I’m a Rescue Cat Wrangler. What are you? - Kim Redford
Author Question: What is a RCW aka Rescue Cat Wrangler and how can we support cat rescues? Have you ended up keeping any?
How could anyone resist the beseeching—or resigned to unkind fate—eyes of crystalline brown, blue, amber, or green of a cat with nowhere to turn. Life is a challenge for a feline turned out or born outside. Kitties that grow up inside with food and water and love are particularly vulnerable if dumped out, because they haven’t been taught by their mothers how to hunt or forage for food. Feral cats born outside learn to hunt, but they are susceptible to lack of food, inclement weather, injuries, and aggressive cats, dogs, other animals, and even humans, while females produce several litters of kittens a year who grow up to be in the same situation.
Enter Rescue Cat Wranglers. Every one of us can become a RCW to save lives, improve lifestyles, and nurture cats in need of our help. Here’s how.
If you discover a cat outdoors that talks to you, then that feline is most likely domesticated, because feral cats are usually silent with strangers. If the domesticated kitty has been outdoors for some time, even if domesticated, she/he may be too frightened to speak but will accept food and gradually come to trust before making a sound. These cats can be eventually brought indoors and given loving homes. Hopefully a tame cat will find help right away and these kitties can immediately be brought indoors. Feral cats are a different matter in they have been raised wild and distrustful which is a good survival skill.
Feral colonies do well in urban settings after the cats are trapped using capture cages, neutered, and returned to their habitat with appropriate feeding stations, such as a large, plastic, covered container with holes cut on each end (cats need double exit/entry points to feel safe), and wooden pieces screwed or glued to the bottom. Place two feeders inside, one for food and one for water, and the top may be lifted for easy cleaning and refilling every day.
Feral cats are beautiful to see and beneficial to communities because they reduce bug and rodent populations. As a RCW, you can become a feral cat caretaker by contacting a sympathetic veterinarian that participates in your local trap/neuter/return program, because the felines will need to be neutered to control their numbers. If your local municipal animal program is no-kill, then you can also work with these animal-loving professionals to place the kittens of feral mothers in forever homes. You might also contact local cat support organizations to help you learn and do more.
As a Rescue Cat Wrangler, I’m in a unique position of working at home, so I’m able to offer love and support to cats who may wander into my backyard in need of food, water, and help. Let me share the story of the kitties that have come to live with me. They’ve given back many times over in love and support.
On a dark and stormy night, I watched from my open front door as rain fell and ran like a river down the street. Out of nowhere, I saw a large cat, followed by four kittens, surged through the rain toward the street. The mother leaped through the raging water to safety on the other side and disappeared behind houses. The kittens stopped because they were too small to follow, so they headed down the sidewalk toward the storm drain where feral cats are taught to go for safety, but water was gushing into the drains.
Hoping against hope, I stepped into the rain and called to the kittens. I kept calling until finally one turned and headed toward the sound of my voice, then two more followed until they went under my car in front of the door. I breathed a sigh of relief, then caught my breath as the fourth kitten—bright white even in the rain—went down the drain. At least three had made it to safety, but they were feral cats, so even an RCW can only do so much for them.
Early the next morning with the storm gone, I opened my door, again hoping against hope, to see if the kittens were still under my car. Three small, furry faces looked around one tire, then a tiny white tabby—always the take-charge leaders—walked out and gazed up at me, beseeching me with her big, moist eyes for food. She looked so skinny, so hungry, and yet so brave.
As I fed them, the white kitten I thought lost to the storm, walked up—dry as can be—and ate with his siblings. Their mother never returned, although we kept watch for her. All these years later, they are still with me . . . only they moved inside, one by one. Tabitha the tabby was first, followed by her brother, Temple, the handsome, blue-eyed York Chocolate, then Domino, the saddleback, and last Blanche du Bois, the tuxedo, named for the character in a Streetcar Named Desire because I thought she’d always need to depend on the kindness of strangers. Feral cats can be tamed—with enough love, time, and attention—to become the best of loving companions.
As a Rescue Cat Wrangler, I’ve gone on to help dozens of deserving felines find forever homes. And more RCWs are always needed to reach out in love and support to cats everywhere.
Hot for a Cowboy - Smokin' Hot Cowboys Book 4
By Kim Redford
Publication date: 2/26/19
Two flames burn way hotter than one...
Eden Rafferty has lost it all: big time career, high-profile marriage, and just about everything she owns. Coming back to Wildcat Bluff with her tail between her legs, the only person who can help her heal is cowboy firefighter Shane Taggart. But nothing is simple, and their high-octane past is just the beginning of their current problems…
B&N eBook: http://bit.ly/2WTxPoW
Author website: www.kimredford.com
This giveaway is over and the print book winner is: Glenda