Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Fairminded Fran and the three small black Community Cats"



"Finally!....a resource that can used to educate children and adults to the plight of feral and community cats!  Whether taken into the classroom or read to children as a bedtime story, the philosophy of TNR and the process of critical thinking comes through in a clear, precise and fun way!  We plan to put together educational "story times" at our area public libraries.  Thank you for filling a void in the "community" of feral cat lovers!"

Kathy Humann President and Executive Director  Western Iowa's Feral and Homeless Cat Program

To order this wonderful little book, please visit the website at 


Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Winter Wonderland of Wondering!

We are experiencing our first winter storm of 2012.  Looks like we will for sure have a White Christmas!  Its blustery cold out today.  As I watch my indoor kitties look out the window, I wonder what is going on in their head.  Are they happy to be inside?  Are they wishing they could go out and "play" and make kitty angels in the snow?  What goes on in my head is how many there are out there that don't have a warm cozy window to peer out of...I don't mean our community cats so much.  I know they can survive, it's all they have ever known.  They most likely have a warm hole somewhere and even other warm kitty bodies to snuggle with when the going gets tough.  I'm thinking of the ones who have been thrown away, or abandoned or have gotten themselves lost.  How do they handle it, not being "street wise" like Mrs. Gray, Franks and EJ?...

I am grateful that we have been able to rescue several from the throws of winter.  These are at AVC, waiting and hoping for a new home to call their very own.

This is Sylvester.  He was found in a field by a farmer.  Thinking this nice boy had been attacked, he took him to AVC.  We found him to be friendly and very lovable!  He is currently being treated for a severe case of ear mites and a skin infection and very soon he will be ready to find a new home.  We are happy he is out of the field.



This is sweet Roscoe!  I found him on my porch last week crying.  He is a beautiful boy who is just as friendly as anything.  He likes his space, but when given the choice, he will crawl right up into your lap and heart!

So at least these two aren't out in the blizzard, wondering where they are and when and what they will get to eat.  Being in a cage at AVC is much better than that!  BUT what would be the best??? A forever home with a family.....like yours!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

For Carolyn!

Very often when we have cats surrendered to AVC we don't get much of the story behind why they are being left to find a new family and a new home.  What we see is a frightened kitty that hasn't a clue why it's home is now in a kennel or cage.  Dogs barking around them and strange people poking and prodding and asking questions only adds to their confusion and fear.   AVCheryl does a fantastic job of acclimating our adoptable kitties to their new surroundings and making them feel loved until they find their new forever home.

Recently we had two kitties brought to the clinic by a the family of a lady who claimed she couldn't care for them any longer... we get that alot.   Both cats have found new homes and are doing very well. Today we received this sweet note.

" I am so happy the cats are happy and loved.  Sherman was a little bashful when it came to another cat.  She'd get on my lap and be so loving.  Ernie was really loving too, so they really should enjoy their new homes.  Carolyn " 

It is so evident from this note that the decision to surrender her two cats was not an easy one for Carolyn. She knew them well and is missing them.  What a difficult decision it must have been to let her beloved pets go.  I want Carolyn to know how much respect I have for her for doing what she knew was best for her animals.

We at WIFCaP are delighted that we could find homes for these two kitties and put Carolyn's heart at rest.

While we see people discard their pets to fend for themselves in the streets or drop them at the clinic like a goodwill donation, this opened our eyes to those that must surrender because of health or age issues.   Carolyn knew that bringing her cats to AVC would give them the best chance to have a new lease on life and it worked!!  Rest easy Carolyn, your babies are being well taken care of and if you can make it over to AVC, there is always a kitty handy that will be willing to sit in your lap awhile!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fundraising Drive was a HUGE Success!

Our Trick or TREAT Matching Donation Drive is over and was a huge success!  Thank you all for "chipping in" or sending checks to make this event work.  We ended up with $1,173.50 in donations, so with the matching donation of $1000...we are set for the winter with $2,173.50.   We at WIFCaP are amazed and awed at your participation and want to thank you from the bottom of our kitty loving hearts.

