An e--newsletter update to celebrate Valentine's Day and to share our love and respect for cats on this special day.  EVERY cat deserves our best care and attention and that is especially true for the feral cats in our communities. 

For decades, feral cats (now called 'community' cats) have been routinely killed by so-called 'animal welfare agencies' and municipal departments as a means of 'control'.  No kindness or compassion, or even common sense, was shown!  The cats could multiply faster and a 'kill all feral cats policy" was ineffective, so the feline numbers increased exponentially and so did the tax-payers' municipally funded animal control budgets. 

BUT . . . somewhere in the late 1980's the first generation of 'TNR cat ladies' worked against enormous odds to stop the brutal and inhumane policies of "killing all feral cats".  Individually and in small (volunteer) groups, they began to show authorities how effective and compassionate Trap/Neuter/Return (or TNR) could be. Archaic practices still linger in many municipalities but the proven success of TNR has generated policy changes in many progressive communities.  TNR is now being recommended as the 'smart' choice for both the business case for budgets and for the ethical outcome for community cats.  However, it's still an uphill battle with some communities that are content with the status quo.  Change is hard work so some people resist any attempt to move into progressive policies. 

The feral groups are educating the general public, and the public is learning there are compassionate and smarter ways to manage feral populations.  Also, many individuals and groups are going to great lengths for the feral cats.  Here's Teri's determined story of how she sought help for a feral cat and how she is now able to pass on her knowledge about successful TNR.


Teri didn't give up and tried for months to get help.  Please click here for her letter to PAF and the wonderful outcome for Casey!


In our November e-newsletter we told you about a feral mom in the City of North Vancouver and how we trapped her and her little kitten one cold morning last October.  Well, what we didn't tell you was that about a week after we caught mom and kitten (Tigger), a neighbour several doors away called us and told us he captured a tiny calico kitten searching for food in his backyard.  Putting the location and timing together, we realized that Sienna had another kitten who was roaming around at the time we caught her and that Tigger had a little sister! We named her Delilah and off to the vet and a foster home she went.  Both little ones were eventually adopted to fabulous homes.

Mommy Sienna was quite wild and used to her habitat so we felt she needed to be returned, after TNR, to the area she knew.  She had lived in a small green space in a residential neighbourhood and had had many litters before we caught and spayed her. We wanted a better life for her and  . . . . we FOUND IT in the form of David and Sandy!  They lived next door to the residential garage where Sienna had her little kittens.  When David and Sandy realized the situation and that we were returning Sienna to her home area, they willingly volunteered to coax her into their yard and be daily caregivers to see if she would stay around.

PAF provided one little sleeping box and David built another one in their garage and, soon enough, Sienna was finding the food and shelter boxes.  During the coldest part of this winter, Sienna has had regular daily meals and a cozy, dry place to sleep for the first time in her life.  And she is WANTED  . . .  David and Sandy look out for her and want her to stay around so they can help her!  David says if he is late with breakfast, Sienna is now starting to come to the back of the house and make her presence known with a look that says ' you're late  . . . where is my breakfast?'   Have a look at the update and recent photo from David in January.   Click here for Sienna's story.


Would you like to see what goes on inside a feral station in the dark of night?  We thought you might so we have video for you into their secret night life.  Although we often see some of our regular feral cats at the feeding stations when we show up to leave daily food, sometimes a regular is AWOL and doesn't show up for awhile.   Lots of reasons for that - there could be a new cat in the area or there may be neighbourhood area changes such as construction or work shift changes.  The feeders all keep watchful eyes out every visit and everyone is emailed with updates to keep current.  No one had seen 'Rodger cat' for awhile so we decided to get 'eyes' into the feeding station at night.  He is quite feral and we figured he was just cruising into the shelter after dark.  (You can read Rodger's amazing rescue story in a previous e-newsletter if you click here and scroll down to the story - 'Rodger Nine Lives'.)   

After dark on the cold night of January 18th, we pulled up to the feral station and GUESS WHAT? . . . out popped Rodger from the feral station and, as he flashed away at full speed, we could tell he looked healthy and was a good weight.  We decided to leave him a surprise in the feral station and we taped the motion-activated camera to an inside wall facing the nice pile of dry straw with a catnip pouch perched on top of it. Early next morning we retrieved the camera and you can watch the results of our effort!  Click each video segment - (each approx. 15 seconds long and runs on Windows Media Player and don't forget to click 'full screen' for best effects!)

Stage is set  . .

Kitty enters station . .

 Kitty Plays . .     & more play

Kitty Face

No action in this frame. Note catnip pouch on top of straw


Rodger comes into station from entry hole & finds catnip


Rodger having fun!


And more fun !


I'll go have some food!


From time to time there are newspaper articles or TV programs targeting feral and outdoor cats as the biggest threat to the declining number of bird species.  Usually missing from these articles/TV programs are mention of the man-made adversities that birds must deal with in sharing the planet with billions of humans.  Little print is given to what some call the major cause of bird species loss - indeed, all species loss, and that is habitat destruction.  Habitat modification, fragmentation and loss is caused by a myriad of human activities including logging, crop farming, livestock grazing, mining, industrial and residential development, urban sprawl, road building, dam building and pesticide use. A good article from the Migratory Bird Center called 'Travel Alert for Migratory Birds:  Stopover sites in decline' sheds light on this subject.

Pesticides are recognized as a major culprit in bird decline - particularly the effect of toxic lawn care products in the decline of the songbird.  Another article from the Migratory Bird Center called "When it comes to pesticides, birds are sitting ducks" is very illuminating.  The following quote: " Population declines and extensive mortality of birds strongly indicate that the health of the environment, and thus the health of organisms that depend on it, suffers due to the prevalence of pesticides."

There is evidence that wind turbines, glass office towers, harsh winters, and long periods of drought also contribute to bird loss.  Any person with even a modicum of common sense cannot lay the blame for the major decline of many bird species at the feet of feral or outdoor cats.  Alley Cat Allies has provided much useful information regarding the debate of bird loss and has a petition at the following link asking for your signature of support.  "Stop spreading junk science that will kill cats".


Ever heard of crowd funding? Well, PAF is going to try it for our feral cats.  The definition of 'crowd funding' in Wikipedia is as follows: 

 'Crowd funding or crowdfunding (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding or hyper funding) describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the internet, to support efforts by other people or organizations.'  

PAF prepared a weblink at 'GoFundMe' back in early January but did not make it public so we could debut it in this e-newsletter.  We haven't been able to spend much time on fundraising as we are quite busy in the field but if you would like to make a donation and join in the 'crowdfunding effort' for PAF please visit the following link and perhaps post it on your Facebook page or email it to your friends.   The more we can raise for feral cats and TNR the better, as we will do our very best to get as many cats through our TNR program as possible. Will you be our Valentine and donate?   Please click the link below to help us  . . . and thank you so very much!


Thank you to all the PAF volunteers who work so tirelessly to give feral cats some compassion and a better life. And with grateful thanks, as well, to Mosquito Creek Veterinary Hospital, Blueridge-Cove Animal Hospital, Norgate Animal Hospital and Capilano Pet Hospital. We couldn't do it without all of you!

A sincere thank you  . . .

Lana Simon, Director
Pacific Animal Foundation