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A week after arriving at their foster home, The Brooklyn Five kittens began exploring and chasing imaginary beings. (Photo by Cynthia Kung)

A week after arriving at their foster home, The Brooklyn Five kittens began exploring and chasing imaginary beings.

Photo by Cynthia Kung

NYC Eartips: Fall 2008

Kitty Beat: Report from the Boroughs

All across Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the New York City Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI) and New York City Feral Cat Council TNR organizations are humanely reducing the number of feral cats in neighborhoods and improving the quality of life for the outdoor cats in their care. Following are some highlights of the work accomplished this summer and fall.

Brooklyn

From the NYC Feral Cat Initiative…

The NYCFCI presented a TNR workshop at the Park Slope Food Co-Op Community Meeting Space in September. The workshop was hosted by Slope Street Cats and led by instructors Jesse Oldham of the ASPCA and founder of Slope Street Cats and Aimee Hartman of the ASPCA.

In September, a litter of five orphaned kittens, The Brooklyn Five, was transferred from the Animal Care and Control (AC&C) Brooklyn Shelter to the foster home of NYCFCI volunteer and Licensed Veterinary Technician Cynthia Kung for round-the-clock bottle-feedings. The kittens are now available for adoption at The Humane Society of New York. If you are interested in adopting any of the Brooklyn Five, please call (212) 752-4840.

From the NYC Feral Cat Council…

Slope Street Cats hosted a cat shelter-building workshop on October 26 for people interested in providing a winter shelter for feral cats in Brooklyn. The workshop was organized by volunteers Andrea Orlando-Holder, Emily Horvath, Sonia Zjawinski, and Karen Oh, who also hosted the event at her home. Twenty volunteers created 36 shelters! Slope Street Cats also performed community outreach at the 7th Heaven Street Fair on June 15.

Twenty volunteers pitched in to built 36 insulated feral cat shelters in Brooklyn on October 26 at a workshop sponsored by Slope Street Cats. (Photo by Karen Oh)

Twenty volunteers pitched in to built 36 insulated feral cat shelters in Brooklyn on October 26 at a workshop sponsored by Slope Street Cats.

Photo by Karen Oh

Queens

From the NYC Feral Cat Initiative…

The NYCFCI presented a TNR workshop in East Elmhurst in September. SaveKitty Foundation hosted the workshop, which was facilitated by SaveKitty instructors Rosary Immordino and Debi Romano.

From the NYC Feral Cat Council…

CSM Stray Foundation returned to the backyard colony of a senior to drop trap three cats who were missed on the first round of trapping because they were young kittens and the mother cat hid them. The trapping was a success, and two females and a male were caught using the drop trap. They were taken to the veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, given rabies vaccinations, and left eartipped. The family was very relieved that no more kittens will be born in their backyard and they are committed to continuing to care for their colony of five cats.

In October, while trapping feral cats in Elmhurst, CSM Stray Foundation's Nancy Fahnestock noticed a tiny gray female kitten squirming under a fence. When Nancy picked her up, the kitten began to purr. Although nearly three months old, the kitten was friendly and welcomed her human rescuer, so Nancy got her to a vet and then adopted her to the woman who was trapping with her.

CSM Stray Foundation returned to a residential yard in Queens to trap three half-grown kittens, including this young female, who were missed in the first TNR round earlier this year. (Photo by Nancy Fahnestock)

CSM Stray Foundation returned to a residential yard in Queens to trap three half-grown kittens, including this young female, who were missed in the first TNR round earlier this year.

Photo by Nancy Fahnestock

Queens TNR volunteer Ashot Karamian is the architect of some of the most inventive feral cat winter shelters ever, including the "AC," an empty air conditioning unit turned shelter; the "Camouflage," painted or fabric army camouflage colors that blend in with the outdoors; and the "Urban," constructed of metal that looks like a building's duct work. Karamian builds and sells the shelters as a service to feral cat caretakers, and the demand always exceeds the supply. He has built 74 shelters so far this year and is still working. Order a winter shelter, or learn how to build your own.

In September, volunteer Cathy Hornberger organized a community meeting about TNR and feral and stray cats at Steinway Reformed Church in her Astoria neighborhood. NYCFCI TNR Director Meredith Weiss spoke, Evon Handras of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals publicized the event, and NYCFCI TNR Coach Lari Olsen moderated a question and answer session. Thirty-one residents attended the three-hour meeting, which wrapped up with a visit from Jack, the resident church cat.

Bronx

From the NYC Feral Cat Initiative…

The NYCFCI presented a TNR workshop at the Bronx Library in August. The workshop was hosted by Bronx Tails and led by instructors Jamie Lehman of the NYCFCI and Bronx Tails and Teresa Noto of Bronx Tails.

From the NYC Feral Cat Council…

Bernadette Ferrara formed a new group called Animals Saved by Grace. The group plans to focus on TNR and rescue in the Bronx. View the group's felines for adoption.

Elyse Shuk, Co-President of Slope Street Cats, staffs the exhibit booth at the 7th Heaven Street Fair in Brooklyn in June. (Photo by Karen Oh)

Elyse Shuk, Co-President of Slope Street Cats, staffs the exhibit booth at the 7th Heaven Street Fair in Brooklyn in June.

Photo by Karen Oh

Manhattan

From the NYC Feral Cat Initiative…

The NYCFCI presented three TNR workshops at the ASPCA's 92nd Street office. Meredith Weiss and Phil Roseman of the NYCFCI were the instructors.

From the NYC Feral Cat Council…

The ASPCA held its first three Mass Spay Days at the Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital on September 7, October 12, and November 9, where a total of 291 felines were spayed or neutered.

Staten Island

From the NYC Feral Cat Initiative…

The NYCFCI presented a TNR workshop at the Blue Heron Nature Center in September. P.L.U.T.O. Rescue of Richmond County hosted the workshop and Bryan Kortis of Neighborhood Cats was the instructor.