Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's About to be...

It's about to be Christmas, and no matter your background or belief system, Christmas is a time of joy, reflection, and hopefully peace.   We gather together with friends and family, we eat way too much and buy and receive way too many "things"  and we wonder what the year ahead will bring.

We send and receive Christmas Cards, some with the annual Christmas letters. I don't do Christmas letters.  I never have and I don't like them. I mostly don't care where everyone vacationed or who got what promotion or how the house sale went.   I hope that doesn't sound like Scrooge, I want it to sound honest.  What I care about I will already know about my friends and family.  I will know how they felt about getting that promotion because I would have been there to help celebrate.  I will have seen the vacation pictures while we sipped coffee or tea.   I will have helped with the moving after the big sale of the house or sent a housewarming gift that would arrived their first day in their new home.  I wont need to read it in a letter.

But this year, I actually considered sending a Christmas letter.  It wouldn't have been about my new garage, or the fact that my son is finally home from a 5 year stint in the US Navy.  It would been about my furry friends in and around Walnut.

I would tell them about Gibbs, who came to my porch after being left alone by his owner.  I would tell of his beauty and his gentleness.  I would whine about how the four cats don't get along, but we are working things out and he will stay.

And then I would tell them about Western Iowas Feral Cat Program.  How we have worked to spay or neuter, vaccinate and give medical care to 25 cats since August.   How we have set up six feeding stations to keep them well fed.  How they now have shelter and are living happy, healthy lives outside.

I'd tell them about Spider Mansion, which has become famous because of a feral cat who sunned himself in the window last winter...The soon to be demolished house will now live on.

I would tell them that each kitty has a name and there is a reason for that name.  I would tell them that while most have forgotten about these little creatures, we have not. 

I would tell them that through WIFCaP, we have met people all over the country that care as much as we do.  That we have friends out there that understand and support us.

I would tell them to do something for someone less fortunate.  I would tell them if we all did that, our world would change.

And I would say " Merry Christmas".
Luke 2:14
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Oh Yes, They Are Thankful!


I took this shot of my Possum the other day.   I had the piece of lace draped over a lamp to use as a backdrop for my etsy listings.    Both she and Gibbs were happy to keep it warm for me and to "help" me with my work.


Yesterday we spent time with our families and ate ourselves sick.  This morning, I was watching Gibbs gather 3 toy mice into a little herd and then bat them all over the house.  He likes being scratched on his stomach and will lay there and purr for as long as I can scratch.  I was telling my husband how he was born to be a house cat and how he loves to play (all 15 pounds of him) and how happy I am that he will never have to live outside again, wondering why he was abandoned or when and if he will eat again.

He is grateful.  I can see it in his demeanor, I can hear it in his purr and I see it in his eyes.  I know all my cats are grateful. I rescued my other 3 when they were tiny and I am in hopes that they don't have memories of the darkness beneath the porch or the cold trailer house with nothing to eat or drink...Gibbs remembers....and he is grateful.

I am thankful that out of all the places in town he would stray to, it our house.  Even though the others don't seem to like him yet, he came here.  He was a starving, lost little cat soul and God drew him to the place he could call home. 

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving and that you know how grateful your cats are that they have you to care for them and to love them.  They give us unconditional love.  They don't care about how we look, or what we do for a living. They just know that they are secure and they are loved, and they give back so much more! ~Kathy

Western Iowa/Walnut Iowa Feral Cat Program is all about saving the lives of feral and free roaming cats in Western Iowa...see our Donation Page to see how you can help!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Smith and Wesson Find Their New Home and Head to the Mountains!

It is with great pleasure I can tell you that our little kittens found in Walnut have found their new home.  Susan and Rich Prince fell instantly in love with these two and headed back to their home in Castle Rock Co with both little boys in tow!

They have been renamed Smith and Wesson...and pretty much "shoot" around the house until they drop with fatigue!   We are looking forward to watching them grow and hearing all the tales of their new wonderful life!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sweet Babies need a HOME!

