Now, I tell people, "avoid news cameras. Don't EVER to an interview. Reporters get paid to twist the truth. If it bleeds, it leads."
So here's the truth.
And then, in the fullness of times, we saw the occasional kitten. But only once or twice and usually never again.
But over the years, the numbers have been growing. Not tons of ferals but at least 3 or 4 and seeing them regularly. Every once in a while we'll see a brand new feral but then never see it again. I think they're just passing thru or not making it far from our yard.
Fact 2 we've been fostering for over a year now with the same organization. We're friends with one of the workers. She comes over for coffee, just to come over. Kitten needs something? She comes over and fixes it. Revolution for street urchins with fleas and ear mites? She comes right over. Spouse has gone out with her to trap ferals around town. She is the TNR goddess and we've talked about trying to trap the local ferals but never really got around to it. It would be easier if we fed them but no way do I want them thinking humans are safe. I don't feed them or encourage them in any way. When I do see them, I stomp the ground and tell them to shoo. Running from humans is safer for them.
Fact 3 we saw a feral in the front yard limping badly. Back leg stiff and no weight being put on it. Yeah, it's time to start TNR our local ferals.
Fact 4 we caught 4 total, 3 girls and 1 boy. The 2 we kept seeing were actually 4 because there are 2 sets that look exactly alike! Never caught Gimpy. Never even saw Gimpy again. Figured he/she couldn't get away in time and was dead somewhere. All the cats we caught were young, probably about to start getting pregnant. They had to have IV fluids during surgery because they were all small, underfed, and dehydrated. As in, their mommas probably didn't live long enough to teach them anything and no one feeds them or looks after them whatsoever.
"I fell for the old gushy food trick!"
"Oh put an arm in here. Try to pet me. I dare you!"
Fact 5 teenage girl and her friend came to my door. Wanting to borrow the cage. Hey, it's not my cage. You can rent one from the local rescue group or you can go to Petsmart and buy yourself one. She wanted to catch the, "cat with the broken leg." Ah! Gimpy was still alive! I asked if they were back there by their house and they said no, up in the front end of the street. Ok, I'll try to catch them again but no guarantees. Ol' Gimpy must be pretty smart to not get caught all this time by me or anyone else. Good for Gimpy! I went out at dusk, best cat time according to my local expert, and set up the trap. Same time, they drove by and said they caught Gimpy and another one and did I know of a no-kill shelter. I told them to call Spay-n-Save in Longwood. I thanked them. Checked the cage later that night. Didn't even catch Alcatraz, the little girl we've already caught and spayed and released. She just keeps getting caught. Either she's really dumb (falls for it every single time) or really smart (free gushy food!).
Fact 6 Friend at SnS texted me a few days later (Yay! They took the cats in to be fixed!). They weigh less than 3 pounds and they're full of BBs. Yup, someone's been shooting at them. And friend wants to know how do you shoot a kitten multiple times? Were they holding it down so it couldn't get away? Were they cornered somewhere? Was it a bunch of kids shooting the poor kittens?
Well, I can tell you how many teenage boys live at the end of my street who have fathers who like to toss live kittens to their dawgs to tear apart.
Those are the facts. Now here's the news.
"part of the community?"
"helps trap the many neighborhood cats to spay or neuter them and releases them?"
LOL, what? You want to know how many cats are walking around with a clipped ear? The 4 that we TNRed and that's it. These guys don't live in MY neighborhood, that's a fact and wherever they are, I hope they really are TNRing, but it's sure not here. And I didn't notice anyone jumping up to help pay for the 4 cats to be fixed either. We paid for those ourselves. Honestly, that was another reason we weren't out there catching feral cats around here. Every one we catch will cost us money. SnS will do it for cheap but they don't do it for free. Yes, I AM pissed that I have to pay the consequences of some asshole who dumped their unaltered cat once upon a time that had kittens who had kittens who had kittens and now we have too many feral cats running around. I don't think I SHOULD have to pay for their mess but in real life, this is what has to be done. Just one more reason to hate assholes.
Kudos to the news for the publicity for SnS, that was decent of them. Too bad they didn't come during business hours and show the kittens, maybe it would get them adopted. I hear that the 2 little kitten girls are a little hissy but could be tamed pretty easily. It would also have been nice if the reporter didn't take it into his head to change Phyllis's words. She didn't ask for, "prayers," for the kittens, you dork, she asked for DONATIONS! What the hell good are praaaaayers going to do? Can you feed ferals with prayers? Keep the lights on with prayers? Pay the doc who does 100 surgeries a day, every day, with prayers? Hell, people and businesses are constantly begging the the vet techs and volunteers to come catch ferals. They are using their personal time, they aren't getting paid. And who pays for these feral surgeries? SnS will do it on donations. On top of that, our friend collects bags of cans. Soda cans, beer cans, cat food cans. Any metal you can give her, she'll take. Once she fills up her jeep, she drives across town to the recycling plant and sells it all for cash that pays for feral surgeries. She's not on her knees praying someone else helps the kitties, I guarantee it.