Today's selfie comes all the way from the Rainbow Bridge. It's our beloved Angel Sammy, who's taken a beautiful picture to accompany his very important message! So, what's on your mind, Sammy?
::whispers:: Thanks for the intro, Dad. I love you and Mom lots. (We love you lots, too, Doots. Be sure to tell Moosey, Maggie, Graphite, Bitsy and Lady Madonna we love them, too, okay?)
Hi everybuddy! It's me, Angel Sammy, sharing a really important message from the Rainbow Bridge! Guess what today is? It's National Feral Cat Day, the day launched in 2001 by Alley Cat Allies, the national advocacy group for feral and stray cats. I actually know LOTS about feral cats (you know, those kitties who aren't socialized to humans that you probably see around your neighborhood), because I used to live in a feral cat colony before I ended up at PAWS (where Mom and Dad adopted me!). Here are a few facts you might not know:
1. Feral cats have lived alongside humans for more than 10,000 years! They are the same species as pet cats, but are not socialized to people, so they are not adoptable. Ferals live in groups called colonies and can thrive in all kinds of settings.
2. Trap-Neuter-Return - a humane approach to managing and caring for feral cats - is the only effective method of stabilizing feral cat colonies. With TNR, cats who live outdoors are humanely trapped and checked out medically, spayed or neutered and given their shots. Some of these cats are found to be friendly (like lucky me!), and are put up for adoption. The ones who are truly feral are re-released into the areas from which they came, with volunteer caregivers providing a managed food source and monitoring the colony to aid sick or injured cats. Because they are spayed and neutered, the feral kitties don't have to deal with stuff like territorial fighting, mating and pregnancy, and no new kittens are born.
3. In the last decade, the number of local governments with official policies endorsing TNR for feral cats has increased tenfold, with 100s of cities and towns successfully carrying out TNR.
4. Sadly, in many municipalities, cats are still caught and taken to animal pounds and shelters where they are killed. The shelter system is the number one cause of death for cats in the United States. That’s why it’s so important for people to consider feral kitties today and every day, to help change society and create compassionate communities for cats.