Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Wild Cats of Wildwood: Cat Trap Fever

After work today I went down by Wildwood State Park and there wasn't much going on. I was about to leave when I noticed some people setting out what turned out to be live traps. I met them and ended up helping them, more with information than anything else because I've been observing the cats down here by taking pictures of them.

I've noticed a change in their behavior because they are much more noticeable now and seem to be branching out. I thought maybe there was an interruption in their food supply (which seems to be a shadowy network of 2 to 6 individuals who come at all times of day and night to care for the cats, besides, you know, the natural method of feeding)

because there was less evidence like empty food containers and such.

Ginger and Brian have been rescuing wild cats for at least 2 years. They trap them and take them to the APL where they are assessed and spayed/neutered and then put up for adoption or possibly euthanized or released back into the environment at Wildwood. Sort of a catch and release program. They currently support feeding the cats at least as winter is coming and the cats caloric intake roughly doubles during cold temperatures.

The fishermen we talked to estimate about a hundred cats in the area, and Ginger and Brian caught 4, just a dent, but their best outing yet. I modestly attributed their good luck to my presence. Together, they not only work on the situation at Wildwood, but the Euclid Beach area to the west and also where East 156 Street dead ends at the lake a little more west. Also, there seems to be a community of feral felines at the intersection of East 156 Street and Grovewood that they are involved with.

Out of four cats caught, two seemed recoverable and two, one feral with bad paws and a red nose and the other with three good legs, did not look like they would be re-introduced or adopted. Obviously, Brian and Ginger are doing a hands on service to our community that many people would not want to undertake. My hats off to them, and I'll continue to follow this story. For additional pictures from this story, please click here.

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