Monday, September 20, 2010

Finding the Courage to Help Feral Cats

by Amber N. Yoo, HSSV Volunteer

Virginia McCoy didn’t realize that attending HSSV’s seminar “Helping Homeless Cats in Your Community” would change her life forever. But that’s exactly what it did. Virginia had been feeding stray cats for years and it left her feeling emotionally drained. “I was aware of the problem, having all these cats. I’ve been feeding them, but I never took them in to have them spayed,” Virginia told us. “I felt like I wasn’t doing enough.”

The HSSV seminar Virginia attended discussed the Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) method, the only humane method proven to effectively control the population of stray cats. The method advocates trapping stray cats in order to have them spayed or neutered, and then returning them to their territory. “When you think about it, it’s the only way to put an end to the suffering,” Virginia said. “I saw all these people in the room, and I thought ‘If they can do it, why can’t I do it?’“

Convinced that she needed to take action, Virginia trapped her first kitten, a 4-week-old in the bushes behind a building on the Cisco campus where she works. “Cisco” weighed less than a pound. She was adopted immediately by a co-worker who gave her medical attention and is caring for her until she is big enough to be brought to HSSV to be spayed.

“Cisco is living the good life with my co-worker, her husband and their other two house cats. She is as sweet as can be, loves to be held, and cuddles in people’s arms for hours, purring and kneading.”

Rewarded by the first happy ending, Virginia was determined to help the momma cat and the rest of the litter. Check back on Thursday to find out what happened next…

Learn more about feral cats and TNR by visiting HSSV, Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project, and

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