A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about an 85-year-old woman who for 17 years has fed feral cats at the dead end of Florence Road.
She buys cat food and trudges all along the arroyo, rain or shine, every morning. The dozens of cats are completely dependent on her food every day. The story was a bit controversial because when she feeds the animals, many believe she is enabling the population to grow larger and making the problem worse. This is why she did not want her name published. She has been threatened with legal action in the past. She is not the only one feeding feral cats in Livermore but may be the most dedicated and has attracted the ire of some of the homeowners in the area.
While she didn't want her name published, she did hope that the story about the cats would attract help from veterinarians and nonprofits to help spay and neuter the animals.
After my column about the woman's morning ritual, I received some very interesting responses. It turns out that there are some organizations working in Livermore that are willing to help out spaying and neutering the cats. If she is willing, they would like to work alongside the woman to help control the population of feral cats in the arroyo near Florence Road.
Leslie Haas is a founding member of a new charitable organization in this area called Paws in Need, which provides financial help to spay and neuter animals. They work with local veterinarians to help address the animal overpopulation in the area. They have filed for tax-exempt status, but the IRS has not responded yet. Several of the Paws in Need volunteers saw my column, and they are going to try to help control the population of feral cats that the woman feeds.
Meanwhile, Rachel Stamps, a volunteer with Fix Our Ferals (fixourferals.org), says she and other volunteers have trapped, spayed and neutered 16 adult cats where Florence dead-ends, pulled dozens of kittens out of that area for rehabbing and found homes for them.
So there may be hope to help control the area population of ferals in the arroyo that are completely habitualized to looking for food from the 85-year-old woman. I will keep you posted if the woman and these groups are able to form an alliance to help the cats.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.