This picture of Polly is just a representation of the many kitties that will be helped because you all care.  Polly  is a social girl who had to have had a home at one time.  She is friendly and gentle.  Somehow she got left by a hotel in Panora, IA and thankfully the lady there fed her.  She is #140 for getting a WIFCaP Spa treatment and we are hoping she finds a furever home soon!  Polly is Polydactyl!  She has seven toes on each of her front paws and five on each of her back paws...a total of 24 toes!!!  Very Rare!

Thank you all again for helping us help the helpless!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chip in for Matching Donations up to $1000! Trick or TREAT!

National Feral Cat Day 2012

Today is National Feral Cat Day and I am celebrating! Five years ago as I began every day of every week of every month  feeding a lonely feral cat named Toby, I could not have imagined that today I would be part of feeding over 50 cats on a daily basis, having helped numerous communities set up managed feral colonies, having spoken to five city councils asking for the freedom to let this method have a chance to work; having medically served over 170 cats and kittens  and spayed and neutered over 130 outdoor feral or community cats.   Western Iowa Feral and Homeless Cat Program (WIFCaP) started because two women sat together and worried about an outdoor cat named Toby, and knowing that there must be more like him that needed help..  After much research and study we agreed,  the only solution would be to start a TNR program.  The next step, how???

Not wanting to go into all the finite details of how it all came together, it suffices to say, I decided to dive in head first. alone and pretty much by myself to say " I'm committed, I'm ready and I will do what has to be done to change things."  When I found out that I couldn't get grants unless we were a 501c3 I dug and whined and figured out how to get that done.  I did it!  And it didn't cost WIFCaP, taxpayers, donors, or me a cent!

So along with several of my best friends and my sister along for the ride,  we are incorporated in the state of Iowa and we have been granted our 501c3 tax status , which means our donors can use their donations as a tax deductible expense.  We have been inspected and have passed that inspection to receive our Iowa Animal Shelter License.

We have met all the requirements of the state and the IRS  to do what we need to do to help the helpless or homeless feral and homeless cats in Western Iowa.  We do that for the legalistic reasons only.

 If you could see our hearts, none of that matters.  What matters are the huge numbers of cats that have been left to their own devices.  What matters is there are abandoned and left behind cats and kittens that have no where to go. Our passion is to manage colonies and supply food and water so that they can survive the only way they know how.  And so that their numbers do not continue to increase.

For me, the only thing that really matters is that we keep trying and keep helping and keep educating about the importance of  TNR.

We are used to hearing negative comments about our work.  We regularly hear how dumb and stupid our  method is. Mostly we hear nothing, we get "looks" or the silence that indicates no interest at all in what we are doing. So... When we hear the positive, we celebrate.  Thank you!  To Shelby Iowa for "getting it".  for understanding the method, embracing it and counting it as valid.  Thank you! To all those sweet cat people that feed outdoor cats, those who take the friendly ones that need a home, for giving them the love they so deserve.  Knowing they have found a place in your heart helps us ignore the hole they left in ours.  Thank you most of all to AVCheryl, our wonderful vets, Kris, Cheryl, Pam and Becky that help so much and understand my passion, because they too are "infected" with the same passion.  And last of all, but not least, THANK YOU to our supporters, for without them, we could not function one day!

Today, on National Feral Cat Day we celebrate feral cats!  Not that they are there, but that there are others like us that are helping them!



Friday, September 7, 2012

Tarzan, King of the Jungle!

Being a TNR group definitely has its ups and its downs and lately a few downers have make us sad.  We lost little Figaro who brought to us from Lewis, NE by a very nice couple that wanted him to be cared for and healed.  We weren't able to do that.  He was just too weak and ill to pull through.  Figaro has a nice shady spot in my back yard with a little frog statue to mark his special place.  Then there was Mo, who was too small  and had been too alone for too long.  He will rest peacefully at True Haven.

But on to good things and happy endings!  This is Tarzan.  He was found by some children in Walnut along the banks of a creek.  They called us for help to find him  new home. We took him and had him checked out and he got his deluxe spa treatment.  Petra and Rick Heiney, who are the parents of the kids that found him wanted to foster his while we look for a furever home for him. The problem is that this little boy is so sweet and loving that they have decided to keep him.  FOSTER FAIL!  Tarzan, our little king of the jungle is #100 for spay and neuter thru WIFCaP.

