Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day! Print E-mail
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon   
Sunday, August 17, 2014

Just a quick reminder that today, August 17th, is Black Cat Appreciation Day! From the ASPCA website link about this day:

"At the ASPCA, we LOVE black kitties—but the sad truth is that not everyone feels the same way. Due to outdated (and incorrect) myths and superstitions, black cats have a really hard time getting adopted. That’s why we were so glad to learn that this Sunday, August 17, is Black Cat Appreciation Day!

To celebrate this holiday, we put together just a few of the many reasons we appreciate these raven-coated kitties:

  • Black cats go with everything—and they’ll never go out of style!
  • You can tell your kids you adopted a miniature panther.
  • Their fur won’t show on your little black dress.
  • In most cultures, black cats are a sign of good luck.
  • Black cats are just as loving, sweet and wonderful as any other cat!

We hope you will join us in celebrating Black Cat Appreciation Day by heading to your local shelter and bringing home a black cat this weekend."

Feral Fixers also has several loving (and lovely!) black kitties looking for their forever homes - check out our PetFinder page to see them and all of our cats and kittens up for adoption.

Thank you!

Shhh, don't tell... Print E-mail
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon   
Saturday, August 16, 2014

Feral Fixers Tammy McAuley gives us an update on the QT...

"Shhhhhh! Don't tell. But FF actually took some cats into PAWS on 8/14. Even tho we were supposed to be on hiatus. Maybe we need help with the definition of "hiatus."

We had 23 friendlies and two ferals, 14 females, 10 males, 1 URI rejected for surgery. Charli drove in, Dedra picked up.

Next Thursday would be a FREAKIN' nightmare if we hadn't. May still be!

Too many cats!!!"

Thanks Charli! Thanks Dedra! These first 24 cats of August give us a yearly total of 748 and an overall total of 6,724.

Finishing July with a flourish! Print E-mail
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon   
Friday, August 01, 2014

This past Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Feral Fixers made three more trips to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic, bringing in cats to be spayed/neutered. For these three trips, we brought in a total of 81 cats to PAWS. Trip details:

  • On Tuesday, we brought in 10 cats; 2 ferals and 8 friendlies. I did the morning trip and super-volunteer Dedra did the evening trip. All 10 cats were fixed this day.
  • On Wednesday, we brought in 25 cats; 2 ferals and 23 friendlies. Feral Fixers Board member Kurt did the morning trip and super-volunteer Dedra did the evening trip. 2 of the friendlies were deemed to be too ill for surgery, so 23 cats in total were fixed this day.
  • And on Thursday, we brought in 46 cats; 8 ferals and 38 friendlies. Super-volunteer Dedra and I jointly did the morning trip and super-volunteer (super-hero!) Dedra and I jointly did the evening trip. All 46 cats were fixed this day.

Thanks Kurt! Thanks, thanks, thanks Dedra! And of course, thank you to super-volunteer Judy who was at Tammy's for most of the morning and evening 'events', helping out with everything that needed doing.

A grand total of 79 cats were fixed on these three trips (and we could have sent in more if we had the slots at PAWS to fit them in!). They'll just have to wait until we start up again in late August. Of these 79 cats, 40 were males and 39 were females - as close to a 50/50 split as one could get.

You'll note that the great majority of these cats were friendlies. These were almost all Kittens that have been fostered and will now be available for adoption. We run into this 'kitten deluge' every year, unfortunately. Hopefully, somewhere down the road, their numbers will begin to diminish.

With these 79 cats, we did a total of 248 cats in July, a new monthly record. Our yearly total now stands at 724 and our overall total stands exactly at 6,700. Since our Celebrate 5500 event late last year, we've had an additional 1,200 cats fixed!

And speaking of records, the PAWS clinic set a new monthly surgery record for July - doing a total of 1,906 spay/neuter surgeries! That's awesome in anyone's book!

So, no more surgeries / trips to PAWS until the week of August 17th.

Two more stories, Conference & Kittens, and the Starfish... Print E-mail
From The President
Written by Tammy McAuley   
Friday, July 11, 2014

I think I’m going to continue sharing our stories with you guys, you seem to like them and it helps you get the big picture about what we do! And I’m never going to run out of stories!

