I think cats are trying to take over the world. They are making headway, mostly in places where they are not viewed as food. I personally know of several bands of feral cats in my own hometown. My haircut lady is a champion of feral cats, a cat rescuer. Every time I go for a cut we talk about how many cats she was able to bring to the spay/neuter clinic that month. However, there is another place where cat rescuing is in higher gear than here and that is Jacksonville, Florida.
This haven for feral cats is where Julia Dietz, D.V.M., one of my daughters, has chosen to live. As she was searching for a home there, her first mention of the place she now lives went kind of like this. “It’s at the end of a mile long, unpaved drive and is flanked on two sides by a nature preserve. The landlord lives next door and she has a cat rescue operation. She feeds about 70 cats at her back door each evening. They live in the woods.” “You won’t be living there”, I thought to myself. Wrong.
Last week as we were helping her move in I snapped a few pictures of cats as they sat about, ran in and out of the house, and lurked in the shrubbery. We have since found out that there probably aren’t as many as 70 cats, all but one have been fixed, and that the landlord is indeed serious about the problem of feral cats and is politically active and persuing legislation that will benefit the poor creatures. She feeds them on a picnic table in Julie’s yard. Her name is Jennifer but I like to call her “cat lady” because it sounds crazy fun and a little demented (like Spider Man or Ninja Turtle…). And to add to the craziness we have also met a family a few miles away – the wife also feeds a whole bunch of feral cats. I think it’s a favorite pastime of Jacksonville animal lovers. Maybe it is wise to make friends with cats… before the takeover.
|although they look right at home, neither of them are Julie’s|
|spooky cat, one of many|
|the daily cat picnic|
|nearly invisible yellowcat jumping in bushes|