PRIORITY FEEDING STATIONS MUST BE KEPT OUT OF SIGHT
with only those feeding knowing the exact location. This is
to protect the food from being contaminated or destroyed.
A water container must also be supplied and kept clean with
SECOND PRIORITY It is mandatory to have dry
food available at all times in containers that will
not be exposed to rain and fog. This may require innovative
concealment and construction of special shelter-type covers.
THIRD PRIORITY HAVE A REGULAR
FEEDING SCHEDULE DRY feeders are to be refilled,
kept clean from debris and dirt, wet food plates or bowls
(either dark brown or black) need to be cleaned and/or picked
up each day to avoid exposing the feeding stations and complaints
from the neighbors of trash-like appearance. Do not use white
paper plates or anything that will draw attention. Any neglect
or irresponsible actions will impact upon the ferals and may
place their lives in jeopardy. NEVER LET DOWN YOUR GUARD AND
BECOME COMPLACENT WITH REGARD TO YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES IN
CARETAKING. THERE MAY BE PERSONS WHO WILL NOT TOLERATE THE
CATS, NO MATTER HOW IMPROVED THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND WILL USE
ANY OPPORTUNITY TO REMOVE AND/OR DESTROY THEM.
PRIORITY IT IS BEST TO FEED AT THE SAME TIME EACH DAY.
They become used to you showing up. Cats are creatures of
habit and this will assist you as well. Also, having dry food
available keeps them from begging and searching for food in
unsafe places, especially if you are late in arriving. IF
YOU CANNOT FEED ON YOUR DESIGNATED DAYS, ALWAYS ARRANGE FOR
SOMEONE ELSE TO FILL IN FOR YOU. DO NOT LET MORE THAN A DAY
GO BY WITHOUT SOMEONE CHECKING THE AREA. Many things can happen
in a 24 hour period that would require immediate attention.
VIGILANCE IS PART OF THE JOB. WE ARE THERE TO INSURE THEIR
GOOD HEALTH AND SURVIVAL.
FIFTH PRIORITY BE OBSERVANT
of those who show up for feeding. Check to see if they
seem normal and there are no injuries or appearance of illness
and take the necessary steps for their care. ALSO, notice
if there are any newcomers without the ear nipped. They will
need to be trapped, spayed and/or neutered and returned to
SIXTH PRIORITY DO NOT DISCUSS
THE COLONY WITH STRANGERS. Do not give ANY INFORMATION
as to how many there are or where they are. Be friendly, but
vague. You do not need to identify yourself as their caretaker
to anyone. If you are having a problem with any person in
your area, contact us and we will advise you.
PRIORITY TAKE SPECIAL CARE that the area where the
ferals reside is kept clean from any unusual amount of feces.
This will only be a concern if the colony is large in a limited
space. Keep a spray bottle with a non-toxic odor deterrent
and pick up any offending feces in a plastic bag and put into
a garbage disposal container. We may not personally object
to the presence of a bit of feces, but we have found that
it is just one more reason for complaints. Even though there
will be dog feces around, that is not our problem. We just
see to it that we have covered ALL OF OUR BASES. There are
some feral colonies in such close proximity to the neighbors,
the Caretakers have large litter boxes installed in the area
to avoid just such a problem.
AS CARETAKERS, WE HONOR AND PROTECT
THOSE IN OUR CARE. WE TRY TO FORSEE ANY PROBLEMS THAT MAY
OCCUR AND TAKE MEASURES TO CORRECT THEM. IF SOMEONE KNOWS
YOU ARE THE CARETAKER AND COMPLAINS TO YOU, APOLOGIZE AND
REASSURE THEM THAT THE PROBLEM WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF. IT IS
USUALLY A NUSSIANCE SITUATION FOR THAT PARTICULAR PERSON AND
CAN BE EASILY REMEDIED.
ALWAYS REMEMBER, WE ARE CARING FOR THE HOMELESS AND NEGLECTED.
THEY ONLY HAVE US BETWEEN THEM, STARVATION, ABUSE OR EXTINCTION.
WE HAVE AN UNSPOKEN COVENANT WITH THE FERALS TO HONOR AND
CARE FOR THEM. TO DO ALL THAT IS POSSIBLE TO SEE THEY ARE
NEVER ABUSED OR NEEDLESSLY DESTROYED. THEY HAVE MUCH TO TEACH
US ABOUT OURSELVES.
Dona Cosgrove Baker, President and Founder, Feral Cat Caretakers'