Feral Cat Rescue Awards

Many fine people working in feral cat rescue, either organised or ad hoc, deserve to be recognised for their unstinting efforts. But, and for me this is important, very few get the recognition that they deserve.

As I see it the rescue of feral cats has several components to it. Like any “market” (and it is subject to market forces like all things) there is the supply end and the demand end. In business, supply is the manufacturing and demand is the consumer. In feral cat rescue, supply is abandonment of unneutered domestic cats combined with the exceptional ability of the domestic cat to procreate. While the demand side is the person willing to re-home or rehabilitate a feral cat. The demand side must also include the people who take the euthanised feral cats from the cat shelters. And that has always worried me. What happens to all the dead cats? There are up to 14 million of them in the USA alone although we don’t really know, which tells us a bit about our relationship with the feral cat.

Feral Cat Rescue Award
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

There are many websites on feral cat rescue and cat rescue. A good site in the UK is CatChat.org, which is dedicated to cat rescue and provides full listings of rescue centers. In the USA there are a large number of rescue centers with very nice websites. There is not much point in me reciting everything they do or making more listings.

Today, I am more interested in the unsung individual heroines (they are more often than not, women) of feral cat rescue and mainly the ones who are at the end of the supply line picking up the pieces and bringing cats to rescue centers. The women and men who are at the front line often working on their own against considerable odds and sometimes a bit of hostility from less sensitive people. Who are these people? Shouldn’t they be really recognised? Without them cat rescue wouldn’t work. They are volunteers working to help cats for altruistic purposes. Of course, they get pleasure from working in cat rescue but the objective is to help cats. It is a giving profession and in lieu of financial reward it would be nice if some of these people got a mention.

In general, there are too many awards dished out for political purposes. That said, thankfully in the UK, I have managed to find one New Years honours award (awards that recognise merit in terms of achievement and service) given for “services to animal welfare”. Sheila Parsonson was awarded the MBE (Member in The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). Sheila founded the Colchester Cat Rescue and is a Trustee (at Jan 2010). But this is an exception, it seems, that supports my argument. One woman who will no doubt be given an award in due course (unless her efforts to save feral cats from the Olympic site has upset the establishment) is Celia Hammond of

Some of the regular visitors to this site immediately come to mind as deserving of an award – the PoC Gold Award! Jan has written passionately and with humour about her one women feral cat rescue operation (I am correct in saying it is one women, aren’t I). She has recently (at 5th Jan 2010) re-homed some of her “wild bunch” at a farm. Relocation can be tricky but if done well this is surely the best solution (Put Feral Cats to Use). Then there are Ruth and Barbara who spend time at Kays Hill Animal Sanctuary and who defend the rights of cats with passion (please see, We Built a Cat Run). Joyce has rescued feral cats for years it seems (please see Furby thinks his is a Turkish Angora Cat as one of her pages). I am sure that I have missed someone.

But I would like anyone who visits this page to tell us, in a comment at the base of this posting, who you might nominate for a feral cat rescue award. I am thinking of the invisible and unknown person who is working away almost unseen. One person who was that (almost) but who became well known for her feral cat rescue work was Katherine Varjian of Beverely Hills. Her work led to a change in the municipal code of Beverly Hills. A new ordinance was passed to specifically deal with feral cats. Realistically, I don’t expect much of a reaction to this post but one or two names might pop up in due course or over time. And at the end of the day, I would like this website to reward them through a financial contribution to their cause.

Michael Avatar

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Feral Cat Rescue Awards

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Jan 25, 2011 Bob Tucker
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Thanks a lot, Michael. Bob is a real friend of cats and doing a great job taking care of ferals out of his own pocket. He is indeed worthy of this recognition. 🙂

Jan 25, 2011 Update 25th Jan 2011
by: Michael

Robert Tucker nominated by Finn has today been sent $100 to help with his care of feral cats. There is more to come. Thank you Bob for all your excellent work with feral cats.

Michael Avatar

Mar 07, 2010 Hi Jan
by: Michael

Jan, I have sent a test amount of $50 to make sure you get it. When you confirm receipt, I will send the next installment.

