by Blanche Nonken.
I live on a farm.
A few months after we moved in, housemate came home with four weaned kittens from a Walmart Kitten Desperation Booth (if you shop at a Walmart, I’m sure you’ve seen those out front.)
Seven years later, after intermittently getting one or two fixed and never able to afford to keep up, I’d just about had enough of the “oh the population will reach a stable point.” Yeah, no. I mean we have no mouse problem at all, but $50 a month in farmcat bulk food is at the Stupid Point.
Two months or so ago, I had one new mom named Emerald hit by a car, and reached out to the local community on Facebook for anyone who could foster the three kittens, only a day and a half old. The Fallon Animal Welfare Group (FAWG), reached out and sent the cat angel Pat to pick up the babies, and she also offered to make our farm part of the FAWG “Trap/Neuter/Release” program. Man, I almost cried.
At this point we’re down to three females and two males who need fixing – the females when their litters are weaned, and the babies will go out for adoption- and once the remaining two males are snipped and clipped (TNR protocol includes clipping the tip off one ear so it can be seen that they’re already done) they are released after a 24 hour recovery. At that point any dumped or abandoned cats (it happens, we have some sketchy people out in the country) can be dealt with case-by-case.
In thanks, and to help in whatever way I can, I have dedicated any cat-themed pieces I make to FAWG, to sell or use for donations or raffles. Our rural county, with a population of less than 15,000, was euthanizing more cats per year than more populous urban counties to our west! FAWG’s goal was to stop that, rescue and adopt out any they can, have annual “no-fee” adoption events, and increase awareness through reduced cost or free TNR activities.
I went first with earrings – something I could do quickly so they had some for yesterday’s Bark In The Park festival. Eight pair, various designs of wire work – and it’s not just for me to “give back” but for increased awareness of my goals, selling more via Makabet Designs.
I wonder if any of you have found donations as one path to greater local recognition? If so, what did you do and how did you do it?