2012 has been another very busy year, with a constant stream of feral cats and
kittens going through the TNR and adoption programs and another large
group going through the low cost spay/neuter program. We think when we
add up the numbers for the year we may well have exceeded the almost 500
spays and neuters we did last year. We can see the results of this work
in the fact that there are less big colonies than we have seen in the
past and more and more of the existing colonies contain a majority of
cats that have been fixed. With the addition of the low cost program we
are hoping to see less unfixed domestic cats showing up in the colonies
and less “free to a good home” unfixed kittens in the community.
Now that the cold and wet November weather has arrived we have
stopped all outdoor feral trapping. Our efforts now turn to the low cost
program and we are pleased to report that we have three days of
surgeries set for November and are hoping to get several more fitted in
for December. If you or anyone you know is living below the official
poverty line and has pet cats or kittens in need of being fixed, then
this would be an excellent time to turn in an application. Forms are
available at Duncan Pets. We would love to prevent the usual crop of
unwanted Spring kittens by fixing the moms over the winter months.
Although we are not doing any more feral spays and neuters over the
winter, we are still bringing in kittens, including some tiny little
bottle babies. There will be Christmas kittens again this year, thanks
to that extended period of warm weather we enjoyed into October.
Not only do we still have kittens in foster care who will be ready for adoption over the next month, but we still have some special needs kitties
we are looking for homes for. We have some older wilder kittens who
would be happiest as barn cats. We have a lovely very sweet and tame
pewter grey and white Himalayan girl, about 10 years old, who survived a
horrifying case of neglect and is now in need of a home of her own. If
you have access to our Facebook page you will know her as Sweetie. We
have some very nice but somewhat shy kittens who will make lovely pets
but are too stressed by the pet store to be able to go there for
adoption, so they remain in foster care. We have two kittens who were born with congenital deformities of their eyelids
who will require surgery when they are about a year old. (Cowichan Cat
Rescue will pay for the surgery.) in the meantime they need a foster or
adoptive home where they can get the daily care they need to prevent
serious problems as they wait for surgery.
If you are interested in any of these special kitties please call, send an email or
a message through Facebook, and we can talk about it. We would love to
give all of these little ones homes of their own for Christmas!
|There is an exciting thing happening on Facebook at the moment.
Pets First is offering a donation of their cat food to a rescue to be
selected by people voting on their Facebook Page. Here is the link,
An Opportunity to Help
The part that is making us smile is not the number of votes Cowichan Cat Rescue
has received, although that is pretty exciting. but is the fact that
there were already a number of votes for us before we even heard about
this! How heartwarming!
On December 1, 2012, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM,
Cowichan Cat Rescue will be conducting our major year end fund raiser.
Inspired by the success of our “Cram the Van” event last New Year’s, we
will be at five locations in the Valley, collecting donations of cat
food so we can feed the feral colonies over the winter and hopefully
some cash donations so we can pay down the worst of our outstanding vet bills before year end.
Vans (and trucks) manned by hard working volunteers will be collecting donations in the parking lots at the following locations:
Lucky Pets, Mill Bay Centre
Merritt Furniture (Downtown Farmers Market)
Canadian Tire, Cowichan Commons
Please come on out and help us “Fill the Kitty”
SOME HEARTFELT THANKS
In the course of the year many people contribute to our programs
in various ways. People feed feral cats, people help with trapping and
transporting cats to and from the vets, a dedicated group fosters cats
and kittens and some even more remarkable people foster the sick and
injured and the tiny ones that require round the clock care. The vet
clinics we work with bend over backwards to accommodate our often
difficult “clients.” A loyal group shows up at every event and mans the
booths and tables while also producing items to sell to support our
Without these people Cowichan Cat Rescue could not exist and we never cease to be grateful to every one of them.
But there is another group without whom we would not exist. To
everyone who takes their recyclables to the Bottle Depot and donates the
proceeds to CCR, to everyone who has dropped off pennies for the penny
drive, to everyone who drops change in our collection tins and boxes, to
everyone who sends a cheque or hits the “Donate Now” buttons on our
website, to everyone who donates through payroll deductions, we say
And if the person who recently anonymously donated $1,000.00 to
Cowichan Cat Rescue sees this, please accept our most sincere thanks. We
wish we could thank you in person.
We wish we could thank you all in person. Without your support there would be no Cowichan Cat Rescue. Thank you.
What a busy year it has been! We completed the Pepsi grant project, spaying and neutering almost one hundred cats for low income pet owners, and also completed the PetSmart grant project, leaving a very happy neighbourhood behind!
The low cost program was such a hit that we sought further funding and were thrilled when the CVRD agreed to provide us with funding to keep the program going for another year. We expect that we will be approaching another hundred cats by the end of this year. Somehow we never seem to run out of cats to fix — but we keep hoping it will happen one day.
We have had a wonderful growth of our Facebook community and we invite everyone to join the action there. Foster homes are found, funds are raised, events and activities are discussed, and there are pictures. So many pictures! Please come and join us and become part of a very vibrant community of friends and supporters.