I just need to make sure the system is working before sending a larger sum.

Michael Avatar

Feb 20, 2010 Honored award
by: Jan Plant

Dear Michael,
As dear Ruth has no need at present,if you are still offering,you may send donation in my name to pay pal,under my email address.We can always use it to help the next starnger who comes along,and with Spring in the air here,it probably won’t be long in the coming.People and friends like you are rare,and I am glad I have all of you in our lives.xxxx

Feb 20, 2010 Thanks Jan
by: Ruth

Jan this is so very kind of you but Michael gave a donation in my name to my favorite charity last month, Kays Hill Animal Rescue, for which Kevin who owns the place was truly grateful.
It has gone towards building the badly needed new cattery so the cats will benefit when it’s finished as the old cattery building is crumbling.
We are fund raising for this too as a priority right now.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 19, 2010 I am Honored
by: Jan Plant

Dear Michael and friends,
I am deeply touched that you would bestow such a kind honor on myself and my “wild bunch”. Sorry haven’t been in touch,as things here are moving at the speed of light.We are down now to just three kitties.Caps,Spats and Stranger(got him trapped and fixed,but he’s a terror still).You’ll be happy to know Cole is one fat happy boy ,doing well and running things on the farm with his friends there.The trend caught on for awhile and more neighbors of my farming friends came for cats.Sad to see them go,but tickled that they all have great homes.Seeing how I am down to three now,and within the county legal amount,and am planning on keeping these three,I would like to ask a kind of odd favor,of you Michael.My babies have all they need,and we thank you for thinking of us.Would it be dishonorable of me to ask that you donate the funds to Ruth and Babz? They do so much with so little and I have my lot under control.It would be a great honor to be able to pass on a bit of my “honor” to them.They actually got me started here,and I would love that if it would be all right with you.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,my babies and I are eternally grateful to you and all you do here!xxxxxxx!

Feb 17, 2010 Message to Jan Plant
by: Michael

Hi Jan, are you still around? It is the time of the month when PoC donates some funding to cat charities and you are first on the list this month. I will return here next month for next month’s recipient.

If you are around please tell me if you have a PayPal account or how I can best make a donation to your good cause and work.

Michael Avatar

Jan 12, 2010 ferals
by: Ruth

Just a bit of news.Kevin at Kayshill has rehomed a long term feral to a farm. Despite trying to tame her so she had the chance of a home she wasn’t happy confined so he decided a farm was best. She’s one happy cat now !
They only have 2 ferals at present but the feral unit plans are going ahead, we’ve a few fund raising events in mind, because no doubt more will come along, they always do !
He’s actually rehomed quite a few cats lately (I don’t know how he does it !)so was down to 15 needing homes…until yesterday when he had to collect one the woman wanted ‘rid of’ because the cat has fleas ! A pathetic made up excuse of course but at least the cat now has the chance of a decent home.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jan 11, 2010 Thanks for the input
by: Michael

Many thanks for the “nominations”. All are winners because I trust you all totally.

I will come back to this page when a monthly donation is due and log the donation in a comment.

Michael Avatar

Jan 09, 2010 A few more names to remember
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Besides the already mentioned, a few more have stuck in my memory since I first came here.

Firstly Bob Tucker (Helena, Ar), who wrote ‘My Feral Cats’. He summarized the whole process of taming feral cats in the phrase: “Food, patience and a string is mostly what works.”

And also Brenda (Leicester NY), who wrote ‘Some Feral Cats Disappear’. Spays/neuters ferals out of her own pocket!

Then we have Zach Atteberry (Hannibal, Us.) – still a young man, but with a lot of wisdom formed by a tough life.

And let’s not forget Lisa James (Green Cove Springs, FL), who has been providing valuable information on declawing in ‘Declawing Turns Good Cats to Bad’ and other articles here.

These are just a few names that I have managed to save. I’m sure there are plenty more unsung heroes to be found on these pages.

Thank you all for your great efforts.