 Rest in Peace Sweet Mo
Rest in Peace Sweet Figaro

And another happy ending for the remaining 3 kittens.  We found a mama who has lost her kittens who has decided to be a mama to our 3.  A happy ending for sure!!  Thank you Mama Allison!

TNR is never just that.  Ive found that out in a heart wrenching way.  I've learned that most cats we find are not true ferals...but homeless, frightened wonderful cats that need people!  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WIFCaP in the News!

In the last ten days or so we've been super busy with the part of our mission statement that says "To educate community members on the importance of spay or neutering and to provide incentives for them to spay, neuter and vaccinate their pets...."

Its been a bit of a whirlwind of cat fur and whiskers and a whole lot of fun!  Cheryl True and I gave a presentation to a committee of the Atlantic City Council, which ended up not only on the front page of the Atlantic Telegraph, but also on two local radio stations!   Last night AVCheryl and I attended a city council meeting in Shelby Iowa to discuss a solution for their stray cat problem!

Kathy met with the owners the "The Green Spot", a new pet food store in Omaha and will be doing a basic "what is a feral cat and why do they need us" type workshop in the mid September!

And all during the while we also trapped and cared for four more kitties!

And so it goes!  WIFCaP is one year old and growing!  Its all so basic and all so easy, when you love these outdoor kitties as much as we do!  Here's hoping that this open door to education will continue and we can be a part of a solution other than needless killing and over crowding of shelters!

Thanks to any and all of you that have helped in any way at all to make our first year really great!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Real Men Love Cats!

Meet Cody!  This little man was found at Menard's Distribution Center at Shelby Iowa.  When many were ready to hoist him in a ditch, a wonderful young man named Cody, scooped him up and brought him to AVC.    We've named the kitty after our hero from Menard's.   Yesterday, he received his "spa" treatment and is recovering well.

Cody is the last kitty to be treated during our first year of service in TNR.  He is number 72 for spay or neuter!

Thank you to Cody for helping this nice kitty who we will do our best to find a furever home for!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Why we Love Cats..and AVC!



    Today I share a picture of Simon guarding the entry to AVC.  What a fantastic place for animals and people as well.  The Doctors and staff (AKA AVCheryl) not only care for any and all animals that darken their door, they care about the people that bring in their pets, as well.  I'm touched every time Cheryl tells me of the hurts or successes of clients that come to the clinic.  She and I have made fast friends and I value her friendship like gold! Doctors Schultz and Hoffman care so much for the animals and their clients as well.    They go over and beyond the call of duty to help.  Today I thank God for AVC!  And so, thought it would be fun to share this little prose.


    When God Made Cats


    When God made the world, He chose to put animals in it, and decided to give each whatever it wanted. All the animals formed a long line before His throne, and the cat quietly went to the end of the line. To the elephant and the bear He gave strength, to the rabbit and the deer, swiftness; to the owl, the ability to see at night, to the birds and the butterflies, great beauty; to the fox, cunning; to the monkey, intelligence; to the dog, loyalty; to the lion, courage; to the otter, playfulness. And all these were things the animals begged of God. At last he came to the end of the line, and there sat the little cat, waiting patiently. "What will YOU have?" God asked the cat.
    The cat shrugged modestly. "Oh, whatever scraps you have left over. I don't mind."
    "But I'm God. I have everything left over."
    "Then I'll have a little of everything, please."
    And God gave a great shout of laughter at the cleverness of this small animal, and gave the cat everything she asked for, adding grace and elegance and, only for her, a gentle purr that would always attract humans and assure her a warm and comfortable home.
    But he took away her false modesty.
    Lenore Fleischer

    **Kathy's personal end note:  "I happen to think that Doc S, Doc H and Cheryl were waiting in line with the kitty...they got it all and Mercy too!!"

Friday, June 22, 2012

Get yer Motor Runnin'!!

Meet Motorhead!  MO for short.  This little girl was found beneath the hood of  a pickup truck across the street from Kathy.  Our helper, Amber called me right away and brought her over.  She spent the night in the carrier and on to see Dr. Schultz at AVC first thing this morning.

