By Barbara Bennett, For Kaua‘i Publisher and Owner
My 60th class reunion was in June 2015. I was booked and planned to make the trip to the Mainland to reunite with those left from the Class of 1955. I bought a dress online from Nordstrom for this special reunion and looked with great anticipation at spending time not just with classmates but with my family as well.
Well, that didn’t happen. I broke my arm from a fall a month before the reunion, and life changed for me. I was cleaning the garage, tripped and fell, and couldn’t get up. I imagined I could have been in the commercial for Life Alert.
What transpired after that, I’m glad is a memory but the pain and lifestyle change I will never forget. I have great empathy now for people with broken bones. This was my first experience with “broken.” As my dear son said, “Mom, it could have been worse.” Always great wisdom from sons and daughters.
New experiences and challenges arise every time there are changes. Prior to May, I was greeted and given permission by my visitors in the neighborhood to feed a few feral cats. The three of them would show up at my door because I started feeding them. One in particular seemed more friendly than the other two. I called it Tiger as it has no fear.
The other two where less happy with my presence and scooted off and only came back when I was not present.
Tiger was obviously going to give birth, as she got fatter and fatter. Then, one day she showed up skinny, so I knew she had given birth. What really surprised me is that she actually moved her litter of five into the dog pen outside my bedroom door, closer to the food chain for her, I assumed. Well, the story for the next three months was life-transforming for me. During those isolated days of recovery and trying to manage life with one hand and one arm, these little kitties where such a joy during those unpleasant days of pain and stress.
I watched through the glass door to my backyard their playfulness and delightful joy of being safe and protected in Barbara’s backyard and a place for food. They are now almost as big as their mother. I’m sorry to say now only three of the litter of five are returning to the place their mom brought them to be cared for. I’ve learned a lot about feral cats during these past five months of recovery.
I’ve learned that Judy Dalton and her team at Kaua‘i Community Cats organization has been dedicated to taking care of feral cats on Kaua‘i for 19 years. She charges herself with trapping and helping to control an uncontrolled population of ferals on Kaua‘i.
Feral cats roaming Kaua‘i’s landscape are out of control as I’ve been told. I hear the numbers of ferals are increasing. These dedicated people need all the help they can get. She and her helpers offer trapping, neutering and finding homes for all the abandoned kitties and ferals that can be domesticated.
Mahalo to all of you animal lovers on the island that support our Kauaian animals, to the visitors who want to take home a piece of Kaua‘i and are taking dogs and cats home to the mainland rather than sacred artifacts of the island.
With the holiday season here, I’m sure you animal lovers will give attention to the needs of our island creatures.