Monday, December 29, 2014

Ending the year in a big way!

Its only 3 days until the end of 2014 and I have to admit, this has been a crazy year!   I've actually had to take out my old calendar pages to review what all has been happening around Western Iowa Feral Cat Land to remember.  It's gone so fast and furious that it all seems a blur!

What I do know is that we TNR'd as many cats in 2014 as we did in the two years before combined.

How did that happen?
 LOTs of time, gas and hard work!

Our volunteer staff has not increased that much.  For one that we gained, we have lost another.  The team that actually does the trapping has remained me and one faithful other.

We've added support volunteers that can do things like print and laminate and go on the road to pick up food at pantries.  I know that it isn't that friends don't want to help, it s that they cant.  Work, gets in the way and not everyone is available to come all the way out here at the crack of dawn and at dusk when trapping is the best.

Adding traps to our inventory has helped a TON...Thanks to Best Friends Animal Society, we added two more traps and that has meant more kitties in for spa treatments!

Adding a wonderful vet to our partnership!   Harlan Veterinary Associates and Referral Center has been wonderful to us.  A great supporter of TNR and offering us a price that affords us the opportunity to fix more kitties locally!
Dr. Sternberg and Anne at work!

More and more people and towns are taking responsibility to their own cat issues.  This means they are open to TNR and open to helping pay for it.

This was kind of a year of discoveries for me.  I discovered that kitten care is hard.  Even with wonderful volunteers to help, it is a difficult and demanding job.  We had lots of kittens this past summer and we are still trying to find homes for the last two.   We found out that they get sick, they carry disease and sometimes they even die.   We know we have made their little lives better and that they have felt loved, but its a strain on volunteers and it's expensive.

We discovered that our focus HAS to remain on TNR and not rescue.  We have no where to hold the strays,  while trying to find homes. Again, the strain of that has been heavy, to the point of even loosing some of the help we had.  It is so hard to say "no" when the call of a friendly stray or a litter of kittens comes in.

We discovered that there are lots of people that want to help us financially!    I can honestly say that we have never had to be late on a bill.  Our friends on Facebook are amazing and without them, we could not TNR ONE cat!  Thanks to everyone that bids on our auctions, purchases from our many fundraisers and/or sends a check or makes a donation to paypal!  We can happily say that ALL your funds go to helping the kitties.  We have very little overhead (I need to buy a ream of copy paper) and we attempt to spend all your dollars on fixing cats!

I've discovered that while this is my passion and none of it feels like work to me (other than maybe the bookkeeping), I have to limit myself.  I have traveled over 80 miles one way to trap cats, then more miles to transport them to the vet and then all the way back home.   I get phone calls at all hours about problems, I spend many hours every day working on TNR, Facebook, accounting etc.

And so, decisions have had to be made.   We held our final meeting of the Board of Directors earlier in December and so far here is what we are considering:

Kittens and Stray Friendly Cats :   We are trying to find a rescue that we can work with to refer these to.

Financial giving:  We will continue our methods of fundraising while adding grant writing.  We have a volunteer that will begin helping us with that in January!

Limiting Scope of Assistance:  While the need is great, we can only do so much.  The communities around us have great need and we will begin focusing on those communities.  The communities are Walnut, Harlan, Avoca,  Hancock, Minden, Oakland, Atlantic, and Shelby.   We will continue to assist other communities with issues by offering education and training in TNR).  Watch for targeted TNR projects over the summer in some of these communities!

So!  Goodbye 2014 and hello 2015!  It's going to be a fun ride!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

2015 WIFCaP Calendar Sale!

For the 2nd year now, we have published our own calendar!  This is just a preview of the 12 different calendar pages that will come with your 2015 edition!

Everyone loves Bart and here he is gracing our May calendar month!

Simple to own....donate a minimum of $15 to our paypal account (donate button is on the upper left of this page) and we will ship it out.  Your $15 includes postage!

Be SURE your address is correct and be sure you note "calendar" in the memo space....

Want to mail us a check??? that is fine too!  Just mail to WIFCaP  PO Box 244 Walnut IA  51577

We hope you enjoy our choices of pictures and that you will have a happy and prosperous New Year!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Holiday Open House and Adoption Event!

We are so excited to announce that Harlan Veterinary Associates has invited WIFCaP to be part of their Holiday Open House this year! 

Come learn a bout WIFCaP...what we do and who we are!

We will be there to take pictures of you with your pet in front of the Christmas tree, offer treats, door prizes and information about Western Iowa's Feral Cat Program and TNR.

