous Dr. F, other local vet specialists, and city council. For several reasons, I’m not sure if it would be possible for a TinyKittens-like group to succeed where I live.

  87. 87
    Lokahi says:

    Jumping in knowing this is a dead thread, but just in case:

    Friends for Life in Houston runs a trap-neuter-return program that might be worth checking out. The program is called Fix Houston, and if it can’t help directly, it might be able to point to resources that can.

  88. 88
    noname says:

    @ghost cat: I agree that what Shelly has done is incredible and yes she has a vast network of people who helped make it happen but it is great that her experience can inspire people to do similar things even if it is on a much smaller scale. I’m hoping for that DNA study too, so fascinating!

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