Finn Frode avatar

Jan 08, 2010 rescue awards
by: kathy

In my county, Lake County, Illinois, USA there is a society called Spay and STay. They offer a low cost program for Feral cat colony keepers to get their cats nuetured and spayed. lYou put a deposit on a trap, but you get it back. They also vaccinate the cats when they have them and they will do other tests at a low cost but the most important thing is to get them fixed. They also hold seminars for cat colony keepers throughout the year. We adopted out cat Midnight from them. Acutually she was the neighborhood pet and everybody fed her but no one claimed her. She had 4 kittens when I found out about her. When they were weaned she was just left to roam the neighborhood again. I found out about Spay and Stay and took her in to be fixed and shots and she was pregnant of course. When we brought her back she had to be confined for a few days. We let her out of the cage and she just made herself at home and didnt care about going back outside, so we kept her. I get news letters from Spay and Stay and they are a great program. They have a Spay and Stay date every so many months. On the day we took Middie there were over 80 cats there that day. They dont really rescue cats but their work helps keep the feral population down.

Jan 07, 2010 Feral Cat Rescue Award Goes To…
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

YOU, Michael! I agree that your unwavering love for cats and your dedication in getting the word out puts you in the pawfront of this award.

That being said – personally, I would like to nominate our local animal shelter in Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Quincy is a suburb of Boston and is a well-organized facility staffed by 100% volunteers for a 100% NO-KILL shelter. Please take a moment to check out their website; if nothing else, please scroll to the bottom of the Home page and read “About Us” to better understand the work they do. http://www.quincyanimalshelter.com/

QAS was originally known as the local “pound” – run by the city with euthanasure commonplace. It took a collective of local residents who demanded the city change its ways. Through their hard work and unwavering belief that all cats and dogs deserve another chance, they persuaded the city to allow them to take over. As a result, the former euthansure room is now the medical room, staffed by qualified people who administer needed meds for their guests; they created the “Cattery Room” where well-behaved guests spend their time awaiting their forever home – they’ve even taken in short-term guests whose humans are hospitalized with no one to care for their pets! Once the patient goes home, so does their furkid. These volunteers even shut down the shelter for a few months last year to fight a ringworm infection rather than put down any animals. Now that’s dedication.

Jan 07, 2010 Awards
by: Ruth

Thanks Michael,we did a lot of TNR ferals for Cats Protection but now being of more mature years and not up to climbing on roofs or down wells (must write that story for a blog) or crawling around waste ground any more,we only support Kayshill in helping with the cats there. They are working towards a feral unit and we hope to raise some funds for it with some events we are planning. We always get lots of stuff given for prizes and people come and spend their money on the day,it’s hard work but enjoyable and counting up the takings from generous people is a real thrill !
I think all of our troops and many of your regulars on here deserve a medal for their on-line work in educating people and for saving cats claws and I think most of them do a lot for cats in real life too.
And last but not least, may I nominate YOU for a medal too Michael for starting this web site and for the generous donations you give to help so many cats !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jan 07, 2010 Feral Cat Rescue Awards
by: Jan Plant

Dear Michael,
I am very touched and deeply honored.But I also have help threw my senior tenants who donate extra monies, monthly to feed the “kitty” for the ferals vet funds.Although they are an elder crowd,every morning three of them are here for coffee on the deck(weather permitting), and pets(the few who will allow it) and just to spend time with the cats to help calm them.They are a great group of people,and knowing what I was doing,decided to get in on the “wild bunch” activities every day.One lady has an ancient little dog,but the others do not have pets of their own, as they feel the ferals are their own.These folks are all on limited incomes,yet find it in their hearts to add every month to the “kitty.”We’ve managed to get all fixed and shots,and now even Ol’ Cole has been to the vet.Through the kindness of others,the vet and my insane plan of not allowing them to go unattended,this “bunch” can live out their lives knowing they have friends ,World Wide! And we thank you for all your kindness.
Ruth, Barbara,Sylvia and all the other great folks here are all truly Angels for all they do and all they are trying to do! And I feel very privileged indeed to be considered their friend!Thank you!

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