Just like Einstein, these two were found outside drifting alone.  Hannah J. 's brother and his girlfriend found them.  They were filthy dirty, full of fleas, little bellies tight with worms and skinny.  Thankfully Hannah called me right away and off to AVC we went. 

They were there for the weekend and I picked them up yesterday!

These sweethearts have been wormed, given a flea bath, gotten their vaccinations, and have both been neutered.  We are calling them Mutt and Jeff.  Mutt is on the right, the smaller one and Jeff, the larger on the left.  Mutt also had a damaged tail and about half of it had to be removed.  He is in a bit of pain from it, but the stitches come out next week and he should be fine.    They seem healthy and tame.  They just want to explore and sleep, like all babies do!

They are living in my cottage in a cage lent to me by Cheryl at AVC!  Our vets office is awesome.  This job of cat TNR and foster parenting is a big one.  Fulfilling and busy.  Without the help and cooperation of Avoca Veterinary Clinic, and from all of you out there that help me too, I would have already given up!  Some days I feel alone in this, but I know I'm not.  So thanks go out today to everyone involved with WIFCaP in any way!  I need you all out there to spur me on!

Please pass the word that these kitties are available!

You can have this kingdom, because I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your home. I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you came to visit me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Feral Cat Garage Sale a Success

Walnut Iowa's Feral Cat Program held a garage sale last Saturday to commorate National Feral Cat Day, which was October 16th.

Community members showed their support not only by purchasing items from the sale, but also by donating money and cat food.  The program collected two bags of dry food and seven cans.  Everyone who brought cat food or made a $2 donation was entered into a drawing for a kitty litter box full of treasures for their cat.  The winner was Petra Heiny of Walnut.

The sale was a huge success and brought in $500.  This money will go to continuing to spay and neuter all the stray cats of Walnut.  Thanks to everyone who helped support by donating or purchasing at the sale and to Kathy Humann and the rest of the Feral Cat Program Volunteers.

So sorry to be days late getting this article posted.  This one, I didnt write.  I was told that we needed to reduce the articles to once a month.  So this one was a nice surprise and I thank The Walnut Bureau for printing it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Garage Sale was a big Success!

The day started off perfect!  A bright, crisp fall day was just the ticket for our garage sale.  This is part of the crew and customers that helped us get off the ground!  Pam, Linda, Cheryl, Becky and Amber!

We had such fun, educating (you can see our information table in the lower left) and meeting people that wanted to know or already knew about feral cats.  This is Cindy.  She lives in Avoca and has been a faithful caretaker of ferals in her area and needs help, so we can expand at some point and help in that direction too!

Living in Iowa's Antique City and living right on main street has advantages!  We were able to have many travelers stop by.  One couple from Wisconsin stopped by and told us of the 18th century mosaic quilt they had just taken to the University of NE Quilt Study to be authenticated.  They were nice enough to unwrap and show us!!!

Getting young people involved in community service is a huge thing to us.  Here is Amy and Marye from a youth group in town that came by to make our winter shelters!  Thank you girls!!!

And of course Kathy's cats had to get in the act!  Here is Lucy, checking to be sure we got everything unloaded from this box.  Such a helper!

Some of our customers, supporters from Omaha even came.  This is my nephew David.  He is a wonderful man who loves cats!!!  He has rescued two kitties that now live with him and is fostering a kitten at this time as well.  Here he tries to befriend Ricky, who is the shyest!

Our facebook friend Dawn came to help too!  She lives in a town about 25 miles from us.  So good to have her here and so glad to meet her.   Dawn and Kathy will go to the conference in DesMoines next Saturday together.  Right now....the name of the conference is slipping my ever-loving aging mind and I will add later...geez!

Anyway, all in all it was a great day.  The weather could not have been more perfect.  We had LOTS of people and they opened their pocketbooks for the kitties.  Many of them were very excited to hear about the cause and were eager to learn and to share what they know.  While I was totally exhausted at the end of the day, I, Kathy cannot wait til the next one!  We even had participation online.  Some of our facebook friends that were too far to join us, purchased items online and made donations to our chip in account. 