Come join the fun, enjoy some goodies and meet some of the WIFCaP Team. We are so thankful to HVA; Dr. Sternberg and his staff, for allowing us to join them!

Where:  Harlan Veterinary Associates and Referral
              910 Chatburn
              Harlan, Ia

When:   Friday December 5

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall Auction is Underway!

Wintery lap blanket - Lucy NOT included!
 October 25th at 7pm marks the start of our final ebay auction for 2014!
There are over 60 items up for bid and we are hoping that many will take a peek and do some shopping!

We offer all kinds of items, some kitty related and some not, so all can find something just right.

T-shirt, kitty mat/blanket and catnip toys - Lucy approved!

Check it out at Ebay and once the auction is live, type WIFCaP into the search box and all our offerings will show for your shopping pleasure!  Have fun and support WIFCaP by bidding generously!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Busy Fall for WIFCaP!

Joe and Angie spread the word of our mission!
Fall of 2014 marks the 3rd year that WIFCaP has been up and running.   Not much has changed in the fact that fund raising is a key element.  This fall is FULL of fun events to bring awareness to our mission and funds to our bank account so we can help more feral and homeless cats.

Each Wednesday in October we will be setting up in Avoca Iowa for their Mainstreet Market.  This is an outdoor event with vendors of all kinds, setting up their wares and offering information.   From local honey to free blood pressure check, you will find lots of fun tables to visit.   5-7pm every Wednesday in October!  Our booth was very popular our first night there.  We were able to find homes for 3 kitties!

True Junk's JUNKTOBERFEST is October 3-4 and as in the past two years, we will again be setting up a hot dog booth to benefit the kitties.

The last week of October will be our final ebay auction of the year!  Kathy is already lining things up for that event that can be enjoyed by all our friends and supporters across the county.

November will be our final fundraising push...with Origami Owl and Thirty One Gifts being our partner businesses that will hold online fundraisers for us.

As of September 30th, we have given spa treatments to 814 cats and have helped 1034 total cats that have come to us for one reason or another for assistance.   We cannot do this without lots of help from you all.  Participating in our fundraiser is so important and appreciated!

Check our How to Donate page to other ways you can help WIFCaP!

Happy Autumn!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

National Feral Day 2014

It's coming!  October 16th is National Feral Cat Day!
WIFCaP has held events each year since we started to focus on this event and this year is no exception!

Only this year we are going

Kathy has been working hard to put together an event that will show what it truly means to help where help is needed, even when it isn't convenient!   Along with the help of several other community (and beyond) minded people, you will see what it means to be willing to do what needs to be done in what was thought a hopeless situation.

Get ready to join us as we go on a bit of a journey to make a big difference!  We need your encouragement and support to make this happen, so stay tuned !!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer Auction Begins on Ebay!

Lenox - Laundry Day Figurine
Three times a year, Western Iowa's Feral and Homeless Cat Program holds an online Fundraising auction on Ebay!  Auctions are generally held March, July and November.

This summer auction will start Saturday July 12, at noon CST and will end the same time the following Saturday July 19th, 2014.  We are super excited to offer you some fun and interesting items!  Some new, some vintage, and some hand made.

All items offered at our auction are donated by kind supporters and for that we thank you all very much! Many items we get are handmade which to us, make them very special.  We hope you will be generous in your bidding, as we know that much time and love have been put in to each item.

It's easy to participate.   Just be sure you are registered on Ebay, and then once the auction goes live (noon CST on July 12th), you can type WIFCaP in the search box on the ebay site and all our offerings will list out.

Our auctions are a major source of income for WIFCaP and with the funds raised we are able to help more kitties in Western Iowa live a happy healthy outdoor life!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Father's Day Weekend $5 bonus with AmazonSmile!

In honor of Dad, shop at AmazonSmile through 6/15/14 and Amazon will donate an extra $5 to Western Iowas Feral And Homeless Cat Program Inc. Click here to get started: 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Kids Join US!!!

As you know part of the mission of Western Iowa's Feral and Homeless Cat Program is to educate those around us about the benefits of TNR.   Who better to start with than the kids?

Its taken two years, but I finally got permission to give a presentation to the 2nd Grade at our elementary school.   What a success!  The kids were interested and eager to learn and join in the discussion of how to care for cats with no owners and who are to afraid and shy to become pets.

We even made a craft of a feral cat with an ear tip!

