2007 to 2008 had been our busiest year yet. The number of stray, abandoned, and feral cats is increasing all the time, in spite of our best efforts. However, in the last 12 months, we neutered 597 cats, re-homed 185 kittens, vaccinated 210, and treated another 149 cats for various injuries from broken bones to ulcerated eyes. Thatís not bad going for a few under funded volunteers some of whom still work full-time in their real jobs!
December 2008 Champion Cat Show, Ballincollig -
The Committee of the Cork Champion Cat Show very kindly let us set up an information table on the day that many beautiful cats were on show at Ballincollig Community School on the 7th of December 2008.
Delilah, one of our longest residents laid to rest December 2008:
Delilah in happier times when she had teeth and liked to show them off.
Sadly Delilah had to be put to sleep just before Christmas. Delilah, was a rogue character who gave everybody a hard time. She was a long-haired black cat. We don't know how old she was, but she was found about 6 years ago, having been attacked by greyhounds, and she lived with Ann, ruling the other cats, and being in turn pleasant and highly unpleasant.
We couldn't rehome her, because she couldn't be
trusted not to bite (hence Delilah) . In the last few months poor Delilah had
great difficulty eating, and had all her teeth out in September because of gum
disease. Then in December she again became ill, and this time was found to have
a cancer in her mouth, and she was gently put to sleep. I like to think that
she enjoyed her time bossing everyone around, and in spite of everything, she
May she be happy in cat heaven!
Dec 2008 - Grant assistance
We were delighted to have received a grant of Ä10,000 from the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Brendan Smith T.D., (Animal Health & Welfare Division), just before Christmas. Needless to say, this will be a help in paying some of our veterinary bills, which came to over Ä45,437 in 2008. Thanks to this grant, a lot more cats will be spayed or neutered, preventing the birth of countless unwanted kittens, while also assisting injured, sick, and abandoned cats and kittens to better health and new homes.
ROVER :UPDATE: 12th November 2008
Rover was good enough to help us fundraise last Wednesday by coming along and greeting the people who stopped to say hello in Douglas Shopping Centre. It was his first fundraising event so he did us proud as did Linda's cat 'Millie' and Ann's cat 'Saffy'.In total we raised Ä580.00. The cats were helped by Eileen, Lavina and Patricia throughout the day.
Amazingly, there are still people who chose to let a female cat out when she is in heat, so that she can have kittens. There are also of course people who think their cat may be pregnant, but see no kittens (theyíre usually three gardens away under a neighbours shed) and then they assume that there are no kittens. Meanwhile, the neighbours suddenly see 8 week old kittens, semi feral, and apparently quite at home in their garden. Mum brings them out when she can no longer feed them herself, and panic breaks out. Unless mum and kittens are caught, this could be the start of another wild colony.
At the moment we have over 50 cats in fosterage, many of which will always live with fosterers, because they are too timid, old, or unwell to be re-homed. We need to raise Ä1,000 per week just to pay veterinary and food bills, so that we can stay open. We do not yet have a secure sanctuary, and this may be many years down the road. However, it is all worthwhile when people who have been in a panic about the number of cats breeding in their area, welcome back the neutered and wormed adults, and when we see and talk to the people who have given good homes to the kittens and later hear how they now rule the house!
These are some of the rescues we have had during 2008.
Our latest Recruit for 2008 "Me-Me":
Update for "Me-Me" : 16th January 2009:
We are very pleased to say that at ten weeks old, little "Me-Me" was returned to her family just before Christmas, and she is now reported to be ruling the house, (including the dog that found her).
Me-Me our latest recruit
was only 3 days old. Her mum is only a kitten
herself, and got so frightened when her own kittens were being
born, that she simply abandoned them. A friendly retriever found
the kitten and brought her home to his master, a garda sergeant.
Luckily for little Me-me, he did all the right things. She was
warmed and fed with formula kitten milk every two hours (yes even
at night). However thereís nothing like a real mother cat, and
we tried her with a mum whose own kittens were recently weaned.
When this didnít work it was back to the bottle, and an infrared
lamp. And the nighttime feeds. So far, little Me-me is doing fine,
fingers crossed that she will continue to thrive, because itís
hard going, without your mum, when youíre so small.
Allís well that ends well
'HELP', said the voice. 'I have 21 cats in the back garden, and one of them has kittens every five
minutes'. It did sound bad. 'How many kittens at the moment?'
'10 small kittens, and five five month old kittens'. Well, that sounded a bit better.
'We can catch and neuter the adults and kittens that are old enough, and see about the small ones. Iíll call over on Wednesday, donít feed them on Wednesday morning.'
Luck was with us on Wednesday. We caught nine cats in about 20 minutes, and then went to look at the small kittens. Four of them are only 2 weeks old, and their mum is looking after them very well. Their eyes are open, there are two boys and two girls, and they can hiss and spit for the parish! They will have to stay there for another four or five weeks, and then they can be taken away, their mother neutered, and the kittens re-homed. At six weeks they tame down in a matter of hours, but at eight weeks or over they are progressively more difficult to tame.
The slightly older six were about six weeks old, and could move like lightning. They all had sore eyes, and were in danger of developing ulcers and possibly losing their sight. We picked up three before the others realised what was happening, scarpered under the oil tank and into the hollow blocks, and disappeared. After cleaning the kittensí eyes we could see that there was no damage, but if they went back to the others it would certainly reoccur. So with nine adults and three kittens we went off to the vet.
The adults were neutered, there were five males and 4 females, which would have meant at least another 16 kittens by the end of the year. After two nights of confinement and rest they were welcomed back with open arms. As the owner said , 'I donít mind them around , I love the black ones, but I canít have them breeding'
Sadly when we looked for the other three kittens one had disappeared. The other two were quite sick, with high temperatures and sore eyes, and we think that the third one must have died. Mum has now been neutered and returned, and her 5 kittens are now all healthy and full of fun. See the last two below. In a month there will be another adult and 4 kittens to look after, but, provided we can finished the job, the problem will be solved and the cats will be well fed and healthy.