Much gratitude goes to everyone involved in helping to make this happen.  All of you who donated items to sell, that helped set up, that spent part of your weekend working,  that sent encouraging notes, who made things for us to sell, who came and purchased items here or online...we love you and appreciate all you do to help us. 

I signed up on my email to receive google alerts on feral cats.  Its amazing EVERY DAY how many articles and how much activity is going on in this area.  The word is getting out and people are beginning to notice!

Monday, October 3, 2011

National Feral Cat Day Garage Sale Fundraising Event!

October 16th is National Feral Cat Day!

To bring awareness to our new program and to fatten the "kitty' for your TNR Program, we are holding a huge garage sale on SATURDAY October 15th
100% of the funds will go to WIFCap!!
Lots of Garage Sale items!!!  Make us an offer we cant refuse!
BRING A DONATION OF CAT FOOD or a $2.00 donation to recieve a chance to win an awesome Kitty Basket!  A basket filled with kitty things, for you and for your kitty!  Even a "National Feral CAT Day" T-shirt!!
BOY SCOUTS will be on hand to sell their wonderful popcorn.  Come and stock up for the winter
WINTER SHELTERS are going to be constructed during the hours of 10-noon. Our Walnut Youth group is coming to help us get ready for cold weather!
EDUCATION TABLE:  Information about TNR and what we do will be available.
NEW ITEMS:  We plan to have available some handmade items, like crocheted dish cloths for you to purchase...AND some kitty catnip toys...come early, these will go fast!
HOT CHOCOLATE for a free will donation!

You might even catch a glimpse of my kitties.  This is Lucy at our last yard sale event!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Walnut Bureau September 22, 2011

Walnut Iowa’s Feral Cat News

Did you know that October is National Feral Cat Month and October 16th is officially National Feral Cat Day??? To commemorate this date, Walnut Iowa’s Feral Cat Program will be host to a huge Garage Sale event. The sale will take place SATURDAY October 15th 8am-5pm at 400 Antique City Drive in Walnut. ALL PROCEEDS will go to continue the work of the group to spay/neuter, vaccinate and return the feral cats in our community and to find new homes for friendly strays.

“We are finding that there are more friendly strays than we first anticipated” says Kathy Humann. “ We treat these just as we would the feral cats. They all get their surgery for sterilization, vaccinations and a clean bill of health. So far we have had great success in re-homing the friendly ones.”

The Avoca Veterinary Clinic in Avoca has been a God-send for the group. “If it weren’t for Doc Hoffmann and Dr. Schultz we couldn’t do what we are doing. They are able to give us the flexibility we need and we’re confident that the kitties are well cared for.” Kathy adds.

The sale will include vintage glassware, Christmas items, TVs, and tons of other items. There will also be a CAT FOOD DRIVE. Bring a can or bag of cat food or a $2.00 donation for a chance to win a litter box full of kitty treasures!!!

An information table will also be set up with information you might find interesting about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets and your community cats.

For information, questions or to get involved, call Kathy Humann 712-784-2660 and follow them on face book at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cheryl and Tom True - Our True Inspiration!

BONNIE... Sneutered by WIFCaP August 2011
Dont you love her ear tip?  I call it her ruffle!

On our facebook page and in most of my writings, you dont hear much about Cheryl and Tom. They are both busy working people but they have a huge place in their hearts for cats!   They are both Crazy Cat People and have been helping the strays and ferals of our town for years.  In the past 22 years they have sneutered 66 kitties!  It's truely amazing how their love of these little animals has helped so many kitties live long and happy lives. 

This is Butterscotch, lovingly known as Mrs. B.  This is only one of the fun feeding stations that Tom has constructed.  Dont you love the welcome mat???

Little Max was found wondering the streets of Walnut about a year ago.  Just a kitten at the time, Tom took one look and fell in love.  He took him home to their "haven"  and little Max fit right in!

