Spay Our Strays

Who we are, how we began, and what we do ...
What is a feral cat and how do they live?
Clinics that follow our Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Return strategy ...
Barn cats are available, take one in today ...
Other local low-cost spay and neuter options for strays ...
Other informative websites about feral cats and how you might help them ...
Stories that will touch your heart and change your life ...
Make a donation or help local feral cats in other ways ...
Adopt or foster a friendly stray cat or a tamed feral kitten ...
Charlie's Story

Charlie in his dishpan I was living what I thought was a good cat life. Although there were many cats in my house, we were warm and our bellies were usually full. That was, until the day my home was raided. The police stormed in and evicted my owner from his mobile home. They gathered up my family members who happened to be inside at the time. Yes, there were many of us, as our owner did not have any of us spayed or neutered. We were reproducing at an alarming rate. At times I worried about how he was going to feed and shelter all of us. I happened to be outside that day with 10 of my siblings and cousins. We were very scared for the cats that were taken. I overheard the police say that they were taking them to our owner at his new residence in the city. We thought we were the lucky ones because at least we were in our familiar surroundings, until we realized that we were hungry and cold. We started to shiver and wonder how we would survive. After several days, we started to venture out to other mobile homes, looking for any morsel of food. A very nice lady, named Francis took pity on my family and started leaving some scraps out for us. Little by little we started to trust Francis. The eleven of us moved under her porch for the winter. She feed us on a daily basis but knew she should try to find us a better home. She called local shelters but she couldn't get her hands on us. We were too scared to let her touch us. Finally she put an ad in the paper to see if anyone would take us for their barn. A nice man with a horse farm showed up one day with some carriers, but we were not going to be shoved into some plastic tote. We all hid under the porch.

Charlie and Ebony in his dishpan Francis didn't know what to do. Finally she heard about Spay Our Strays. The first thing that SOS was concerned about was our safety. There was a local boy scout, Scott, who found it in his heart to help the feral cats. He was building warm cat shelters, so one cold December day, he delivered two beautiful cat shelters to Francis' front porch. He filled them with cedar shavings and boy were they warm and cushy! Then this "crazy cat" lady (we've all heard about them) came out with these big wire traps and set them all around our porch. She placed enticing smelly fish cat food inside the traps. Many members of my family went right inside the traps to get tasty food, but there was no way that I was going to be tricked. Slam, they were trapped inside and couldn't get out of these contraptions! Then the SOS lady came and took them away. We later found out that they went to the SOS clinic. They were spayed or neutered and received all of their vaccines. The nice man with the barn took them all to his farm. It was just me and my brother Teddy that were left under Francis porch. Now we were even more scared.

Oh geez, now more traps showed up with good smelling food. Francis hadn't feed us all day. She was trying to trick us into going into the traps because we were getting very hungry. Finally Teddy couldn't stand it any longer. Slam, the trap door went down. Now I was really alone. Months passed and I lived alone at Francis' place. Traps would appear periodically, but I'd rather starve then get trapped. That was until one day when the most luscious smelling KFC original recipe chicken leg was hanging from the back of the trap. OMG, I had to have it!!! I just had to sink my teeth into that leg!! The next thing I know, slam! I'm officially trapped, but damn that leg tasted so good.

Charlie and Ebony doing chores Now I'm lined up with 15 other cats in cages at Batavia Animal Hospital. I don't remember much after that, except that my manly-hood suddenly felt challenged and my left ear was tipped. Jennifer and her daughter Cassie took me home from the clinic and named me Charlie. I was very scared at first, but they were such nice people that I warmed up to them quickly. In fact, I started purring almost immediately. It had been such a long time since I had had human contact, but it felt so good. Cassie let me stay in her bedroom and even sleep with her. I overheard Cassie and her mom discussing the fact that I would be going to the Genesee County Animal Shelter soon. Cassie was crying. She wanted to keep me and I wanted to stay also. Her mom was explaining that I was their first SOS foster cat. They were getting me used to being handled again so that I could be adopted by a nice family. When I was ready they would take me to the shelter and then they would get another foster kitty. That way they could help lots of kitties find homes by socializing them. I did not want to go to the shelter, but I was willing knowing that I would be able to help other kitties get into Jennifer's foster program. The day I went to the shelter was difficult but I knew it was the start of my new life. Everyone was very nice when I arrived. I almost felt like a celebrity. They gave me my very own cage complete with a white dishpan. I hopped right in the dishpan.

A few days later, I was taken to Petco, the Animal Shelter's adoption partner. Of course, my dishpan went with me. I would go for rides in the shopping cart in my dishpan. I would visit the fish, birds and ferrets. I loved that dishpan. You can even watch the video of my dishpan adventures below.

Charlie and Ebony relaxing Then it happened....the love of my life appeared. She was small, thin, beautiful, sleek and shiny black. She was a seductress and I loved it. Ebony had arrived!!! She was placed in the cage next to mine. At first she was timid, but then her paw appeared through the hole in the door that separated our two cages. We touched paws....oh love at first touch. In the middle of the night Ebony and I slid the door open between our two cages. She slinked into my dishpan and I held her tightly with in my arms. We exchanged stories and purred deep into the night. When the employees came in the next day, they couldn't find Ebony. We were in the dishpan together and it looked like we had merged into one cat. When they realized Ebony was by my side, they couldn't stand the thought of separating us. They knew we had to be adopted together. I was Ebony's man and she was my little lady. Petco manager Sandy found us the purrfect home together. These days we are inseparable. We lounge around all day together, just enjoying the simple things in life. We can be found hanging out in the laundry room on the washer and dryer or just enjoying a day in bed. We are forever grateful to all of the people who cared about us and gave us a second chance. They made a difference in our lives. I'm once again feeling manly, oh so handsome and very loved. Thank goodness for SOS and of course KFC original recipe!!!! Also thanks to Volunteers for Animals too. Without their help, he wouldn't have been adopted and wouldn't have met Ebony.



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