The word must have gotten out, because the next week I was asked to return to make the presentation to the 3-5th graders.   They too, we very interested and ready to add to the conversation.  I enhanced the presentation a bit because of a longer attention span and instead of a craft, I gave them a poster to color and take home to remind them what it meant if they see a cat with an ear tip.

Having some kittens to cuddle made the class extra fun!

I guess sometimes its hard to know if you have any effect on the kids and if any of it sunk in.  But we got proof positive this last weekend.   We had lots of baked goods donated to our "Eat  a Dog - Save a Cat" food booth for True Junk's May Daze.  I put the offer out to five kids to come out and help us sell cookies at at a table downtown to raise enough money to help the kitties.  Their goal was to raise $80 which is enough to give a kitty the "spa treatment", which is spay/neuter, vaccinations, complete medical checkup with ear cleaning and food.   Four of the five came down and did an fabulous job! And yes, they raised $80!

Cookies - fruit and WIFCaP information!
Not only did they sell cookies and fruit, they told people about our program and distributed flyers and posted hand made posters asking for food donations!   I've already received one donation towards food.

I am so blessed today, after such a great weekend for WIFCaP.  We made $500 as a result of the food booth and the kids table.  Thanks to Linda Schumacher who made a great team leader for the food booth, we will be doing it again in October!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring has Sprung!

It's May and spring has definitely sprung.  We are getting calls from folks that have dramatic issues with outdoor cats and kittens.   We are working hard to help them however we can.  One trapping this week yielded 14 cats from one location!  The good news is, is that we have NOT had the kitten issues this spring so far and we attribute that to the work we have done the last two years in the area!

Helping means spending money.  Spa treatments are not cheap no matter where we take them.  We are so grateful to have Dr. Schultz and Dr. Victora working with us and giving us a discount on their prices, but we have to constantly fund raise to have enough money to continue our work with the furry friends...

May is going to be a busy month of fundraising and awareness of the plight of homeless cats.

We are proud to be part of The Best Friend's Animal Society's Network Partnership.  What that means is, is that we can use their media tools and marketing ideas to help find more homes for the homeless.  This is a great benefit for us and we are honored to be part of their organization in this way.

May is Black is Back Month for Network Partners.   The entire month we will be focusing on finding homes for black cats.  For some unknown reason, black cats and dogs are the last to be adopted!

May 10th we will be participating in an adoption event at Petco in Council Bluffs along with the other members of the Southwest Iowa Animal Coalition.    We will be hoping to find homes for our available cats, but also to focus on Disaster Preparedness.  Come and bring the kids!  There will be live donkeys, kitties and doggies!

May 23-24th we will again have a food booth at True Junk's May Daze outdoor junk fest in Walnut.  All proceeds will be used to help more kitties in Western Iowa.

Finally another May fundraiser is OMAHA GIVES  which will be held online on May 21st.  this is a 24 hour fund raiser where the Omaha Community Foundation will accept donations in our name.  Those donations will be eligible for matching funds depending on our ranking in the total percentage of donations overall.  We are really excited about this and hope many will participate in this way!  Its simple, go to
select Western Iowas Feral and Homeless Cat Program for your charity and GIVE!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Zeva Comes "Home"?

To say the morning started out like every other morning wouldn't be the truth.   I was up a 5:45 to be ready to meet up with Deb B. to travel nearly 40 miles to trap a colony of 10 outdoor kitties for "spa treatment"...we went  - we trapped and we conquered...4!   We will be going back on Friday to try to get the remaining cats.   After depositing them at AVC, filling out the paperwork and loving up on the clinic kitties ( all 11 of them if you count Peanut and Simon), it was back home to finish out my day.
Little trapped kitten ready for Spa treatment!
  As usual, Mrs. Gray was waiting for me when I arrived and ushered me to the back door.  I went in and got her breakfast and fresh water and visited a while before I went in for my own lunch.

Mrs. Gray escorts me to the back door...
Next it was on to the post office to mail our precious grant application.  I was shocked that Mrs. Gray followed me for a full block...just like a puppy she trotted behind me until I got to the bank.  She's never done that before...always realizing I'm NOT going to Zeva's, she stays put in the yard and watches for me to return.  She waited, but this time more than a block away from her home.

I had brought Zeva's lunch with me and so the two of us continued on to Zeva's house.  We filled her dishes with food and water.  Zeva is always happy to see me. She is more interested in me than the food...I get lots of head butts and whisker kisses... She and Mrs. G however, don't seem to want to be together anymore.  Strange because they are mother and daughter and lived together since Zeva's birth over 2 years ago now.  Since Mrs. G has migrated to my front porch, she and Zeva avoid and physical contact. Who knows what kind of mother-daughter tiff they might have had....