 I remember the day Cheryl found Toby.  He was about as big as my hand and was squealing while trying to climb the lattice work in the courtyard of Cheryl's shop downtown.  We tried to find a mama with no success, so Cheryl became that mama/ He has grown into a most beautiful boy.  Click for a closeup of his eyes...they are not quite blue and not aquamarine!

Last, but certainly not least are Scooter and Tara.  Tara is Scooter's mother.  Tara appeared in Cheryl's courtyard with 2 kittens.  They lived there happily for months.  One of the babies dissappeared and Cheryl brought them into the shop.  Nice to have shop kitties, but not so nice that they were destroying merchandise at night when no one was there!  Would have loved to have hidden video to watch that party!   They now live at "True Haven" and even have their own enclosed kitty kondo...

There are others that hang around True Haven and we will focus on some more of them in the future.  One thing is for sure, lost kitties seem to find their way there.  Its no wonder, Cheryl and Tom's love for cats is on the radar!

WIFCaP is happy to have Cheryl and Tom as part of our group.  They dont have time to post on facebook, write blogs or help with other things.  What they do in the background at their "haven" is way more than most us do all together.  We are happy to begin giving them some relief in cat food bills and vetting. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Awesome Art by AA

Today I'm featuring one of our very good friends and supporters, Autumn Armstrong.  Ive know Autumn for a couple years now.  She is a friend of my daughters, a cat lover and a great artist.  She paints kitty-atures...  Autumn will take a picture or pictures of your cats and create a fun and winsome painting for you!

Autumn tries to capture your kitty's personality and she does a  great job of it!

Autumn has been cartooning and painting for years, but has recently combined the two.  By the request of many friends, she started creating her Kitty-atures and has started her business as Art by AA!

You can follow her on facebook @ Art by AA

I almost forgot to mention that Autumn and her family adopted one of Walnut's friendly strays a year or so back!  Edwyn had strayed into my yard, and Autumn took him in!
By the way, be on the lookout for our new logo, which will be created by Autumn!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Walnut Iowa's Feral Cat Program News

Walnut Iowa’s Feral Cat Program Update:

August was the first official month of Trap Neuter and Return of feral cats in Walnut. We’ve had much success. We were able to trap, neuter, vaccinate and return 5 feral cas; trap, neuter vaccinate and re-home two strays, and vaccinate and find a home for one kitten.

Einstein was the kitten found in town by Hannah Johnk. We found her a foster home and put her up for adoption at the Avoca Veterinary Clinic in Avoca. Doc Hoffman and Doc Schultz, along with Donna have been fantastic in helping us with our program. Einstein ultimately went home with her foster mom, my comrade in feral cat tending, Amber Heiny.

Einstein is doing well. It is a huge responsibility to own a cat. One must see that they are vaccinated and spayed or neutered to keep from continuing the overpopulation and risks that come with free roaming cats. Amber has taken on that responsibility by being sure that Einstein has her vaccinations and when the time is right, to have her spayed.

WIFCaP wants to urge all cat owners to be responsible as well. Please see that your pet is spayed/neutered and that they have the necessary vaccinations. It is irresponsible humans that have caused the feral cat problems and now the only way to prevent its increase is to properly vet our animals. If you would like information regarding what you can do to help, please see our website at or our face book page at You may also contact Kathy Humann at 712-784-2660.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Spider Mansion!

This is the 2nd feeding station that we set up in Walnut.  It's an old abandoned house that we've seen cats living in.  Its a mess...all windows are broken, its totally falling apart.  We first dubbed the structure "The Mansion", but having walked thru it, we have decided "The Spider Manson" is a way better fit!

These pics of the windows and the inside of the porch, show the destruction.  I've seen cats fly down into the hole to hide when we come in.

There is feces and other litter everywhere.  Including evidence of drug usage.  This place is being used not only by cats, but by people too.

Anyone know what this is???

