Barn catWhen I see our remaining three Y2K cats, I am reminded of the miracle that made our pride manageable. The Veterinarian's office always peaks my interest with the population projection of a mating cat couple. Let's just say, in 15 years there are quite a few.

We live in a rural area and there is a barn at the end of our driveway. In the 30 years we have lived here, there have been several cat invasions. Well, it is not the cats' fault, nor the kittens' fault. We know barns are a magnet for people who want to rid themselves of the sacred animals I call friends.

The first invasion introduced me to GMAD, Green Mountain Animal Defenders.

Early 1990's, there were 2 veterinarians and volunteers who love cats. They loaned us ‘have a heart’ traps and technical advice. They got grants and donations to help defray costs. We had many cats neutered, vaccinated and released them back to their feral life. Kittens were adopted out. The exponential reproduction, the 3 litters a year, was stopped.

We kept a few cats. We adopted out many. They tattooed the feral cats on the head in case they were ever trapped again.

The drive to breed, the ability to breed are among cats’ greatest skills. We had one feral female calico who would run away when we set the traps with sardines. The volunteer at GMAD said plainly, "She's pregnant." The volunteer knew pregnant Mom cats will not do risky things.

Fred rigged up a trap with a string to cut when she went to eat. Then we had to cut the string. At last the "Baby Maker" as we called her, was headed to our appointment.

The staff, the assistance the GMAD have been a miracle for us. They have helped us with any problems, they charged us a reasonable amount, they facilitated adoptions when we needed.

They are all about the cats.

If anyone is considering setting up an animal rescue, or neutering clinic, The Green Mountain Animal Defenders in Colchester, Vermont, US is a great model. Because of them, we have 3 cats from Y2K. 1 lives indoors and 2 feral outdoor cats. The population did not explode, and our lives have been more peaceful.

Cat pileIt is a sound like no other. The tiny kitten, still suckling, crying out by the barn. We have no idea where he came from. Except his Dad came from a farm 4 miles west of here. I reach down to pick him up. Barely a ball of fur, he hissed and bit at me. "Forget you!" I said and went in. The next night Fred went out. He hauled in little tiny Napoleon, who sleeps on my lap as I write this, 15 years later.

by Mary E. Gerdt 2015
all rights reserved


A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras

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