Next weekend, July 28-29, I will be blogging for 24 hours straight for charity on my blog. A long-time dream of mine, one that I haven’t really talked about with anyone other than my husband Kevin, has been to operate my own animal sanctuary. Not just any animal sanctuary though, a very specialized one: a feral cat rescue and educational organization.
I’ve always loved the underdog (or undercat in this case. hee) and feral cats are no exception. They are normal, domesticated cats that have reverted to a wild state. They are the “alley cats.” Homeless and fearful of humans, they roam freely and breed unchecked. The females have litter after litter until they can produce no more and usually pass away quietly, somewhere in a dark corner, never knowing the kind touch of a human hand. The males roam far and wide and usually end up getting hit by a vehicle or caught in a deadly fight with another tom defending his territory. The average life span of a feral cat is just 3 years (compared to the 10 years of an indoor-only feline) and those are the lucky ones.
I’m not trying to be depressing. It’s just the sad facts. Can you understand why I want to help them so much?
Fortunately, there is hope for the alley cats of the world. If they are trapped, neutered, vaccinated and returned to a monitored feral colony, they can live out their lives in peace, with food and fresh water always nearby. They never have the urge to roam, whether it be to find a mate or find food. They have much less chance of disease or being run over by a vehicle and they live much longer, healthier and happier lives. Alley Cat Allies, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping feral cats, gives normal people like you and I the tools to create and maintain a feral cat colony, through education and providing the means needed to get started and keep it running. They also were one of the first animal rescue responders to Louisiana and their cry for volunteer help, through their e-newsletter, was what ultimately made me fly over to New Orleans in Fall 2005. I spent my first week doing post-Katrina animal rescue with Alley Cat Allies.
Since I cannot start my own sanctuary, yet, and because they frankly do great work, I chose Alley Cat Allies as my charity for Blogathon 2007. Will you sponsor me this year? All money will go directly to Alley Cat Allies and I will never see any of it. It’s just my small way of speaking out for those who have no voice.