I must admit I felt a little like CSI when "touring" this place.  I didnt have a flashlight, but I wish I'd had a gun....just in case!
It is on the city council agenda for next month to be abated for abandoned and nuisance property. 
In the meantime, we will continue to feed the kitties here.  This coming up week, I will start to trap here and see what we find.  I dont know if there are 2 or 12! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August 2011 In Review

During the last week of July 2011, Kathy and Pam finally put boots on the ground and decided to launch Walnut Iowa's Feral Cat Program.  From the first "go live" weekend, we have been in a whirlwind of feral and homeless cat business!  Our team is unbelievable!  All the way from Las Vegas Nevada, Kathy's sister Kris is a huge help with administration and social networking support.  Pam, in Omaha is a source of physical help when possible and encouragement and financial support as well.  Amber and Cheryl and Linda are always standing at the ready to help where ever needed.

 As for me, Kathy, I'm sort of the runner.  I have the privilege to be ringside for all the activity and I'm loving it.  We are counting Gibbs as our first "sneuter".  He has become a beloved member of my family, along with my other 3 rescued kitties.  After vowing I would never have more than 3, Gibbs taught me never to say never.
We've been busy! From caring for and finding foster and fur-ever homes for town strays and abandoned  or lost kitties, to

trapping and taking care of feral cats and kittens.... to setting up and maintaining  feeding stations and

collecting the funds to do so!

In August of 2011, we were able to spay/neuter, vaccinate eight cats, and feed and care for many more through our stations.  We are happy with that total for our first month. 

Thank you to everyone who has been involved with helping us get our wings.  We have experienced such generosity and we are humbled by the signs of compassion for these furry little friends.  Donations of food, traps, and finances have been overwhelming. 

September will be even better! Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This is our newest feral.  We've named her Jenny....the director on NCIS...We are working through the cast, naming our ferals after Kathy's favorite show.  Yes, we will eventually move on...and yes we will be giving opportunity for our supporters to name our sneuters...This little girl is the mousy little gray one that I first saw in Mrs. Gray's yard.  She has been elusive, but hunger got the better of her this morning.   I set the trap this morning, caught Tony, let him out and reset.  She was trapped and at the vet's office with 30 minutes of the 2nd set of the trap!  We only have one more sibling and the mama, Mrs. Gray to go before we move on to the next area.  I will be attempting to trap both mama and baby yet today.  We are at 7 now!!  Our goal was 10. We may not make it but it wont be for not trying!

Kathy's son is in the Navy on board the USS George Washington CVN73 Aircraft Carrier.  He is home ported in Japan, which means when he isn't at sea, his "home" is Atsugi, Japan.  Kathy has done some preliminary work with Bellevue University in Bellevue NE so that he can start school as soon as possible when he gets out.  Major obstacles didn't deter Kathy.  Jeff emailed and said " Mom, you're relentless!"  I never thought of myself in that way, but when I'm passionate about something...I guess you could call me that!

Look out Mrs. Gray, Im after you!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet McGee!

Ok, I know it looks like Im posting the same picture every time I report a new snueter!  But, honest, each of these is a different kitty!  I set the trap this morning and had him within ten minutes!

So off to Avoca to see Dr. Schultz we went!   ITS A BOY!  Going along with our NCIS theme of the day, we've named this one McGee! 
McGee is another sweetie!  He now has his sneuter, vaccinations, de-worming and ear mite treatment.  He is resting well in my cottage.  I will keep watch over him til he is ready to go home.  Its another good day for WIFCaP!

 Please consider helping us to keep up our work with the can chip in or send a check to PO BOX 244, Walnut, Iowa  51577

One of our vets asked me today how we are going to keep going at this pace.  My response was, "We will do it as long as we have the funds.  After that, we stop til we get some more.  Please help us continue!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Mrs. Gray Baby Neutered!

This time its a boy!!!  We named this one Tony...again after an NCIS character...Love NCIS!!!  This little guy was in our new trap before I could out of the yard!  Success!!!  I took him right over to the vet and stayed for the surgery!  I got observe, which I have always wanted to do.

Tony did great during surgery and is now resting comfortabley in my cottage.  I will watch him til maybe dusk and then let him go back to his home.  He seems to be doing well.  A beauty!!!