The stream of new kittens has stopped (we hope) and now we can go back to work trapping. We have made excellent progress in a couple of places — there are parts of this colony where *all* the cats have been fixed. There remains one area where there are still a number to go, including some big kittens. We will be heading back out nexr week to try to get those under control before out time is up and the PetSmart grant money is all gone. Keep your fingers crossed for us — some of these cats have got very smart about the traps!
There are still some kittens from this colony in foster care and they will be available
for adoption from their foster homes now, or from Duncan Pets next
month, after the little kittens have been adopted out.
These boys are brothers who had some health issues but are now healthy,
friendly, playful and ready to go to a new home. We would like to see them stay together.
Long time, no report! The delay has been for several good reasons, including the little cuties pictured here. We had to stop trapping for a while, because there were momcats who had kittens that we could not find. We can’t trap and spay the moms if they are nursing tiny kittens, so trapping was cut way back while we gathered in as many kittens as we could find. The first ones have been adopted out and more will be arriving at Duncan Pets later this week. Those who followed the adventures of the wood pile on our Facebook page will know these next ones as the “woodpile kitties” and will recognize the little panda faces when they see them.
Well, the trapping has slowed down considerably. There are momcats with kittens out there and we are concerned that we will catch a mom and take her away from her little ones. We have to find the kittens before we can safely trap the moms. Of course we have found some kittens. The two little “woodpile” kittens are doing extremely well now. There have been some pictures of them on our Facebook page and we will try to get some here. We also have the three kitties who came in with their mom. She has now been spayed and her adorable little kittens have been placed in foster care to finish growing big enough for adoption. They are just over one pound each now, and they will be ready to head out into the world at two pounds. Still a ways to go! Here is what they look like today.
Four more kitties in the traps ready for tomorrow’s appointments! This is going very well indeed. This morning the first two were caught having breakfast and when we picked them up we left two more traps. Within half an hour the lady had those traps filled, too! If only it always went this well! For those who are keeping score, we will have 16 of the colony cats done as of Wednesday this week — not bad when the goal is 80 cats by November.
Sure wish we could get a few more traps. Then we could set up again in the morning and not have to wait for these traps to be emptied. Not complaining, just sayin’…
And in the meantime, the regular program goes on. Cobble Hill Clinic, Duncan Animal Hospital and Prevost Clinic have all done other feral spays and neuters for us last week and this. It is shaping up to be a very busy year!
And about 80 more to go! But we have finally hit a sunny spell just long enough to get the spays done and the cats back out before they have to deal with cold rain and wind. We have more appointments lined up for next week and the targeted cats selected. Soon this will — we hope — settle into a routine. We are so grateful for the traps we have been able to borrow and for those that have been donated. At this time we have traps located in several spots and will be trapping in rotation so the cats do not get too wise to us!
For those who missed the spot on Shaw TV, we have been told it will show up on Shaw’s Facebook page. When that happens we will post the link here and you will be able to see some of the cats we will be fixing this summer. For those who saw Baddcatt and Baddsister on our Facebook page we can tell you that their mother and brother are on our list of targets. And so is Sweetheart’s lovely mother, the fluffy white with black cat who does a walk on in the Shaw TV spot.
The sun finally came out! Wednesday was the day! The van was loaded with traps and off we went — with a very nice lady from Shaw Cable TV along for the adventure.
We have traps at the first two feeding stations — with one more to go on this first round of trapping – and we are in the process of setting up appointments so we can start the real work next week. Wish us luck as we try to get half a dozen cats in for their surgeries next week!
The lady from Shaw? She interviewed and filmed and got up close and personal with several of the cats we will be trapping. You might see some of them on Shaw Channel 4 (Duncan) on Wednesday and Thursday next week, the 30th and 31st of March! We will be watching for it!
Waiting for Spring
It is cold. It is wet. It is windy. It is not the sort of weather than allows us to trap, neuter, and return feral cats. This is very frustrating.
It looks like it will be Spring Break before we can start setting up our traps. Did I mention that this is very frustrating?
We have traps now, although we will need more as our regular trapping activity gets underway. We have cooperative residents of the target community. Now we just need some warmer and drier days.
The rain dances have been very successful. Does anyone know how to do a sun dance?
Well, we think we got to all of the houses that are affected by the colony we will be working with. We sure tried! If you have seen a bright lime green poster hanging near your mail box, or found a lime green flyer stuck in your door, please stop to read it — it is a message from me and I want to hear from you!
Now we are gathering traps and so far we have a little more than half of what we will need, some borrowed and some purchased by a volunteer. The plan is to start setting up the traps at feeding stations by mid-March — surely the snow will be finished by then! — and trapping can start very soon thereafter. We are hoping to be able to trap at least two days a week and will be chatting with our friendly vets to arrange that. It is vital that we have appointments arranged before we trap any cats!
If you can help out with traps or transportation or you just want to chat about this project or want to learn more about managing feral cats, please feel free to send an e-mail or call us and leave a message for a callback — 250-743-6500.