Fernie Free Press

Feral cats need our help

About eight years ago, a feral cat had three kittens in my yard. This was a result of a domestic cat abandoned. She had two kittens and one of them grew up to have this litter of three. With the help of neighbours, two kittens were caught and taken to the SPCA. The two older cats were caught (a more difficult task) and were eventually euthanized in Cranbrook. I adopted the third kitten as he evaded the initial attempt to be captured. As soon as he was able, he was taken to the vet and neutered.

Now it has happened again. A feral cat has been in our neighborhood and had a litter of four. This cat has tried to find refuge in three residences in my neighbourhood. For at least a month and a half we have been trying to get help to humanely deal with them. Individual people have tried to help but, at the end of the day, it is back to square one. We are forced to look outside of Fernie to help us but other communities are full to capacity with their own cat issues. I tried to arrange for the cats to be treated by our vet but then what? Where do they go now? Sparwood and Elkford have a bylaw/animal control officer. We could have had help and a shelter to take them to a long time ago but we live in Fernie.

A lot of stress, time and money has been spent on trying to get help and we are no further ahead. To me, "we'll discuss it at a meeting" or "write a letter, phone here, phone there" is code for "you are not getting any help so go away.”

Well, I may get frustrated and worn down and appear to go away but there is a female cat with four kittens in our neighbourhood. If they are not helped in a humane way, they may freeze to death, starve or get attacked and eaten or they may survive and, come spring 2013, we will have more feral cats on the way.

Cats are not worthless but are treated as such. They don't get the attention that dogs do. I can say that when I "rescued" my cat, it was he that rescued me. He has brought a lot of companionship, love and joy into my life. He wasn't worthless. I don't blame the cats-they are the issue but they are not the problem.

 

Sandy Cervo

Fernie

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