From commentor La Caterina:
Our 50+ cat colony in the Brooklyn Navy Yard mostly survived the storm, but many of their feeding stations were destroyed, and we lost a fair amount of stored food. We are afraid some of the missing cats were poisoned by toxic spills, but we are hopeful they will reappear soon. It’s been a tough year for the colony — we’ve trapped, neutered and returned at least 15 kittens produced by intact cats that slipped into the population. Due to raccoon activity we can only feed a day’s worth of food at a time — that means visiting each of the 8 feeding stations every day.
One of our primary caretakers is out of commission because her family lost their home in Staten Island to flooding. Another rescuer in Staten Island who helps us with holding and post-surgery recovery has extensive damage and has evacuated. For the last three years we’ve purchased all the food and supplies for the colony ourselves, with occasional donations from friends. We’re asking for donations now to replace our feeders, restock food, build some new feeding platforms and shelters and to set up a nonprofit (Waterfront Cats) so that we can solicit corporate donations and grants in the future.
We’re inviting NYC cat lovers to join us this Saturday at the Navy Yard for a post-Sandy clean up. Wear warm sturdy clothes and work boots or waders. We can provide transportation by car for a few volunteers each from Manhattan, Brooklyn and possibly Queens.
E-mail Suprina at Suprina11 (at) verizon.net or Caterina at cisobe (at) bsls.org
La Caterina has a PayPal account now. If you would like to make a donation, send me an email at AnneLaurie (at) Verizon.net (or click on my name in the right-hand column) and I’ll send you her Paypal address.
It amazes me how all cats are one human contact as kittens from being feral.
Obligatory calico squeeeee.
You can see the “Why aren’t you feeding me like you’re supposed to? Don’t you know how disruptive this is?” on her face.
You can also think of that as feral cats being one human contact as kittens away from being house cats. It’s not actually that amazing. If you take a breed of dog that hasn’t been bred into complete dependency (e.g. a German Shepard) and turn it loose as a puppy, and it will turn feral pretty fast. Hell, there’s plenty of evidence that previously domesticated dogs will turn feral if they’re let go in an area where they can make a living, which is why packs of feral dogs are such a common feature of disaster-stricken areas.
Anyone doing Trap-Neuter-Release work and caring for wild kitties deserves giant, non-stop applause. This group certainly deserves it. Many blessings to them.
@Yutsano: @Roger Moore: I recently read that while most domesticated animals have been profoundly altered by humans, cats kind of domesticated themselves by deciding to hang around people for the bennies (e.g., food). I like it. It seems so totally like cats.
I’ve heard that theory before, and I don’t believe it. Cats haven’t undergone the same amount of physical change as most domesticated animals, but they have changed a lot mentally. I don’t think that if you captured a wild (as opposed to feral) Felis sylvestrus kitten and raised it at home that it would behave like a domesticated cat. And domesticated cats’ relations with other cats have definitely changed a lot. Feral cats are well known for living in colonies, which is completely different from the way wild cats live. If that isn’t a result of mental changes resulting from domestication, I’ll eat my hat.
@ThresherK: Also love that look. Fed my colony on Tuesday, after they had been on their own for two days, and got lots of complaints about the weather and lack of food. Love opinionated kitties.
Now see, if I had read that in the Onion, I would have accused them of being lazy.
@Roger Moore: Dogs were being domesticated way back before we even had tribes because the relationship was (and still is) symbiotic. Cats AFAIK go back to at least ancient Egypt and possibly earlier, but definitely within the bounds of civilisation. It may yet be too soon to tell.
They really knew how to party in Bubastis back then.
@Roger Moore: Actually, lion studies show the lionesses work together, and when territories are merged, wild cats can learn to cooperate and collaborate. While they never do pack behavior, they are capable of more than their solitary behavior.
Though I agree; under stress, the Lone Hunter is what comes out.
The best evidence is that cats were one of the earliest domesticated animals, comparable to cows or goats. It’s clearly possible to breed animals to have much more significant physical changes than cats have undergone in a much shorter time; domesticated ducks and geese are a good example. I’m inclined to think that people haven’t bothered to breed cats too heavily for physical changes because they were naturally so well suited for their primary function of rodent hunting. But I think they have been forced to adapt both to dealing well with humans and to living at much higher population densities than they encounter in the wild, and that both of those things have affected their social life dramatically.
Calico Kitteh sez: Thanks for the Best of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Now how about some kibble?
I tease Charlotte and Annie sometimes because if a bug shows up, suddenly they’re two lionesses working together to hunt it down for the pride.
I’m guessing that’s another one of the signs that, even though they drive each other crazy sometimes, they actually do like each other.
@MazeDancer: Actually, those that do T-N-R work are contributing the deaths of uncountable numbers of native birds, mammals, and reptiles and do not deserve applause.
I love cats but they belong indoors. Having seen the effects of feral cat colonies on wildlife in places in New York City that I love to watch birds I am disgusted that anyone would support sustaining colonies of feral cats.
Everything I’ve seen indicates that cats and agriculture go together, so cats probably started being domesticated around the time that humans started farming and keeping livestock. Dogs are useful for hunting (as in hunting and gathering) so they probably were domesticated quite a bit earlier.
Interestingly, cheetahs are considered the only big cat that’s safe for humans to work closely with, possibly because they have a history of being domesticated and used for hunting.
@Corey: It’s the Brooklyn Navy Yard, not Audubon’s Attic. The gulls are quite able to take care of themselves, and everything else gets eaten by the raccoons. And the stevedores. A nightingale may sing in Berkely Square but not in this post-apocalyptic craphole.
@Johannes: It might not look like much, but in NYC even tiny bits of habitat are utilized by migrating birds. And the cats kill them. The cat is an introduced predator that wreaks havoc on our native ecosystems. Those that consider themselves environmentalists should not be supporting an introduced predator no matter how cute.
Also, post-apocalyptic crapholes are where I’ve had some of the coolest birding experiences.
I do like the idea of stevedores eating everything though…maybe they could develop a taste for cat?
@ThresherK: Yep. I also imagined cats on TV during big storms saying “My feet are wet. This is so annoying!” before I ever got a calico of my own. And I’ve been proved right.
On November 2nd, 2012 at 3:11 pm, Hangfire said:
I heard a clip this last hour on the radio of Rudy saying that Bloomie was doin’ the right thang.
RT RobbieSherwood: RT RobbieSherwood: Heres What FEMA will give disaster survivors if Romney wins. Politics_PR Sandy
True, but it does level the playing field a bit: our payroll could go up by 50% while the Yankees might only go up by ~15%.