Life would be so much easier, especially for the cats, if every owner simply neutered their cats (including the stray cats they feed out of kindness) as soon as possible, preferably at five months old.
Did You See This September 2008?
On the 9th of September last there was an urgent phone call. The voice on the phone was almost panic-stricken. She said, 'I just want to report something my boyfriend saw, driving between Carrigtwohill and Midleton. He was so shocked he was nearly sick. Someone dropped a kitten out a car onto the road, and further up he dropped another kitten out. She thought one kitten was dead, and the other was injured.' She gave me her boyfriendís phone no., and he confirmed that there were at least two kittens dropped out of a car, he thought it was a white Volvo, but he couldnít see clearly as there was another truck between him and the car. He gave me the details of the other truck in case that driver had got the reg. no. That driver was also too shocked and sickened to take details. Two of us went down to the area and searched for 3 hours. This is a duel carriageway, and traffic travels at at least 100 kms per hour. The noise is frightening. The first kitten was mashed on the road. There was no sign of the second kitten. If you happened to see an injured kitten and took it to a local vet please contact the Cat Action trust. PLUS If anybody out there knows who did this foul thing, please inform the Gardai.
Sept 2008 - Kittens rescued from building site
Four kittens were found by a number of builders while they
were working on a house in Cork city centre. Mother cat was too afraid to stay
with her kittens so she abandoned them. However, the men were able to pick up
these little ones who were first taken to the vet for a check up as they did
not look to be in the best of health and each of their eyes were shut tight
with cat flu.
The vet took all of the time necessary to unglue each eye, kitten by kitten. The tabby kitten had had an ulcer but somehow it had been cured.
The four of them: three girls and a boy, are now being treated for cat flu, ear mites and of course fleas. The ginger guy is the healthiest of the four with the two white kittens being the weakest. That said they are all fighters and all are hopefully going to get well given time, a good helping of medicine and lots of T L C.
Update 5th January 2009:
All the kittens have been adopted and all are doing well, as you can see in the picture below they have healthy appetites and have regained their fluffiness.
Fundraiser by Christ the King Secondary School - Jan 2008 updated March 2009
Update March 2009: Suzie and Stevie have added cheese to their diet when they can get their paws on it. They both love chedder and have now added goats cheese to the list even when it has garlic and chives in it. A varied diet is a good thing I guess, especially as they do not get cheese only when they can steel it off of the table when our backs are turned.
Jan 2008: Ä423.98 was raised by the staff and students of Christ the King Secondary School, South Douglas Road for Cat Action Trust. The money was raised when a painting (which was painted and donated by a very talented student) was auctioned, the proceeds being divided between Cat Action Trust and another charity. This money is very much appreciated and very needed and this sum will make it possible for us to continue with our work ( Ä423.98 will, for example, provide veterinary care for 12 cats/ kittens).
The initial contact between the school and CAT came when CAT received a call to say that there were four tiny kittens stuck on a school roof and could we possibly help. After much time and hard work by all, the four kittens were rescued. One of the kittens had fallen off the roof, but miraculously was not injured. He recovered well from his fright with a bit of TLC and was adopted by Eleanor, one of the staff.
The other three were fostered for a number of months before they were rehomed together in the countryside. They are known as Suzie, Stevie and Socky. The trio have settled into a routine: Stevie and Suzie sleep at night in one of the garden sheds with a number of other rescued cats and they often come into the kitchen during the daytime. Socky is more timid and sleeps in a shed with Skippy (a long-time resident) at night. All three have become used to the novelty of country life and when they first met the resident flock of hens they didnít know whether to chase them or run from them. The hens won hands down and no cat has ever taken them on!! With the current spell of warm weather we are having at the moment Suzie and Stevie are playing at being ghost cats....in other words they are rolling in the limestone dust on the drive around the house and turning themselves white. It's keeping them very happy with lots of running around involved also, (June 08 update).
They have all been neutered so they wonít have any kittens of their own. Mother cat was also neutered, so at least there will not be any more kittens from her either.
Once again, thanks to Michelle and everyone at the school for their interest and help and we wish everyone the best of luck with their studies.
Stevie Suzie Socky
Apr 2008 - Visit to Ashton Secondary School
On Wednesday the 16th of April 08, Linda and Millie (her one eyed tabby cat) and I were invited by Ms Sandra McKeown to Ashton Secondary School in Cork City. Ms McKeown had invited us to give a talk on the work that Cork Cat Action Trust does for the felines of Cork. Her class of 17 students, who are studying c.s.p.e., were attentive and a joy to talk to. Perhaps in years to come when any one of these students is either a veterinarian or in political power, they may be an allay in the animal care work that we, and other animal centred charities, take part in.
Thanks to Ms McKeown, her students and Ashton Secondary School for inviting us.
Jan 2008 Visit to St Johns Central College
In January we were invited to give a talk at St Johnís Central college. One of the organisers of the Animal Care Day, Ms Catriona Crowley, asked us to give a talk to primary school students that were attending the day at the college. Here, as the children were young, the talk was confined to the basics of animal care, understanding how cats viewed people and handling vulnerable animals. For example the children were taught that it was never nice to pull a cat or kittenís tail, or to frighten their cats, kittens or any pet they had.Thanks to Ms Crowley and St Johnís Central College for inviting us.
News from 2009
News from 2007
Cork Cat Action Trust registered charity number C.H.Y. 18345
Many thanks to Haworth Cat Rescue for our sites icons and layout