Fefe the Collinwood Cat
I’ve never considered myself a cat person. Even with this furball cuddled in my lap, it’s hard to resign myself to the title of “cat lady”.
Fefe (renamed, short for feral feline) came to us, malnourished and lacking energy you would normally associate with a cat of her diminutive size. Earlier this summer a house on our street surrendered to the foreclosure crisis and for reasons unknown, Fefe was turned out in a cruel game of survival for an indoor house pet weighing just 6 pounds. A resourceful cat nonetheless, she used her utter adorableness to win over the hearts of many neighbors who left food out for her. Unfortunately, the food also attracted massive groundhogs, raccoons and legitimate feral cats and Fefe had no chance at a morsel.
For anyone who’s ever come upon a wild cat roaming through Collinwood, it’s a best practice not to get too close. Fantastic efforts by groups such as the Waterloo Alley Cat project http://www.waterlooalleycatproject.org practice the trap-neuter/spay-return (TNR) method of humanely controlling the population of cats, but their potential for carrying disease and general unpleasantness does not warm my heart.
Fefe was different. It was obvious she had no wits about her in the urban jungle and the battle scars she endured in the weeks she was out on the streets were heartbreaking - even for a non-cat person.
Before bringing her once again inside, we took her to the veterinarian for a full battery of tests, shots, and a nutrition plan. Stunned, we learned that she was not the kitten we thought but likely 4 years old judging by plaque built up on her teeth. Oh what did this darling suffer to be just 6 pounds at the age of 4!?
Fefe is the most loving creature alive and relishes being held and brushed and kissed like the spoiled baby she’s become since joining our household. She’s gained the appropriate weight dining on a variety of foods (especially her favorite tuna), her energy has rebounded, and she has added a dimension to my life a girl who grew up mostly pet-less (or at least lacking the cuddling kind with fish and parakeets) did not imagine.
If you are looking to add to your family, definitely check out organizations including the Animal Protective League. But you may be surprised that you need not look further than your own driveway, garden, or front porch to find an animal truly in need especially with winter approaching full steam ahead!
Allison is a North Shore Collinwood resident, artist, neighborhood cheerleader and frequent contributor to the Collinwood Observer. She curates "Phone Gallery" and "LOCKS of Love from Waterloo" in the Waterloo Arts District and serves of the Board of Directors of Northeast Shores.