By Barbara Bennett, For Kaua‘i Owner and Publisher
If you haven’t notice, there has been a lot of hubbub about feral cats on Kaua‘i lately. How did this come about?
I’m not sure but I do know that we have some very dedicated volunteers on the island who have taken their time and personal resources to protect and help our furry friends.
I wrote a column in For Kaua‘i in December of last year, titled, Life’s Changes, which explained how I got involved with ferals.
When I started trapping the feral cats that I had been feeding in my backyard and taking them to be spayed or neutered at the Kaua‘i Humane Society, I realized my expenses were a lot more than just food.
This has been quite an education for me from having home pets. There is a program called TNR — Trap, Neuter and Release — as it is called in the world feral cats.
When I was at a meeting about feral cats earlier this year at the County Building, I heard from another homeowner who was also feeding ferals.
He and his wife where appealing with the same concerns; the cost of feeding and other related costs. They where spending about the same amount monthly as I was, and were wondering how long they would be able to keep up with household expenses and children to care for.
I have trapped and neutered eight females and four males. With eight females fixed I figured I saved our neighborhood from at least 41 more feral cats.
Watching these energetic, absolutely joyful and beautiful kitties play in nature and care for each other has been a joy for me. I’ve watched how they protect each other from chickens and other threats to their lives.
Mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, they are families.
It is an amazing wild life they live in, and they show me how they appreciate my help by returning night and day for their food. My hope is that by feedings them they will hunt fewer birds and I know the field mouse population in my neighborhood has declined.
We live on an island where the feral population constantly increases. Helping to stabilize the feral population, and in time helping it to decline is the goal of many people concerned with this island problem.