Feral Fixers reached another major milestone today - having our 4,000th cat spayed/neutered.
4,000 cats! Say it all together now - FOUR THOUSAND CATS !!!!!
Andre, a big brown tabby was the lucky cat, and was part of a batch of 48 cats that Feral Fixers brought to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic today. 21 of these cats were friendly ferals while the other 27, including Andre of course, were true ferals. Super-volunteer Charli helped me pick up the cats from Tammy's this morning and bring them to PAWS (thanks Charli!) while super-volunteer Stacy helped me pick up the cats from PAWS this evening and bring them back to Tammy's for delivery (thanks Stacy!). And, as always, super-volunteer Judy was there at all times, helping get the cats ready and then helping to distribute them to the assembled multitudes.
And "assembled multitudes" is not an exaggeration. When I arrived at Tammy's tonight (this was about 9pm - it was a very long day at PAWS - they did 111 surgeries today), Stacy was just leaving (I had sent her on ahead with the friendlies and the paperwork, this so that Tammy could start getting it ready to distribute to the owners). There were 9 other people there waiting to pick up their cats. The driveway was full and so was nearby parking on the street. The good thing about all that was that I had a lot of help unloading all of the cats from my car!
One of the ferals turns out to have already been neutered (but now he has an ear-tip, a rabies and distemper shot, has been de-wormed and treated for fleas and earmites; all part of the standard PAWS TNR package), so we had 47 cats fixed on this trip. This brings the total this month to 104, the total for the year to 514 and the overall total since our inception to 4,019!
You can't do 4,000 cats on your own, it truly takes an organization and a dedicated group of volunteers to make such a monumental accomplishment happen. We are very fortunate to have both of those. It also takes a spay/neuter clinic that is willing to go above and beyond, and PAWS is truly that clinic. We have thrown them curve-ball after curve-ball, special situation after special situation, last minute emergency after last minute emergency, and they have always come through and been there for us. And it takes donors to pay for everything and for their dollars and the faith they show in us by donating them to us, we are very grateful.
Finally it takes a dedicated leader to organize all of this and make it happen, and with Tammy, we certainly have that. She's always on top of things, never forgets to say "thank you" to donors and volunteers, knows cats backwards and forwards and keeps thinking ahead to the next challenge. It's very rewarding and a lot of fun to be part of such a group. We've said it before and we'll say it again - THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE THIS POSSIBLE - WE COULDN'T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!
(Several picture thumbnails in this post - from top to bottom they are; 1) Andre in his trap after surgery, 2) Andre, under sedation, being held by Dr. Jessica Von Waldau of PAWS, 3) Andre being prepped for surgery and 4) the back of Charli's van this morning, fully loaded with cats. Clicking on any of these thumbnails will show you a full-size version of the picture.)