The Ups and Downs of Managing a Feral Cat Colony, This is Feral Cat Ministry!

I, Daniel Torres of The Best Cat Page have had the privilege of working with the fine folks at Feral Cat Ministry over the course of 2015.

I felt an immediate connection with one of their cats named, “YAR,” a sweet ginger boy with only one eye. Since working with them, I have been following their page on a regular basis.

I recently came up with the idea to do a feature story on the ministry to show people who don’t know just how difficult it is to efficiently care for a large clowder of cats.

Our friend Kathy Travis of Feral Cat Ministry writes:

“Feral Cat Ministry wasn’t planned, it just happened!”

“The family that lived here before us, used to feed feral cats. When my husband, Buddy, and I moved in 10 years ago, we didn’t have the funds to feed the 20 or so feral cats, so we fed them cooked rice.”

“Then our old neighbor died, and his 8 cats came looking for food! And that spring we had a kitten explosion!”

“Although I tried to adopt them out, we now had over 50 cats. It was very scary, because with our current income, we were truly struggling to feed ourselves, much less 50 cats! And it felt hopeless, with none of them fixed, I couldn’t see a solution to our predicament.”

“I was very creative with food, and somehow learned to make one piece of chicken and a pot of rice stretch to feed the masses! Soon neighbors were saving their leftovers for us usually leftovers from church dinners, I would even bring a bucket to collect the leftovers! The good part was that we had 7 acres and several outbuildings where these cats could be safe. An old trampoline made an ideal feeding spot!”

“One winter we got snowed in, and we were out of food…out of rice, out of bread, really the cupboard was bare. About the 3rd day with no food, I could barely look at the faces of the cats at the door, and I cried!”

“Finally, in the spring of 2011, the county offered to TNR all the feral cats for one donation, which my friend paid! Happy day! This was when I could see solutions for this colony!”

The next spring was wonderful….no feral kittens, just everyone getting healthier and more stable! Several of the ferals became tame. We had a friendly young cat with three legs, who we called Skippy. There were still about 40 cats, and in order to remember them, I started giving them names like “WhiteNose” and “BarelyOrange”.

“One of our old ferals has become a poster child for ferals! His name is YAR. He showed up here about 10 years ago, with some old, healed injuries; a missing eye, and broken ribs. Peanut is another character, an over-friendly orange tabby! So many characters, all so different! I was enjoying seeing this colony progress without the horrible tom fights and yeowling and unwanted kittens and exhausted mothers! Amen! I am a praying woman, and have been always thankful for our blessings!”

“My husband named our effort, Feral Cat Ministry….We had a yard full of feral cats, and we are about our Lords’ business! It’s a true ministry for us!”

“A friend of ours, Betty Lontz, suggested that I set up a Facebook page about the cats. The initial motivation was the hope that we could get some of the cats adopted. So I threw on a few pictures of the cats, with their descriptions. The page didn’t do much at first, and I shared it to several other cat sites…all the sudden, we got a message from Tina Weiss, animal advocate, who shipped us 4 bags of food! People, I am telling you, this was a Hallelujah blessing! It’s hard to describe the relief, happiness and thankfulness I felt! The clowder was eating well, and it was good. I was surprised when she sent more food again! And it seemed the more joy I posted on our page, we received more offers of food! To this day, the food at Feral Cat Ministry is supported completely by its followers! And not one donation comes in that my heart overflows with thanksgiving!”

“I have never asked for donations on this page…that was never my intention! But what blessings and joy to be connected with so many great people! I’ve really enjoyed meeting people from all over the world!”

Please enjoy this gallery of captioned photos I have done on behalf of Feral cat ministry in 2015.

And please, follow this story to the end for a personal announcement from me, Daniel Torres of The Best Cat Page.

And now, my announcement. I fell so deeply in love with “YAR” of Feral Cat Ministry, I now have a “YAR” of my own! Meet … Mr Pinch! – Daniel, The Best Cat Page.

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