After a few minutes of fellowship, Mrs. Gray and I hurried across the highway to our big white house on the corner....  As I was coming up the steps I hears "Meow...." behind me and yes....

Zeva followed me home!

Zeva had followed us home!   I was totally shocked and happy (I think)...  She checked out everything on the porch.  Found out where the food and water was.   Sniffed the igloo and the straw bale... and even head butted Mrs. Gray.   They actually seemed happy to be together..It could be that Mrs. Gray's jutting away from her before was actually trying to get her to follow her?

Mother and daughter reunion?

So there you are...Mrs. Gray and Zeva both on my porch.   My fear and concern is that Zeva will go back and forth for a time at least...or who knows, maybe this will be her only visit.  So, I will just pray they stay put and avoid the highway.  They are my beauties and I know you all love them too. Thank you for helping us take care of them!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

2014 Spring Auction is Under Way on March 9-16th

Collectible Kitty Plate

Yep, its that time again!   Spring auction time.  

Time to get signed up with ebay as a buyer, so that you can easily participate in our fund raising event!

There are 60+ items up for bid beginning March 9th at 12pm Central Standard Time and they will be available for bidding until noon on Sunday March 16th.  Our items are easy to find by typing WIFCAP in the search screen on the ebay home page.

Please be sure to take a look at the wonderful variety of items up for bid.

This auction is VERY important to WIFCaP.   We are able to give spa treatments and medical care to many cats because of these fundraisers.   ALL items have been donated to WIFCaP and ebay is very good about not charging non-profits high fees to auction.  Last auction we paid $1.50 in fees.  Overhead is very minimal!

Jasper helps Kathy list items!

This is the first of 3 planned auctions in 2014.  We will be holding one in July and another in November.

How you can help:

  • Sign up as an ebay buyer and bid away!!!
  • Share our event from our facebook page to yours, so that more people are aware of our auction.
  • Tell everyone you know how you feel about TNR and how they can help by joining the fun of this auction.  Helping small organizations like ours makes your funds go farther because we are all volunteer and our overhead is low.
  • Think of WIFCaP when you are donating items to charity.   We can always use more items for future auctions.  They must be clean, unbroken or good vintage shape, and something you would be proud to have us list.  It does NOT have to be "cat" themed, as we want to appeal to everyone and have a great variety.  If you want to donate, contact Kathy for details and instructions! 
Thank you all for helping us make the auction successful.  We can only do as much as we are able with the funds we have....~ Kathy

Supporting TNR saves many lives!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February Fundraiser Origami OWL!!!

Example of a fun locket!
This year, we are trying to focus on a fundraising event each month.   In January, we held an online Pampered Chef Party and were able to raise $75 from that.   Thats a spa treatment people!

This month we are doing another online "party". This time it is with Origami Owl.   Beautiful lockets that can be worn on bracelets or neck chains.   Personalize with your own charms that express your personality and interests!

Simply CLICK HERE to go get to our own fundraising page!

These events are very important to WIFCaP!   We hope that you will not only participate yourself, but that you will share this event with others as well.   Our budget for "spa treatments" will be close to $20,000 this year.  Without these fundraisers and your donations, we could not continue to help the feral and homeless kitties in Western Iowa!  Thank you!

Emily Shinn is our rep so if you have any questions you can email her here! 

Have fun, enjoy your new piece of jewelry!

Wifcap will realize 90% of the profits!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2013 in Review

As I sit at the computer with a small gray kitten snoozing in my lap, trying to decide where to begin reviewing our year,  I am reminded of the change within my own family of furry friends.

In March of 2013 my Ricky was laid to rest after being hit by a car in front of my home.  That loss resulted in my decision to keep Lucy and Possum inside.   Tending to kittens over the summer showed me that Lucy was NOT going to welcome any other addition to our family.  I was all but resigned to the fact that we would remain a 2 kitty family, until Jasper came along. For some reason this sweet ball of gray fur has not only won over my heart, but the hearts of Possum, my husband and even Lucy.  Oh, she has her moments, but when on the first day he was with us, Lucy jumped on my lap and slept next to the sleeping baby, I knew he was a keeper.   No more outside for these 3...