Got a call today from a lady, she’s 86 years old, retired 26 years ago from AT&T, didn’t expect to live this long, she says! She has a barn and two horses and she’s doing okay taking care of everything still but she went and fed these two cats. Now, there’s 12 adults and 8 kittens. Could we help? She feels really bad, but just can’t stretch her finances further than donating $100 to offset our costs. She thinks the kittens are 9 weeks old. I’m torn between wanting them to be 7 weeks or less or more than 10 weeks old. 7 weeks or less are usually easily tamed (although there is nowhere to put them) and 10+ weeks can be put back, hard as it is to see the little guys out there. The upside of this, even tho she is outside of DuPage County, we have a wonderful volunteer out there on the edge of our service area that may be able to help somewhat. You do the math tho, if all 20 are done as ferals, that’s $700 to us. If the kittens are sent thru as friendlies, that’s $20 more each, bringing the total to $860. A long way from $100 but we cannot let this situation explode into 40+ in the Spring. I’m hoping we can get out there this coming week, cross your fingers for us!

Got a call from a girl on Wednesday = we go to PAWS on Thursday, you know. She had put off calling us in order to save up money to get a few of the cats done. In the meantime, the total had grown to 14 cats or so. Clearly, it does no good to wait, the problem will always grow beyond the resources! Imagine her relief when I told her that since she lived in Addison, we get reimbursed for the s/n! I told her that we would get to her as soon as possible. I Mapquested her and realized that one of our indispensible trappers takes care of a colony within two miles of her. Called her up, she went over there after work and brought four cats in that evening for surgery the next day!

This is all made possible because we have willing volunteers who rearrange their lives in order to reduce the numbers of feral cats. It is made possible by our donors who create that cushion of money that enables us to front the costs in Addison to be reimbursed later, to be able to neuter all 20 cats and kittens that have suddenly erupted from one location. It is made possible by each person who friends us, forwards and shares our info, participates in our events.

Thank you!


I recently attended the Illinois Animal Welfare Federation Prairie States Conference in Bloomington. Attended by employees and volunteers of animal controls and shelters for the most part, I seemed to be the only attendee from a TNR focused organization there. I felt I was spreading the gospel at times in talking to different people. Most were receptive but I was amazed at the number who did not think it was important to microchip ferals – even representatives of national organizations were clearly befuddled that we were “wasting” our money. I’m reminded of the starfish story, you can’t toss all the stranded starfish back into the sea, but its very important for the ones that you are able to do so for – and so it is for all of the cats that we have microchipped and had their lives changed as a result and we are lucky enough to know their stories!

On the whole, these were friendly, receptive people who attended and hosted the event. Remember, these are “animal” people, they don’t normally relate well to humans! But, I think that conferences like this break down the barriers and fears that our overwork and isolation produce in animal rescue.

I was able to talk to a few vendors and have promised to share some of our experiences with their products with them. I enjoyed talking to the Tomahawk trap representatives!

One of the seminars that I attended was dedicated to increasing donations, maintaining communication with donors. You know there are some organizations that have full-time, paid employees that all they do is solicit, groom, schmooze donors? They go to lunch with prospective donors or at the very least, meet them for coffee. I walked out of there feeling that I had let you guys down – you know I have every INTENTION of keeping up with thank you cards & letters, right? I just can’t seem to keep up with that when there are still cats to neuter, kittens to tame, and all the wide and varied duties that are part of doing TNR that no one ever sees.

One entertaining seminar was devoted just to ticks and the illnesses they spread. Itched the whole time. The life of a tick is much more complicated than I had any idea!


Our shelter partners have done their best to take kittens from us this year but now they are maxed out for the most part and we have dozens and dozens of kittens on hand. This is over and above the friendly adults that have come our way. We will be participating in a few adoption events in the next two months, please stop by and say hello and let your friends and family know our schedule. And of course, when you stop at a shelter – ask to see the cats that came from Feral Fixers!

Every call we get these days involves moms & kittens. In March and April and even May, we can be pretty certain the kittens are going to be young enough to tame easily, but now we are getting into those kittens that are older, if they haven’t interacted with humans already, they will need to go back where they came from – we cannot afford the months of taming that they will require to be adoptable. This is why people should not wait until they see the kittens come up to the food bowl and then try to find an answer – it can be too late. There are a limited number of adoptive homes and fewer foster homes than that. Please help us get ahead of the kittens! The next rush is due in just a few short weeks – they are out there mating now! Don’t delay! Spay today!

And finally, the story of the Starfish...

A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.

“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” he asks.

“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die.”

“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”

The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”

What if cats said "Hey"... Print E-mail
Audios / Visuals of the Week
Written by TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsKatt   
Friday, July 11, 2014

I was digging through the archives (not my litter box) a few days ago and found this "oldie but goodie"...



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