Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Caring For Ferals

Caring comes with a price. At times it is a price of happiness and pure joy, other times it is sadness, anger and exhaustion. Having compassion is a good way to walk through life. Often times, having compassion leaves us with little or nothing to give.

Over the past years I have suffered from being exhausted mentally and physically from feral cat rescue and caring, especially when I give 110% of myself to save a life, then in the end slips through my fingers and nothing I can do can prevent it. Sadness comes when I constantly worry about those I have watched grow, and I loved with every ounce of my heart suddenly disappear, and no traces or signs are left to answer "what happened, where did they go"? There is a deep sorrow in my heart that drains every ounce of energy I have. My mind wanders and plays every scenario of all the possibilities that could have happened to that sweet little feral soul, that had come to eat breakfast and dinner everyday for years, then that one day arrives, he/she doesn't show up. I get no closure.

Trying so hard to save a life breaks my spirit when I lose that fight. Failure will eat at me, as I ask myself "what should I have done differently"? and my heart will be left with little hope, but I can never give up or give in.

Through all the hurt, the loss of hope, and sadness, I still continue to do what I do. Outdoors I am every morning and evening feeding the other feral cats and remembering the smiles they bring me, knowing I am making a difference in their lives, and shedding the tears at the memory of the ones I lost.

Being a caregiver for feral cats isn't easy. Tests of strength and weakness challenge me with every feral I try to help. Through all the heartache, caring for feral cats is a wonderful and beautiful experience. I would never turn my back on one of these beautiful little souls.


troutbirder said...

It is perhaps inappropriate to imply a criticism of such a warm and caring heart as yourself... however, as a novice birder I wonder how you would respond to the birding community which believes that feral cats are one of several major causes of the decline of so many of our songbirds?
p.s. we own a cat (Simba)

T said...

Hi troutbirder,
Not inappropriate at all. You see, I love nature and all its beauty and all the little creatures. Does not matter the species. I do believe that most,(not all)feral cats that are taken care of properly through a caretaker, don't tend to hunt the songbirds, because they are being well cared for and well fed through the caretaker. But, that also depends on the location of the ferals. I agree with what you are saying, the birding community has a good reason to be concerned, they care for the birds as do I. This is the biggest reason I get so angry with the *human Species*. If humans would quit treating animals, (in this case cats) as disposable, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I do TNR, but I am not always convinced it works. Most cats I trap, I work very hard to tame and re home, so they do not have to live their entire life as a feral. Very difficult work, time consuming, requires a lot of patience. I don't believe any cat should be living outside to cause harm to any songbirds, or to damage others property, which is why I try to take it one step further to work with the cats and find a better solution. I love the song birds too. Give Simba a chin scratch for me.:)

Dog_geek said...

Ah, the lack of closure is awfully hard to take. Thank you for choosing to bear that burden on behalf of all the cats. And you are so right in your response to troutbirder - the problem is people. When is society going to wake up?

Ryan K said...


I think your great! My aunt sharon is a HUGE animal person and foster's so many dogs and cats. you would love her! She is trying to open a sanctuary for abandoned dogs and cats. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my dogs.

Dana said...

what a wonderful blog, Im so relieved to know that not all humans are bad people. I do what I can to make sure the homeless cats in my neighborhood do not go hungry I wish I could do more. It angers me and disgusts me that people toss their cats out with their kittens. Thats one of the things Im faced with and I know next spring the cats will have multiplied. I called animal shelters in my county but they said on the recording that they dont respond to cat calls. I wish I could take them all in and care for them but that is not possible.

Anonymous said...

I said it once and I'll say it again. I think you are freakin awesome!! You have such a wonderful caring soul and you not only extend it to these cats but to all living things. The world is a much better place with people like you in it! (((hugs)))

T said...

ryan kay,
Your aunt sounds like my time of person. Kudos to her for trying to open a sanctuary, all the dogs and cats will thank her.

Thank you. I don't think society will ever wake up, sad, but true.

Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for trying to help the homeless cats.


well, you also know I think you are freakin awesome too!!

Betty said...

I've read all your posts now and am so impressed with all you do. We have adopted six little dogs from the local humane society and the one further south. They are the very best pets in the world!

I will be in your city in November and would love to meet you, if you'd enjoy the same. You can email me at and we'll exchange some information.

Take care and keep up the heartwarming efforts. You rock!

T said...

Hey betty,
Thanks. I would love to meet. I will drop you an email soon. :)