People from Smith Creek and nearby neighborhoods along with local veterinarians and Wake County Animal Control are giving these feral cats a better life. We're doing Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) to get the feral cats situation under control, and caring for them after they get released. Thanks to our neighbors at nextdoor.com, we have an estimated 3 month supply of food as of early August 2019.
The two male feral felines above are the "Duke" of Orange and Professor "Boots" McSqueemish. While the professor is a master of mind control over humans, the Dukester always gets his way just by charisma and being such a good kitty. They have both been feeding at our back deck since adopting us in 2018 and have become increasingly friendly. They both eat at the same time, from the same tray. When I tried to trap them, one went in one door of the trap and the other went in the other door. As the trap doors shut, they both made a fast escape! For now, they are still unneutered free-range kitties, but Gina from Safe Haven gave me good ideas for eventually apprehending these loveable desperadoes.
Our neighbor was found dead on July 16, 2019. He was the owner of indoor cats which, to the best of my knowledge, all became outdoor feral cats several years ago when the water pipes going to his house burst due to a lightning strike. Water to the house was never fixed and the outdoor cats eventually had litters of kittens that were fed, but not spayed, neutered, or vaccinated. After a while, this developed into a colony estimated (by his close friend) to be 20 feral cats.
On July 18th, our yard suddenly and 'lyrically' went from "Our house is a very very very fine house with two cats in the yard" to "cat scratch fever"! "Here a cat, there a cat, everywhere a kittie cat."
See video of Wake County Animal Control picking up 2 orange cats trapped on 8/1/2019. One of them is a male kitten and the other is of unknown gender and appears to be slightly older than the most recent litter of kittens. Wake County Animal Control has an excellent TNR program for feral cat colonies. They pick up trapped feral cats Monday through Thursday, spay or neuter, vaccinate for rabies protection, "tip" the ears so the cats can be identified as already treated and part of a feral community that has at least one caregiver, ID chip them, and release them back at the place they are familiar with.
This pure black feral male kitten, "Midnight", was trapped on 8/7/2019, picked up by WCAC, and was returned and released on Monday 8/12. See video of Midnight release!
Also on 8/7/2019: Update on the calico "prettiest cat in the world" which I trapped last week and brought in to Capital Blvd Animal Hospital. She was treated and released at the end of last week and has been seen a few times since. Tonight she was eating on our back patio and appears quite healthy.
Animal Control released one more kitten on Friday, 8/8. The black kitten, Midnight, is still at Animal Control and might come home soon.
STATUS AS OF 8/12:
No additional feral kittens or cats have been seen. The colony appears to be 10 ferals total, which is half the original estimate of 20 by a close friend of my deceased neighbor. If true that the total number of ferals at this colony is 10, and 8 have been TNR leaving only 2 adult males, all females are accounted for! The feral colony has been brought under control!!
Update on 8/11. I trapped what I think is the last of the small kittens this evening. I'll call WCAC in the morning so she can be picked up when they come here to release Midnight. Its' marking appear to be tortoiseshell. If it is a tortie, she is most likely female. I'm quite pleased about having so many females spayed as that will certainly get the feral cat colony cycle of breeding more feral litters under control. Our neighbors Tracie and Colton dropped by to visit her. They are excellent with cats and might even tame/domesticate one.
On 8/12, the black kitten, Midnight, was released and WCAC picked up the tortoiseshell kitten.
All of the animal shelters in Wake County appear to be full at the moment and not accepting new boarders, including domesticated cats. This makes TNR programs all the more important. TNR is the most humane option available for feral cat colonies. If you love animals and want to adopt, now is a great time to visit animal shelters and expert caregivers such as Safe Haven For Cats.
I did hours of research into feral cats and TNR programs, but even research cannot replace lots of sound advice from experts. One such expert is the very kind, caring, and knowledgeable Gina Jennings from Safe Haven For Cats. Gina has provided lots of great ideas and helped me with planning whenever I needed to know the next steps in caring for a successful and happy feral cats colony. Happy cats and happy neighbors is our goal!
A 79 year old woman in Garfield Heights, Ohio (remember Garfield?!) was found in contempt of court and sentenced to 10 days in jail for continuing to feed feral cats despite court orders. I suspect this was a feral colony that got out of control and neighbors had valid complaints. This is why it is so very important to get feral cat colonies under control with good, humane TNR programs. We are very fortunate that Wake County provides TNR support. For more info about the Garfield woman do an internet search for Garfield Heights stray cats.
A Wake Forest resident in the Rogers Road area has lost two cats, presumed to be taken by a coyote - resident has a video of the coyote.
The NC HOME site was to be retired but is back to be used to update our Wake Forest neighbors with status of the neighborhood feral cats and TNR program.
8/17/2019: The Wake County Animal Center emptied its shelter for the first time. This gives the staff and volunteers an opportunity to do an extra good job of cleaning and preparing for other animals to come in. The Clear the Shelters Day was Saturday, a national day for adopting animals. The WCAC waived adoption fees and spay/neuter fees.