Thus far this year, Catalyst for Cats has held two Spay-A-Thon events, one in January and the other in March. For the first time, things are finally coming together with our TNR program in the Santa Maria area, our last front in the campaign to overcome feline overpopulation within Santa Barbara County.
It’s exciting to put a group of volunteers together. We intend to establish a winning team as we fight to improve the lives of feral cats by attacking the overpopulation problem. Our group of Santa Maria volunteers trap, transport, foster sick or injured feral cats while they recuperate, and set up feeding stations.
In addition, we now have a holding area for pre- and post-surgery, as well as a site for picking up traps and equipment as needed. Working with these dedicated volunteers is inspiring because of their enthusiasm and, at the rate we are spaying and neutering this year, we are making a difference.
Last year we fixed over 550 cats, with special emphasis in the Guadalupe and Santa Maria areas. We experienced some very difficult situations where people were uncooperative, even though their yards were running over with unsocialized cats, tame cats, nursing moms, pregnant cats, and kittens. We prevailed in most of these situations but, unfortunately, not all.
Reports of the arrival of newborns began in January. We look forward to the day when we can spend springtime enjoying the colors and bursts of flowers instead of rescuing, adopting, and trying to talk people into fixing their cats. It has been a long and difficult journey, not without heartbreak, but with many rewards.
This spring—after 19 years—I believe we can see light at the end of the tunnel in our commitment to help feral cats within the whole of Santa Barbara County. For our part, we are dedicated to this cause. I can’t express strongly enough our gratitude to those of you who have supported our work to make “every cat a wanted cat.”
We’ve got ‘em covered: Draped cages filling the holding area at the Santa Maria Shelter on Spay Day in March symbolize a breakthrough in Catalyst’s efforts to solve the County’s feral cat overpopulation problem.
Technicians ready a female cat for spay.
— Randi T. Fairbrother