Two groups care for feral/abandoned cats in our community

Neferkitty: feral, fixed, healthy and cared for.

Firstly, it must be said that an unfinished article entitled “Waterloo Alley Cat Project corrections to Euclid Beach Feral Cat Project update” in the Collinwood Observer, Vol. 3, Issue 1, March 2011, was mistakenly printed by The Observer. Both the publisher and the authors would like the entire readership to know that the article should be disregarded. Waterloo Alley Cat Project would also like to sincerely apologize to Ginger Hannah of Euclid Beach Feral Cat Project for any misunderstanding and/or ill will caused as a result of this inadvertent error. Both groups are dedicated to the common cause of managing the feral cat population.

The confusion is partly attributable to the fact that North Collinwood Feral Cat Project (NCFCP) found it necessary to become 2 separate organizations, namely Euclid Beach Feral Cat Project (EBFCP) and Waterloo Alley Cat Project (WACP) in order to be more effective in curtailing the huge problem of the estimated 3,000+ abandoned stray cats in North Collinwood. As very few volunteers are doing a tremendous amount of work, a much greater success rate was and is now being achieved through focused efforts in smaller more manageable areas.

EBFCP has shared over $800 in donations with WACP in the past year after a charitable windfall resulted from a heartwarming article that appeared in the Plain Dealer last May. Their generosity is greatly appreciated since donations to WACP are almost non-existent except for money taken in from a yearly fundraiser and countertop collection cans in Waterloo Cafe, Music Saves, This Way Out Shoppe and Blue Arrow Records. The current financial situation however sees both groups with very low funds.

Both projects practice trap-neuter/spay-return (TNR) on a volunteer basis. In neighborhoods throughout Cleveland, TNR programs have proven to be effective at humanely managing feral and stray cats, while at the same time reducing their numbers. With TNR, the cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies, given flea treatment, in some cases dental treatment, ear-tipped and, if feral, returned to their original territories. A trained caretaker then provides food and shelter on a daily basis, and watches for newcomers or problems. Friendly cats that are most likely abandoned pets are available for adoption after a thorough health check.

The Unsung Benefits of Feral Cats

Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about felines, the unsung benefit of having a certain number of healthy fixed feral cats around is that they are actually good for your health.

It is reasonably argued that the millions of cats slaughtered alongside the so-called heretics they were associated with during the Inquisition may well have contributed to the severity and spread of the plague. An epic catastrophe (no pun intended) to mankind caused by rodent-borne diseases because not enough felines were around to kill them.

The Roman City Council now officially protects feral cats living in the ruins of The Coliseum, The Forum and The Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. They consider feral cats an important part of the city's "bio-heritage." The same recognition of this "bio-heritage" is totally relevant to our own backyards.

We would like everyone to be aware of the benefits that the practice of TNR as opposed to euthanization provides for the community on very limited funding:

1. Humanely reduce the cat overpopulation.

2. Lower mating and territorial behaviors.

3. Handle the difficulties of mortality and sickness in the cat population.

4. Provide shelter, food and medical care on a daily basis.

Your Support Is Vitally Important

The visual impact of free roaming stray cats can give the impression of an uncaring community. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for not only the cats, but for everyone who lives, works, visits, and is considering moving to/ investing in North Collinwood.

The wonderful work these volunteers are doing out of the kindness of their hearts deserves the highest praise and recognition. All manner of support is greatly appreciated and sorely needed in order to continue and ideally expand.

Please let us know if you are interested in adopting, volunteering, providing information about cats in your area, or making a tax-deductible donation! Contact Northeast Shores Development Corporation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization located at 317 E. 156th Street, Cleveland, OH 44110. Or call Denise Lorek at 216 481 7660 and mention that you saw this article.

monica doyle

Waterloo Alley Cat Project and Euclid Beach Feral Cat Project 

Read More on Naturally Collinwood
Volume 3, Issue 2, Posted 11:10 AM, 04.04.2011