Thank you for all your donations that have made this possible for Tony.  Without you, he would be left to father many kittens, and go unvaccinated...our vets also treat for ear mites and deworm our kitties.   Please consider making us a regular drop off point for your charity dollars.  We have a long road ahead of us to get Walnut's problem under control.  You can "chip-in" at the top of this page...its easy and 100% goes to helping kitties like Tony. 

Walnut's Feral Cat Program News!

Here is our most recent Newspaper article.  As you can see, I sort of added a Q&A feel to it.  Im hoping I will get some Q's!!!!

Here is the copy....

The Walnut Iowa’s Feral Cat Program is in full swing. We are happy to report that we have been able to spay or neuter 4 cats already.

As we continue to update you on our progress, we will also attempt to answer some important questions, you might have.

Q: Why not just let animal control come in and take these cats?

A: Animal control’s traditional approach for feral cats, which is catch and kill - is endless and cruel. Cats choose to reside in locations for two reasons: there is a food source (intended or not) and there is shelter.

When cats are removed from a location, new cats move in or survivors breed to capacity. This vacuum effect is well-documented.

Q: Are you sure Trap- Neuter - Return works?

A: Yes, TNR benefit’s the cats and the community. Cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and ear tipped (the universal symbol of an altered and vaccinated cat), and then returned to their outdoor home. The colony’s population stabilizes- no more kittens! TNR improves their relations with the community - the behaviors and stresses associated with mating stop. Trap - neuter- return is the humane, effective approach for feral cats.

If you have a question you would like addressed, please email us at or call Kathy Humann at 784-2660

To learn more about our program or to donate to our cause, visit our website at and to keep up with all the feral cat happenings, you can follow us on our face book page at “Walnut Iowa’s Feral Cat Program”.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bonnie is Home and All is Well

I picked Bonnie up this morning.  She did very well during surgery.  She's in the bathroom now, recovering for a day or so.

Bonnie is not feral.  Ive learned to tell the difference thanks to articles Ive read on the Internet.  Bonnie was crying and meowing in the cage and didn't totally freak out.

I feel she is most likely another stray cat that has been left in Walnut, by someone who didn't want her anymore or couldn't take care of her.  How in the world do they think that just leaving them outside somewhere is somehow OK?

I'm finding that we have a lot more of this kind of cat in Walnut than I realized.  We are not a shelter, but we have been able to re-home some of our tame kitties.  I have been contacted by another animal shelter a bit to the north of us that wants to talk about helping us out.  I don't have any details yet, but stay tuned!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet Bonnie!

This little lady is "Bonnie"  She has been wandering Walnut with her kittens for a couple months.  It turns out she is a bit wild, but not feral.  She has warmed up to several people in town, thus the live trap was not needed in this situation.  We were able to get her and keep her overnight in the bathroom of one of our foster homes.  Her kittens are gone...we dont know how many she had or where they are.  She kept them hidden quite well!

She was frightened this morning, but we got her to the vet at 8 sharp!    Welcome to WIFCaP family, Bonnie!

To those of you reading this blog, please consider a small donation to offset the cost of spaying, deworming and vaccinatting this little girl!  We need your help to continue helping our babies.  We are a small town that needs big support to get where we want to be!  NOT Feral Free....Feral Friendly!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Our Very First Trapping Day!

This is Abby...named for one of my favorite NCIS hair and would be tattooed if she could...She is one of Mrs. Gray's babies, about 4 months old and caught in our trap!  We caught this little one and Big Daddy and both are safely back home.  We are monitoring them to be sure all is well and by tomorrow they should be out and about and free from the worry of having unwanted babies! 

Our trapping went really well.  We had Abby by 9:30am and Big Daddy by 3:30!  A good day!

Now we are ready to set traps again.  We will continue at Mrs. Gray's as there are four other babies in the litter and Mrs. Gray herself.  I'm planning on using both traps for the Gray family until we get them under control.

Please realize that all of our activities are volunteer and donor driven.  We need you!  Please help us if you can.  You can "chip in" if you have pay pal by clicking the chip in button at the top of this page!