Six today Print E-mail
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon   
Saturday, August 30, 2014

Feral Fixers brought in six more cats to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic to be fixed today. Four of these cats were ferals while the other two were 'friendly ferals'. Tammy gives us the story of today's cats and their interaction with Feral Fixers and PAWS.

"The end of the year arrives before we know it and PAWS was kind enough to schedule an extra day of surgery on Saturday. We hustled and managed to get six cats in.

Three of those cats have an interesting story. A woman called Friday and was looking for low-cost spay neuter. A relative had moved in with two cats, moved out abruptly, leaving the two behind and in a matter of days one of them gave birth to 5 kittens. These are in and out cats = kittens are not a surprise if the parties are not neutered. Since we were making a trip today (timing is everything!) and she could nab these guys easily, we planned for her to bring them this morning. She only had access to a very large carrier, and lo and behold, #3 got in too and would not leave without some effort - so she brought all three. We moved them into traps, since they are in/out, they went in as ferals to get an eartip to protect them. This is a very nice lady and now we will be working on the other cats surrounding her home as well. And, helping her when the kittens are large enough for s/n.

There is no such thing as just one cat, its like a single drop in the ocean, the ripples go on forever!"

The male/female distribution of today's load was 50-50; three males and three females. Super-volunteers Maureen and Chris did the trips both ways today; picking up the cats from Tammy's in the morning and bringing them to PAWS and then picking them up from PAWS in the afternoon and bringing them back to Tammy's for recovery and distribution. Thanks Maureen! Thanks Chris!

With these final six cats of August, Feral Fixers processed 94 cats for August (absolutely tremendous considering that we took a break earlier in the month and I'm out of the cat transportation basis, at least on a temporary basis), 818 for the year and 6,794 overall.

And, do you remember Chatter? Tammy tells us "Our friend Chatter has been in his foster for a week or so and is doing very well. We wanted to share an updated photo of him, so that everyone could see what tremendous progress he has made!" Click on the picture thumbnail to see a full-size picture of the handsome lad...

23 more on Thursday Print E-mail
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon   
Saturday, August 30, 2014

Feral Fixers sent in 24 more cats on Thursday to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic to be fixed. 13 of these cats were ferals while the other 11 were friendly ferals. Tammy reports on the details:

"Saffron, a huge male, tried to tell us he had already been neutered with lots of protesting growls and shrieks but since we couldn't look for ourselves (way too animated!) and he had no chip or eartip, he made the trip and now has an eartip and is newly vaccinated. When released he turned around and came back to be petted so we will most likely be hearing more about him some day soon! as he may go find a home of his own - they so often do after the TNR treatment, even if they have been neutered beforehand.

Also in this bunch is a friendly that our volunteers have been trying to persuade his family to get him neutered for over a year - yea!

Super-volunteers Dedra and Charli picked up the cats from Tammy's and brought them to PAWS in the morning while super-volunteers Dedra (again!) and Maureen did the pickup from PAWS in the afternoon and brought them back to Tammy's for recovery and distribution. And, I'm sure that super-volunteer Judy was at Tammy's in the morning and afternoon helping out with everything. Thanks Dedra! Thanks Charli! Thanks Maureen! Thanks Tammy!

Of these 23 cats fixed, 15 were females with the remaining 8 being males.

With these 23 cats, Feral Fixers has now processed 88 cats for August, 812 cats for the year and 6,788 overall.

41 more last Thursday Print E-mail
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon   
Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sorry for the late posting. I was out of town for several days and now have a couple of other issues getting in the way. I know, excuses, excuses, excuses...

Last Thursday (the 21st), Feral Fixers sent in 45 more cats to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic to be fixed. 21 of these cats were ferals while the remaining 24 were "friendly ferals".

Super-volunteers Dedra and Charli picked up the cats from Tammy's in the morning and took them to PAWS (Thanks Dedra! Thanks Charli!) while super-volunteer Dedra (again!) and FF Board Member Kurt picked up the cats from PAWS in the afternoon and brought them back to Tammy's for recovery and distribution. Thanks Dedra! Thanks Kurt! And, I wasn't there, but I'm assuming that super-volunteer Judy was at Tammy's in the morning and afternoon, helping out with everything. Thanks Judy!

Four of the friendlies were cancelled due to Upper Respiratory Infection (URI), so a total of 41 cats were fixed on this trip; 26 females and 15 males.

This brings our August total up to 65, our yearly total to 789 and our overall total to 6,765.

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.”

Cats ARE Magic Print E-mail
Audios / Visuals of the Week
Written by TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsKatt   
Friday, August 29, 2014

Cats are magic, what can I say?

Be careful what you wish for...


Search the Feral Fixers website