Fudge for Ferals - A Fundraiser

On the morning of my birthday I woke up to year the low growl of a female cat in heat.  

I peeked out my window over the next few days and saw this little lady.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Accompanied by this guy.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Over the next two days both have come back to my feeding station and appear to be settling in to join my colony. 

When I announced that I’d be collecting donations to have the newcomers trapped and fixed Sterling’s Fudge Emporium’s Facebook Page reached out to me and offered to have a fundraiser to help with my rescues.  For the entire month of March, Sterling’s Fudge Emporium will donate 20% of their One Pound, One & a Half Pound and Fudge Pop sales to help my kitties. (Website Announcement)

Photo Credit - Sterling's Fudge Emporium

I’m so thrilled that they have offered to help with my colony.  Currently we have four regulars (from an original six) and with the two new additions we’ll have a total of six.  I do not have an official Trap Neuter Release (TNR) standing but I did take in this litter when they were babies, have them all fixed and set up feeding/sleeping stations for them.  We installed a doggie door into our addition so they can come in out of the cold if they want.

As new cats arrive, sometimes drop offs by owners and sometimes they wander into our area.  When they find a food source they may stay for a bit.  We had seen the bigger of the two new visitors last year, but he moved on.  We had a dominate male in our colony but he died on the road a few months ago.  Now the big one is back and has stayed a week now.  Another reason I think this may be a male. 

A lot of people ask me why I participate in TNR.  Trap-Neuter-Release is a very rewarding program. Cats are one of the few domesticated animals that are quickly able to revert back to their wild (feral) state.  Feral cats can be tamed.  It can take as long as a year or more to socialize a feral cat to the point where it might be able to live indoors.

At times my colony appears to be coming around.  They will sit in my window sills and some even close enough for me to pet.  But for the most part, they just want to hang out in the yard, lay in the sun and live their lives.  I see no reason to force them to conform to my world.  Sometimes they join me for bonfires.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

As part of TNR, basically I am the caretaker of this colony.  When a new cat arrives, I set out humane traps to catch them.

At the vet, they are given an exam, shots and either spayed or neutered.  While under anesthetic the vet will also tip the cat’s ear.  Ear tipping is where the vet will clip off the tip of the cat’s ear.  This allows others to be able to tell from a distance that this cat is part of a colony and has been spayed or neutered.

There are times when a female may arrive at the colony already pregnant.  This happened to us last year.  By the time we were able to trap her, she had already given birth to her litter of kittens.  Hubby found them while watering the garden.   He was actually able to lure them out from under our hen house one at a time.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

When feral kittens are found at a young age it is much easier to tame them.  We ended up holding our Fix a Kit fundraiser and got the entire tamed, fully vetted and adopted out.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

The process of trapping, vetting and releasing is questioned by many.  Some say the wild bird population is harmed while others say it is inhumane to allow these cats to live outside in the elements.  Some believe it would be better to just put them down.

I look at feral cats as wild cats.  These cats were either at some point the pet of a human or the offspring of a pet.  They have their own family dynamic and generally are not destructive to their environment.  Feral colonies become a problem when their population gets out of control.  By trapping these cats, altering them and returning them back to their colony; they are allowed to live out their lives without adding to the overpopulation.  These cats are not “homeless”.  Their home is the outdoors, I simply make it a little easier on them by providing food and shelter.

Of course all this care does not come for free.  There are traps, food and vet bills to cover.  I try to do fundraisers when new cats appear by my costs are year round.  Not only do I have the feral colony but I also foster when I can.  The offer of Sterling’s Fudge Emporium to do a month long fundraiser at the beginning of kitten season is just short of a miracle.   So head over, take a look at the great fudge and remember with each purchase a portion will help me with my work here.

Fudge for Ferals - What a Fantastic Fundraiser!    (WITH BACON)

Photo Credit - Sterling's Fudge Emporium

Namaste & Blessed Be


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