Ricky was not the only loss for WIFCaP last year.  True Haven lost 3 of their kitties, Daphne, Toby and Henry all went to the Rainbow Bridge.   Rhett Butler, the gentleman from the streets of Walnut passed on.  AVCheryl lost her dog Molly, our friend and supporter Jean S. lost her Tux,  Amber H. lost Dogger I just got word today that our friend and supporter in Shelby lost one of her outdoor kitties.There are more. Please if I missed noting your furbaby, forgive me....listing the sad losses is difficult, but those of you who know me, know that reality is high priority for me.  Among the losses, there were many gains and those are what we focus on.

Thanks to our wonderful friend Kim A. our logo was born in 2013!   I can't say enough how much I love it!

2013 resulted in 289 spa treatments!   A total of 465 since the start of WIFCaP.  We have helped a total of 627 cats since the fall of 2011.  I am so very proud of those numbers.   We remain a small organization, but this year we have grown in volunteers too.   I now have trappers in Atlantic and in Oakland to help me out.  We are learning all the time how to help people learn to trap and transport, which means one or two people (me and/or Cheryl) are not having to do all the physical "boots on the ground" work.   We have found fabulous people that are willing to help where help is needed.  Sue A is helping with grant writing, Becky H is helping with newsletters and Stacey M is working on volunteer coordination.  We are on the road to finding more volunteers to help with fundraisers.   As this all comes together, I can work more intensely on marketing and promotion (and bookkeeping and accounting).

TNR kitties
We could not do any of our work without the cooperation and work from Avoca Veterinary Clinic in Avoca, IA.  We are pleased to add Dr. Victora of the Cass County Animal Clinic in Atlantic IA to our team as well.  Dr. Schultz and Dr. Victora are our WIFCaP heros in so many ways!

Our budget has grown to over twice what it was in 2012, but we have had the best supporters ever!  Along with auctions and other fundraisers, we have people that just send money.   Without them, we would be lost and would have to stop doing what we know is so important.  Thank you!

Kathy and AVCheryl were asked to speak at the Iowa Federation of Humane Society's Annual Conference in September 2013.   What a pleasure it was to stand before our peers and share what we do, how we do it and why.

In 2013 WIFCaP  became the recipient of donated food from Purina Pro Plan to the Rescue, Iowa Animal Resource Pantry and became members of the Best Friend's Animal Society Network Partnership. There is nothing like the feeling when this huge truck backs up to my garage!  Having this "store" of food helps us keep our outdoor colonies fed.  At this time, I am distributing approx 200 pounds of food per month (if I have it).  Many thanks to all of you that feed these colonies out of your own pocket when we don't have the food to give you.

Southwest Iowa Animal Coalition was begun and WIFCaP was honored to be a charter member of this group of animal organizations, all wanting to work together for the benefit of homeless animals in Southwest Iowa.

Exciting grant funding was awarded to WIFCaP and the city of Oakland Iowa to focus on the spay and neuter of their community cats.  We are extremely grateful to Gayle Strickland, who wrote the grant, the city of Oakland and especially the Pottawatomie County Community Foundation for the funds granted for this project.  Having the city council and the county foundation recognize and reward us for our work, by funding us about makes my heart explode!!!

Mrs. Gray
Last but never least, Mrs. Gray and Zeva remain the "pin-up" girls for WIFCaP.  All of our supporters watch them on a near daily basis through the eyes of me, Kathy.   I feed them daily and report with pictures and short videos how they are doing.  Zeva was born during the summer of 2011 and Mrs. Gray is probably a year older (she is Zeva's mother).  Zeva still lives in the foundation of an unoccupied house in Walnut and with the blessings of the owners, WIFCaP has set up a nice feeding station where she gets food and water daily.   Mrs. Gray has moved from the "house" to Kathy's front porch.  There, she has her own feeding station and shelter if she needs it.  It does appear however, that she prefers hiding out under the porch.  These two cats are the perfect picture of what TNR is all about.   They were a family of six when WIFCaP first started and the first group to go in for spa treatment.  Now there are two, only one residing in the original location.   TNR is about reducing the overpopulation of outdoor cats.  We don't know what has happened to the other four cats...either they have moved on, or they met their end.  What we do know is, that while they were around, they didn't add to the increase of outdoor kitties, that they lived happy healthier lives and that they were fed well while they were here. This is our mission lived out.
 So a good year it was and a new one has begun.  We already have our first 20 spa treatments for the year under our belt and of these only 6 I had to go out and help with.  We have a volunteer meeting set up for next week in hopes to find more passionate people so we can help more kitties...

2014 will be even  better and we hope you will hang with us and watch what we can do in Western Iowa.
Click on our HOW TO DONATE button on the right sidebar to see all the ways you can get involved with us!