Her exam was very normal.  This baby is so frightened, but not feral.  You can hold her and cuddle her, but she shakes with fear.  She will take some socialization before she is ready for adoption.   You can contact AVC for information of you would like to give her a furever home!  Avoca Veterinary Clinic, Avoca, IA  712-343-2661

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Who me?

Donald is a special and sweet kitty that has been living on the streets of Avoca for over a year.  He is fed by several residents, including the now retried Donna from AVC.   We decided to grab him up and get him his spa treatment so he would'nt be carousing around and making little Donalds and Donnas to roam with him.  He is a precious boy that now has our own Donna to care for him!  Wifcap is so happy to be able to help these wonderful furry friends!

Monday, May 21, 2012

F-O-C-U-S Can you spell it?

 Word travels fast in Western Iowa.

 Pretty much as we had anticipated, we are now getting calls from concerned people looking for rescue, for which we are not equipped or licensed. We've had litters of kittens dropped off at AVC that were way too young to be adopted and so needed foster care and even feedings from a bottle. We've been able to handle this only because AVC has the room ,the vets are willing and they will take them in.  They are limited, however.  This has been a particularly hard thing for AVCheryl and myself.  In a perfect world ,where money, space and time would be no issue, we would take any needy cat from any county or state.

  This month has been a wake-up call for us.  We had to wake up to the fact that our mission is for feral and free roaming cats and if we don't stick to that mission statement, we will flail and loose ground instead of gaining the successes that we truly desire.  I, Kathy, have Sheila at Shadow Cats Rescue in Round Rock, TX  and my very grounded sister, Kris to thank for this revelation.  


 But, this week I had the opportunity to work with a nice lady in Earling, IA and I feel my focus coming back to TNR.   Today I met Diane.  A jovial and fun lady in Earling, who finds much satisfaction and fulfillment in feeding and caring for free roaming cats.  She has a brood of about 15-20 she said. However, I only saw ten while I was there.  She also is limited, financially.    She initially feared that I was coming to take her cats away or hound her for money of which she has none.   After assuring her that I did NOT want to take her kitties and that if money was an issue, we had people all over the country to help, she was glowing.   Her kitties look quite healthy and she wants them all back.  She has been able to feed them, but hasn't got the funds to vet them properly.  
We can help!

 So now we are faced with the project of trapping, neutering and returning over 15 cats that need their "spa treatment". Thanks to our current auction, we should have the funds to cover this project.

Thank you to everyone out there that is reading this blog.  Maybe you have donated, maybe you have prayed or maybe you just think good thoughts about us.  We appreciate you being here for us in any way you can.

Its pretty much just me, Kathy out here with boots on the ground doing the physical TNR, but I could not do it without all of you and my crew along side of me!  Donate if you can, and if you live in the Walnut area and have a passion for cats and the time to help me, call....we need you!  Thanks!

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Different Side of Mother's Day


I was so pleased that our little newspaper allowed me to write an article about our sweet little Mokey!  I have copied the text below, so you can all enjoy it too.  

A Different Side of Mother’s Day




On one Sunday a year, all of us Mother’s are treated to a special day.  One where we might receive a yummy hand prepared breakfast of eggs, juice, toast and maybe a red rose in a bud vase, all served in the comfort of our beds.   It is a day of flowers, cards and dinners out.  For some of us, it’s a day of remembering the hand prepared breakfasts and the scribbled notes that said “ I love you, Mom.  Happy Mother’s Day!”  


This year I am reminded of a different kind of mother. Different from we “perfect” human ones.  I know a story about a special mom who cares nothing about cards, or flowers or eating out.  She asks no one for help in what she knows she has to do.  She does her job and does it well.  Not only does she do her job, but she is doing the job of another, who cannot.


Meet Mokey.  Mokey is a cat.  She was found stray in Walnut.  Western Iowa Feral and Homeless Cat Program promptly took her in for her “spa treatment” which meant she would be spayed and vaccinated.  Mokey had a scar on her abdomen, so it was determined that she most likely had already been fixed, so the surgery wasn’t necessary.   Because she is a friendly and sweet cat, Mokey found a home with Heather Gettler and her family.  This spring, however, Mokey got “fat”.  Oops, turns out she wasn’t spayed after all.  On april 10, 2012, the kitty gave birth to four beautiful babies.


