The common view of feral cats is not a good one. They are considered a nuisance or pest. In reality, the cats are not the problem; those that made them outcasts are.
Greensboro is, by population, the third-largest city in North Carolina. And according to the 2010 U.S. Census the city has a population of almost 270,000 people (Wikipedia.org). It is possible that another species living in this city may have their human counterparts outnumbered!
When asking feral cat rescuer and advocate Carole I., she is a firm believer that if every North Carolina resident would place one trap, every trap would be filled with at least one feral cat! And she should know well: She has been rescuing, trapping, neutering and releasing feral cats for over 30 years!
Carole currently overseas 4 colonies located in various areas of town. She won’t speak of where; in fear of their welfare! Feral cats are too often met with dislike and even hatred. Their daily life is one of a constant fight for survival! And hunger is not the only danger!
Most of these cats have been once more or less beloved pets. But when they out-grow the cute age, don’t meet the expectations, babies replace them, or their owners move away, they are thrown outside to fend for themselves. Those that should have taken over the responsibility to care for them, abandon them. And since most of these cats and kittens are unfixed, nature takes its course!
Carole’s colonies cover an estimated 50-60 acres of a much larger city. Of the roughly 200 cats she cares for over 98% are spayed and neutered by now. This is the result of over 30 years of trapping, fixing and releasing them; and daily patrols to look for newcomers! Her guesstimate is that she has helped over a thousand cats in all those years. And she knows it will probably never get better. Right across the street is another colony of over one hundred cats she hasn’t been able to touch yet.
Every day she provides between 30-40 lbs of dry cat food to subsidize what these cats find ‘in the wild’ or are fed by other caring people. If she has it or has kittens, she adds another almost 50 cans of wet food to the menu. Her army of helpers is growing and she has the support of a local veterinarian that helps her with getting her charges fixed.
But she is just one person in a city of almost 270.000 people; a drop of water on a hot stone! If her small area already holds that amount of feral cats, how many more are there all over the city that don’t have an Angel looking out for them?! Her charges are healthy and well fed, but what will winter bring for those that are not?!
She believes that the effort of a small group of people could solve the problem! A few more people to help trap, fix and release those that became homeless due to the lack of care of their former owners! A few more people to ensure that even those unwanted creatures will make it through winter alright; fed and healthy!