Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  When it's Overwhelming

    Posted 06-09-2024 06:59 PM

    Hi everyone,

    We are a couple who do TNR in our little town of Bay Minette, Alabama. A local rescue, Azalea City Cat Coalition sometimes helps us find placement for the 'friendlies' we find but they are often overwhelmed. We currently support a big rescue household because rescues here are very few and far between.

    We are lucky to have our local No Kill shelter help with Spay/neuter vouchers-and we are so lucky to have them. But I am wondering if there are untapped resources we don't know about.

    This year has been somewhat difficult. My husband was unexpectedly hospitalized for nearly 6 months and is just now getting back to things. I had help feeding our colonies, but we had two other folks take over the feeding of one of our colonies-and we found out just today that friendly 6 month old kittens-one now pregnant-were dumped there. We are already making plans to get them neutered. 

    There are just the two of us, and two volunteers-sadly, neither are really reliable. Here, cats multiply and it's like living in a truly undeveloped country-as we get one or two cats fixed-all we can do with the both of us-2 or 3 more show up pregnant. It's hard. 

    I'm originally from NY, and while it was very hard there-here it's much worse. Our really kind vet that does all our neutering and spaying is 79 years old and we hope daily that he will not retire-because the only other vet here stopped taking the vouchers and the two times we used them loaded the cats up with 'extras' we couldn't afford,  so we no longer use him. 

    Does anyone have any good suggestions on how to deal with what sometimes feels so hard to deal with?  There are times we feel so very alone. 


    Deb and Jim Knowles

    Bay Minette, Al

    Below is a poem I've written about one of these very cats...

    Minerva Waits

    She is there every eve just at sunset
    A tabby with green-golden eyes
    She waits patiently away from the others
    She's made of grace in tiger cat guise
    She must have had someone to love her
    Her tiny 'mews' melt my heart
    But she's not so trusting these days
    What upset her apple cart?

    And some would call her a 'feral'
    Some would call her a 'stray'
    But we just call her a little soft coated

    Minerva waits for dinner...

    Maybe she's just lost her way
    We do our best to feed her
    We dread leaving her here
    Oh the stories she could tell
    But one thing is at least crystal clear
    She was loved, yes, loved in her lifetime
    Someone has held her dear

    Minerva allows us to pet her
    She doesn't allow us see
    Where she melts into the shadows
    We don't know where she should be
    I'd love to find her a foster
    But good homes are short in supply
    As we feed the sixty first cat tonight
    I find myself wondering why
    Would someone go to a breeder
    For a kitten with markings, for sure
    That money would pay for so much cat food
    For cats that aren't deemed 'pure'.
    As Minerva sits in an alley
    The cat the 'purists' ignore

    I won't give up on Minerva
    Nor Jade, nor, Alphie nor Maive
    I believe in the magick of cat
    I believe they all can be saved
    As I whisper entreaty
    To my Warrior Poet so wise
    I feel the answer as the tears fall unseen
    For all of my wild furry guides
    For one thing I know I'm sure about
    They're our teachers in small furry guise.

    Deb Hoffmann Knowles 'Fyrecat' inspired by Orange Ruffy, Warrior Poet


    Debra Hoffmann
    Safe Harbor Animal Coalition

  • 2.  RE: When it's Overwhelming

    Posted 06-10-2024 09:16 AM

    it is so sad that your husband was hospitalized, but your poem was beutiful

    Deepa Sriram
    business woman
    Self employed

  • 3.  RE: When it's Overwhelming

    Posted 06-10-2024 05:42 PM

    Hi Deb,

    Have you looked in to  Spay Neuter Impact Project in MS? I mapped it and it's about an hour and a half from you.   Maybe it'd be worth the trip if they could give you multiple appts and you make a day trip out of it.

    Dara Edmonds
    Executive Director
    Central Florida Community Pet Clinic

  • 4.  RE: When it's Overwhelming

    Posted 06-11-2024 05:59 AM

    We know about them, yes. For right now we're relying on our vet. We just have 4 traps and I wouldn't want to chance having to get a whole bunch of cats there-even if we had more traps-in our van. It's pretty old and it's just the two of us and perhaps maybe one volunteer we could count on. 

    Debra Hoffmann
    TNR and Foster Pawrent
    Azalea City Cat Coalition
    Bay Minette AL