Taking care of four children is a job in itself, but Mokey has gone way beyond just caring for her own babies.  Another mama kitty in Harlan  who had just given birth to four babies, met with a horrible accidental death.  On a hunch and with no other options, it was decided to see if Mokey would accept them as her own.  Heather introduced the kittens into Mokey’s litter, one at a time,  and one at a time, Mokey began grooming them and allowing them to nurse.  It was only minutes and the two groups of babies meshed and one happy family was born.


Isn’t this just like a mom?   Doing what needs to be done and doing it with love.  Mokey is the purrfect example of what it means to  be selfless and to put her family ahead of everything else.  And when you think you don’t have room in your heart for more , that heart makes room, one by one and in only minutes there is enough love and more to go around.


Happy Mother’s day to all moms, human and animal!  May this be a special day as your little ones surround you and lavish you with all the love you deserve.  Believe me, Mokey knows what it feels like to be surrounded with love!  My hope for Mokey on Sunday is that she might get 5 minutes to herself and a special can of tuna!


Kathy Humann
Western Iowa Feral and Homeless Cat Program
Follow what happens with Mokey on our face book page at www.facebook.com/wifcap2

Monday, May 14, 2012

We Did It!

After being gone for the week it was so fun to come home and find our 501c3 determination letter in the mail!  As of 2/6/12, we are a non-profit!  This determination gives so much credibility to what we are doing and tells the world that we are serious about our program!  I'm so happy and relieved.

I want to say a big thank you to the Ralph and Virginia Mullin Foundation who generously provided the funding for this.  We could not have acquired this without their assistance.

Now not only will we be able to continue to take care of our WI kitties, we will be able to do even more!  We are looking forward to what happens next!

Thanks to everyone for sticking with us and giving before the tax deductible status was in effect!  We are here because YOU ARE!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pushing the Boundaries!

video
Starting a TNR program for feral cats seems so cut and dried and nicely fenced in with the boundaries that are written in the mission statement.

What we have however, found out in the months since we began, that many of the free roaming cats, that many perceive as "feral" are indeed socialized strays or throw-aways.  We have also found out that word gets around quickly that we have become the "cat rescuers.  We are faced with situations other than the normal trap, spa treatment and release.

This little video stars Breanna...who is finally playing with a string.  She is a farm kitty that was attacked by an aggressive Tom.  We were called to assist.  This sweet kitty lost her tail due to the infection and is still healing after many weeks.  She is almost well and we are enjoying her beyond description!  Breanna loves attention and loves being held.  Bree has a home waiting for her when she totally recovers. How will we function without her?

The video pans to the gorgeous boy sitting on the stool.  That is Mr. Kitty.  He was found in Omaha as a stray. After weeks of trying to find his home we have decided to help him find a new one.  A regal boy, he is gentle and sweet.  A big boy at 12.5 pounds, he is skinny.  He longs to be held and cuddled.  One look in those green eyes and you are hooked.

So our mission statement and finely tuned rules of trap neuter and return stretch a little bit beyond the boundaries to which we try to adhere.  Kind of like our hearts...

 Mr. Kitty

Breanna

Breanna thanks those of you that sent special donations to help her heal.  Without your generousity WIFCaP could not do what we do.  YOU are WIFCaP!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thank you for a Successful Auction!

Ricky couldn't help trying to get into the act while I was preparing to go to the post office. Our first ever auction ended on Saturday night and now the fun of packing and shipping has begun.  We could not be happier with the results!

Once all the donations are in we will reveal the total for the fundraising event, but I can say that the resulting funds will help us to continue to do TNR and re-homing of friendly strays for the spring and summer! 

Kathy is excited to begin trapping in Avoca where there is also  problem.  There are at least five that she is aware of that need their "spa" treatment" !

Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who participated.  We are already planning the next auction.  Look for it towards the end of May!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Our First Ever Auction is UP and RUNNING!!!

