My cat rescue is different from most. I TNR (trap, neuter & return) cats in one of the city’s poorest & crime riddled areas, I am a one woman band. I have been doing this for over 20 years funded out of my own pocket.
I start my day at 3:30am every day, 365 days a year, feeding 100+ cats at over 19+ locations in the Beechwood section of the City of Rochester. In addition to this I hold down a full time job. I spend over $250 a week in food and every week in the Spring and Summer months I trap 2 cats to get them neutered/spayed and vaccinated at a cost of another $160. I have done this on my own dime to the tune of $12,000 a year.
I got my 501c3 in August 2016 with the help of some volunteers. Animal Control does not have a policy with dealing with stray/feral cats and without rescues like me the cat population would get out of control and cats would suffer. I am trying to get the cats all fixed so that the population will not increase but I cannot do it alone. I have only so much financial resources and not enough fosters or volunteers.
These cats depend on me as their only source of food for the day. I supply them with shelters and also trap sick/injured cats and get them the care that they need. If they are adoptable I will find homes for them and if they are sick I will get them the help they need. I am the only one that cares for them and show them any love. Life on the streets is a death sentence for them especially in this neighborhood. Many of these cats can become house pets if I only had the financial resources and fosters to help them. I can sure use help!!! If you would like to become a foster or volunteer your time please send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
The following is a typical morning route.
I head out at 3:30am., in whatever the weather happens to be, 365 days a year.
1. Stop #1 Melville Street – I pour food and water for about 4 or 5 cats here on the porch at this vacant house.
2. Stop #2 Greeley Street. I just rescued a cat that I named Greeley from here, so I was hoping I didn’t have to stop there anymore because he was basically the only one eating there each day. But this morning I saw a cat there, so I got out and poured some food and water.
3. Stop #3 Parsells Avenue #1. Here is where I rescued kittens Nugget, Mitzy and Moxy and many others. I pour three plates of food and water. There are at least 5 cats here waiting for me. There is only one shelter remaining on this vacant house porch because someone removed the other shelters I was using over the winter, spring and most of the summer.
4. Stop #4 Parsells Avenue #2. Here is where I had to remove about 10-15 cats many months ago because the person who bought the vacant house destroyed my shelters and told me to get rid of the cats. I was able to trap some of them and find them barn homes but I didn’t get all of them. So I placed a few shelters under the bushes next door for the remaining kitties. There are at least 4 cats here and possibly some kittens.
5. Stop #5 Parsells Avenue #3.There are at least 10 red cats here. I have TNR’d many cats from here all red.
6. Stop #6 back to Melville Street #4. Here I feed at least 5 more cats. Sweet grey tabby always running up to me, rubbing against my legs until I pour his gold – wet food. Then a block down to the mama kitty – she bore Bitsy, Itsy and Marshmallow, the kittens I rescued. She is a sweetheart, and really needs a home. I feed her under a tree, along with a beautiful pure white cat. This won’t last long come winter. Don’t know what I will do here.
7. Stop #7 to Melville Street #2. This is where some of the Parsells Avenue kitties migrated to. I set up two boxes with boards covering in the back for shelter, and have been feeding there all summer. There are 4 cats I can see every day waiting here.
8. Stop #8 Garson Avenue. Here, I get out and place food on a vacant house porch and feed the cat I had spayed, but there are at least 3 cats here each morning waiting for me.
9. Stop #9 back to the regular Garson Avenue spot. This is where George still waits for me on the sidewalk. Behind the lot, there are at least 8 cats waiting. That doesn’t include the kittens I’ve recently discovered, all many months old, feral at this point. I see their eyes illuminating from my flashlight.
10. Stop #10 Baldwin/ Grand Avenue. Here are my regulars. All waiting. Beautiful shelters here. Thanks to the church that allows me to feed here. There are 7 or so cats here regularly that I can see and count. Many wait in the shadows for me to leave.
11. Stop #11 Webster Avenue/ Ferndale, the two regulars, Bugsy and Bigsy, a calico and a black and white homeless cat poster child. So sad looking. But I feed them regularly on the porch of a vacant house
12. Stop #12 Goodman Street / Pennsylvania Avenue. I feed the four cats that were kicked out of the garden location. There is now a red one and a grey that I’ve fed for years that were booted from the spot on the next corner at Second Street.
13. Stop #13 behind a building at the public market. There has been a little black cat waiting for food and water.
14. Stop #14 Niagara Street. There are at least 8 cats here. Their shelters have been removed by the new owner of the business there. But these cats remain, they aren’t going anywhere, and they need to be fed. So out I go, feed them, and head to the temporary shelter down the street that they haven’t figured out yet is there. Other cats around have, but not these cats. They are all so confused, I am sure.
15. Stop #15 Bay Street/Second Street. I feed at the lot where the kind man who owns it allows me to feed and shelter. There are at least 7 cats here that I can count. Some wait for the food to be poured under the mailbox across the street.
16. Stop #16 Third Avenue/Central Avenue where there are another 4 that are regulars.
17. Stop #17 Central Avenue to the shelter in back of a lot. This is where I just rescued poor sick Sylvester. There are at least 3 regulars here, but now there are two others lurking near the street in the dark, as I’ve placed bowls under a tree by the side of the road for them.
18. Stop #18 Short Street. Here we also have Sam, Millie, Mr. Whiskers #2 and Big Red #2 – and a calico that lurks in the shadows…
19. Stop #19 Seventh Street. This is where I feed 4 regulars and finally the garage kitties. Mama and her friends. There are at least 3 cats here.
That is about 102+ cats. That doesn’t include all the other stops I make when I see a cat as I am driving. I always stop to place food and water for them because you do not know when is the last time they ate.