Fabulous Felines operates an active rescue and feral colony management program. Lost, abandoned, and feral cats gather in colonies; if left alone, the animals follow nature’s course, leading to an exponentially growing population. Because truly feral cats (those born in the colony and not given strong human contact while kittens) are essentially wild animals, they are difficult, if not impossible, to adopt as companion animals. We are actively managing a feral colony, and have named this effort Project Apollo after one of the first cats we TNR’d.
Over the years, we have learned to appreciate and love these little wild creatures who share our city, and have come to admire their remarkable resilience – as well as the hardships that surround their little lives. The remarkable animal to the left is Apollo, a feral cat whom we TNR’d in 2006, and greeted us on our visits to place out food for his colony until his passing in 2011. Everything about this picture – from the heavy winter coat to the look in his eyes – is a haunting reminder that although feral cats often cannot be domesticated, they carry all the dignity and power of any wild animal.
We take a trap-neuter-return approach to colony management. We work with neighborhood residents to trap free-roaming cats (if we think an animal has an owner, we try to return it). The first stop for all other animals is the vet, where intact cats are spayed or neutered, and everyone gets a check-up, shots, and needed medical care. If a cat is lost or abandoned, if our efforts to find their owner fail, and if the cat responds to human attention, or is young enough to be domesticated, we move it to our foster house, and ultimately into an adoption program.
If an animal is truly feral, we return it to the colony after it is neutered, vaccinated, and treated for any illness or injury. This is always difficult, and every time we return an animal it breaks our hearts a little. Sadly, we do not have the resources to provide life-care for the many ferals we encounter; for truly feral cats, we believe it is the best alternative. Trap-neuter-return manages the problem of colony growth, addressing the needs of the neighborhood, while letting these animals live out their lives in the only home they know. To make their lives easier, we work with caring people in the neighborhood to provide food and shelter to the colony.
As with our foster house, our rescue and colony management activities require considerable resources for food, veterinary care, and managing cats in our care. Please visit our support or volunteer pages if you would like to help.