Taking a hint from a fellow local cat rescue, Feline Friends in NE, we decided to try an online auction for ourselves.  Kris, Pam and I put our donated items together and set up a new facebook page Wifcap Auctions!  Here we listed the items, set the dates and let er go!!  We are amazed and blessed to see what is coming of this fun event!  As I write this on Tuesday, we have nearly five full days left before the closing bids can be made.    The word SUCCESS comes to mind!  We have had offers from others to donate items, so we are currently collecting items so that we can do another one!  A fun and easy way to make funds for our kitties in Western Iowa!  You can visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WIFCaP2 . This Irish Linen tea towel is a very hot item for this auction!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Things Keep Rollin' Along!

In the last couple months, Kathy has been busy working with the attorneys hired by the Mullin Foundation to get the necessary paperwork done in order to become an official bonafide non-profit organization.  Finally on Tuesday, we received our official letter from the state of Iowa, declaring that we are a real non-profit corporation!  Sigh of relief is in order!  This is step one in becoming a non-profit that can accept donations and offer our donors a tax deduction.  Step 2 is an exemption letter from the IRS, which is in process at this moment.  We will let you know as soon as we hear anything.

I would like to thank Ashley E. at the attorneys office for doing all the hard legal work regarding this matter.  It was pretty grueling getting the information together, but she had to put it in order and get it mailed in and for that I applaud her.  The Mullin Foundation is amazing.  Without them, we would NOT have been able to do this.  I whined and cried on FB about the "poor little people like us" that don't have the money to apply for non-profit and someone offered the information about this wonderful foundation and it worked!  I hope when I pass on, I can leave an amount of money so others can live out their passion for animal welfare.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Western IA Feral Cat Program Going Strong !

Sharing our most recent Newspaper Article.  We thank The Walnut Bureau for allowing us to submit photos and occasional articles!




Western Iowa’s Feral Cat Program had a successful first five months.  Kathy Humann, who has volunteered her time to help feral and free roaming cats in and around Walnut has set up 8 active feeding stations where the animals receive food and water on a daily basis.  Donations have come in from local supporters as well as from face book contacts nationwide.  WIFCaP is currently working with the Mullin Foundation to receive their official tax status as a tax deductible 501c3.

But does Trap Neuter and Return work?  While its still too early to know for sure what  impact the program will have in Walnut, Kathy has gotten positive comments from  some of the residents close to the feeding stations. Some have thought the cats were gone, but because of the food they are receiving and the veterinary services they have gotten, the cats are no longer fighting and creating nuisances.

In five short months WIFCaP has vaccinated 24 cats, spayed 7 females and neutered 15 males!    The females could easily have had two litters next summer.  If each of the 7 spayed cats were to have a conservative litter of 2 surviving kittens in each litter,, our feral cat numbers could have easily risen by 84! WIFCAP has also been able to find homes for 7 stray cats.

Kathy is looking to build a volunteer base for fund raising efforts and for foster care of the occasional lost cat/kitten.  If you would like to help, please call her at 712-784-2660.  You can also follow the WIFCaP activity on face book at www.facebook.com/wifcap2

Sunday, January 1, 2012

As Our Year Comes to a Close and a New One Begins!

The final 2011 edition of The Walnut Bureau came out last week!  On the front page, 2011 in Review included our very own Amber and Einstein!!!  

 Also chosen as a top story, was the creation of Western Iowa Feral Cat Program!


Here's a bit of a close-up of what the Bureau had to say about our program.

"Feral Cat Program Started"
Western Iowa Feral Cat Program was started in Walnut this year to provide a humane way of reducing the homeless cat population.  Best of all, it's all done with contributions.  The program receives no funding from the city, state or federal government."

  I'm so happy they included us as one of the highlights of the year.  Love how they emphasized that no funding comes from the city, state or federal government.  Like that's something to be proud of.  

This week I will be working on a year end review of our accomplishments!  I cant wait to report on all we've done!

A huge thank you to everyone that has been involved with WIFCaP in any way.  Whether it be an donation, adopting one of our lonely felines, time spent helping or even an encouraging comment on  face book.  We need you ALL.  We are hoping that you will stick with us through 2012 and beyond!  Just wait to see what we can do as we all pull together!