Thelonious the Foster Cat

George has been volunteering at Fix Our Ferals, a local spay-neuter clinic, for several years now, and feeding feral cat colonies for nearly that long, but we hadn’t taken the next step – fostering cats waiting to be adopted. Finally, about a month ago George caught one of the cats that he feeds, brought her to be spayed, and decided that she was socialized and definitely adoptable.

Hermione foster cat

Foster situations range from doing it on your own up to formally volunteering with an established group. With Hermione we really lucked out – she was accepted into the adoption program at the San Francisco SPCAand was quickly adopted! Next, coming to the rescue of a friend who just couldn’t squeeze one more foster in (you know there’s a crazy cat lady tipping limit), we took in Buttercup.

Buttercup foster cat

A very affectionate little girl, Buttercup captured the heart of her new parents the very first time at a pet store adoption, and George settled her into her forever home last week. Right now we’re completely smitten with the sweetest 8-month old tabby with a kissable white streak on his nose, white stockings, and extra toes on his front feet (polydactyl).

Thelonious foster cat

We named him after Thelonious Monk, George’s favorite jazz pianist. He’s a super friendly cat who doesn’t stop purring.

Thelonious foster catInterested in learning how to help by fostering in the East Bay, or looking to adopt a dog or cat? Send me an email at heidirand [@] gmail and I’ll pass your question on to the experts.

Feral Cats’ Thanksgiving Feast

For more than a year George, along with volunteering at the local spay/neuter clinic, Fix Our Ferals, has been working with a group of people who feed several feral cat colonies in Richmond. The group also traps and spays the colonies, so eventually they will disappear. This year George’s assigned feeding day fell on Thanksgiving, so before we went off for our own feast, we brought food and water to one of his colonies. We were greeted by two of the friendliest cats, Martian and Baby. They’re so socialized that we guess they were probably abandoned by people who lost their houses. This is Baby, doing her “Hello George” rollover.

Feral catsGeorge gives her a good scritch.

Feral cats

Here comes more of the gang.

Feral catsThere’s plenty of food for all. Some is donated by the Animal Rescue Foundation and Pet Food Express, and it’s otherwise paid for by private donations and out of the volunteers’ own pockets. A lot of the care for sick feral cats is arranged through Community Concern for Cats (CC4C).

Feral catsThey haven’t been able to catch all of the cats, so one mama recently had kittens. This one was shy at first.

Feral cat

But soon was happily eating alongside his brother.

Feral cats

Bad weather in winter makes life harder for a feral cat. If you have time and energy to help out, contact your local organization. If you’re in the Richmond/El Cerrito area, you can volunteer at Fix Our Ferals, and you can also reach the group that’s feeding feral cat colonies by speaking to Kathy at Fix Our Feralsor leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you.

Happy Feral Cat Day!

It’s National Feral Cat DayThe theme this year is “TNR: From the Alley…to Main Street.” TNR stands for Trap-Neuter-Return, which, as the NFCD website states, is “a humane approach to managing and caring for feral cats— the only effective method of stabilizing feral cat colonies.”

Feral cat

With two rescue cats of our own, every day of the year is Feral Cat Day, but to celebrate, I’d like to celebrate by thanking everyone who helps feral cats, including trapping, spay/neutering, feeding, fostering, adopting, and more!

Martian and Brin-brin

For more than a year George has been volunteering at Fix Our Ferals, the local spay/neuter clinic in Richmond, California, where they just fixed their 10,000th cat! The vets, veterinary assistants, clinic manager, and volunteers at FOF are the most amazing people – they go way above and beyond to treat with great care and compassion every cat (and dog and rabbit) brought to the clinic.

Fix Our Ferals booth

And many more people work selflessly to feed feral cat colonies, and to trap them so they can be spayed and either returned to their colonies or fostered and placed in forever homes.

feeding feral cats

Our newest daughter Daisy was a feral kitten rescued from an abandoned truck by a Good Samaritan. She was bottle-fed by FOF’s clinic manager, who persisted until George finally admitted that he had fallen in love with her.

Daisy and George

Our son Lars was also a feral cat, dumped on the doorstep of Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. He almost died, but ARF performed surgery on him, and he has been the light of our lives ever since. Our initial reluctance to get another cat was due to the fact that we were worried Lars wouldn’t accept another cat – but he and Daisy finally came to an understanding.

Daisy and Lars

Even if you don’t have a lot of time or extra funds, there are many others things you can do to help: donate towels, newspapers, and other things that Clinics need; spread the word about your local clinics or other groups; foster a cat until he or she can be adopted; and much more! So Happy National Feral Cat Day — and a million thank-yous to all who donate time, resources, and money to help these vulnerable animals.