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The inspiration for Shadowcat



Shadowcat started as an idea several years ago when a blind cat stumbled into our yard one night. She had a little vision, we believe at the bottom of her ‘field of view’. We think she saw some shadows. She was not only blind, but needed a special diet as she had renal problems. She had been spayed and declawed, and was wandering the alley late at night. She needed her home. An extensive search for her owner led to no results.

The idea was to create a template that could be incorporated into a neighborhood association web site, listing the pets in the area by location (i.e. between Avenue X and Avenue Y on Z Street), with photos. Such that if one saw a dog roaming free, a quick look on the neighborhood website could lead to where the animal belonged, and contact made to notify the owner that their pet is loose. Without needing to catch or contain the animal or trying to read tag on a collar.

Chelsea is gone now. She lasted almost two years before her kidneys finally gave out. But she is fondly remembered. She provided a learning experience few are privileged to witness, and was a prime example of determination as she stood her ground and made her way with the other two cats we already had, ChinChin and Charcoal.

An especially 'touching' moment was the time I could see the flash of recognition inside ChinChin's brain the day he touched noses with her and understood that she couldn't see him right in front of her.

That was then. This is now.

In 2012, a bad switch in my car set it, and consequently the house, on fire. We were out for 7 months.

As I watched the flames, I was flooded with a new meaning of ‘homeless’. We had four inside cats, three brought in off the street and one rescued from being turned into a shelter.

We were also feeding a family of four and one other one outside.

Someone fostered two of our cats. I thought it would be ‘good karma’ to offer to foster once we returned. It has been four years, and we have NEVER HEARD from ANYONE in the loop. And the ‘adorable, we want them back’ cats have shredded EVERY door jamb in the house!!!!!

I got involved with helping feed a couple feral colonies. That started with some TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) work. That led to getting SOME adopted, and some not getting adopted, and ultimately being taken in.

Currently we have thirteen regular indoor ones, seven regular in a 16’x16’ pen, and another eight regulars loose in the yard, and one old gal who can't decide whether she wants in or out, so long as it is close to me!

One of the colonies I was helping to feed was about a dozen cats. Management of the property was turned over from father to to daughter, who found the feeding dishes (behind the property) to be an eyesore, and did not want any liability of us on the property ‘after hours’. The other feeder took half, and I got half. That is what STARTED in the ‘chat-i-eau’. They all escaped and the three surviving ones roam the grounds.

No one joins the inside group without an exam. All the indside lot get what ever medical assistance they require. The outside ones get what medical THEY WILL ALLOW us to offer!

We have been home to one blind cat, Chelsea, and one deaf/blind one. We have also given refuge to FIV positive cats requiring quarantine.

Our menagerie has come from adopting out of a free roaming colony at an auto repair shop, rehoming when we moved back in from the fire, and when evicted from a feeding area, and 'inheritance' from deceased or decaying friends AND relative strangers - i.e. our pet sitter had a client no longer able to care for them, and no one in the family to step up.

Additionally, I currently feed three colonies in alleys and parking lots a night. I keep my eye out as best as I can for newcomers, and tipped ears. I have been through TNR with them and they seem to rather well and stable.

We are not an ‘organization’ of any sort. This is Patty and I on our own, ripping through our retirement accounts.

I realize this is our bed, we made it, now we must sleep in it. However, if you would like to help us out, please feel free to contact us. I don’t want an ongoing ‘GoFundMe’.

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