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As spring arrives, TNR caretakers in New York City are gearing up for kitten season. (Photo by Krista Menzel)

As spring arrives, TNR caretakers in New York City are gearing up for kitten season.

Photo by Krista Menzel

NYC Eartips: Spring 2010

The E-Newsletter of the New York City Feral Cat Initiative

Welcome to our spring issue of NYC Eartips, the quarterly e-newsletter of the New York City Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI). In the world of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), springtime is oftentimes referred to as "kitten season" because of the traditional increase in the number of kitten births this time of year. But as many of you are witnessing in your TNR endeavors here in NYC, "kitten season" has morphed into a year-round state of being, especially as temperatures in the Northeast moderate and suitable conditions for breeding last longer and longer each year. As a result, year-round TNR efforts are critical to our success in stemming the tide of new litters.

Among the articles you'll read in this issue of NYC Eartips are several that tell a tale of an outdoor cat who found his or her way into a happy home. You'll read about Eugene, the amputee cat featured in "Kitty Beat: Report from the Boroughs"; Smudgie, who made friends with a dog named Petunia; Hank, a friendly cat with a serious dental condition found living on the streets; and Hope LaRue, who lost her sight but gained a loving family. We hope you find these tales uplifting. But understand that they are uplifting because their outcomes are unusual — most cats in managed colonies are feral, and cannot be adopted into a home.

It's likely that Eugene and Hank adjusted to life indoors because they probably once had lived indoors with a family, but unfortunately were lost or turned outside by irresponsible owners (a scenario all too common, and responsible for so many of the cats who live, and die, in our streets, vacant lots, and alleyways.) Smudgie was born on the street but probably was handled or petted by humans very early in her life. And Hope LaRue was removed from her colony at eight weeks — young enough to be socialized. These kitties are a few of the lucky ones — and we are delighted to share their stories with you.

We hope you enjoy all the news we offer in this issue of NYC Eartips. The NYC Feral Cat Initiative is a joint program of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals and Neighborhood Cats, two private non-profit organizations committed to solving New York City's feral cat overpopulation crisis through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). Through our newsletter we hope not only to keep you informed of our progress but also to inspire you to get involved in helping the feral and stray cats in your neighborhood. If you are already involved, then we hope our newsletter — and our website www.NYCFeralCat.org — will provide you with useful information that will help you work more effectively with the cats in your care.

Thank you for being a part of our efforts to make New York City a safer place for feral cats. We hope you enjoy NYC Eartips. If you have comments or suggestions for this newsletter, we welcome them at eartips@NYCFeralCat.org. And if you haven't already, please visit our website at www.NYCFeralCat.org.


Best wishes and happy reading,

New York City Feral Cat Initiative


In This Issue…

Kitty Beat: Report from the Boroughs

Problems Reported with KMR Powdered Kitten Milk Replacer

by Valerie Sicignano, NYC Feral Cat Initiative

Back by Popular Demand: Kitten Palooza! Workshop Series

Conducting Spay/Neuter Sundays at the ASPCA

Reprinted from ASPCA Action (Fall 2009)

Life is Sweet for Smudgie & Petunia

by Kelly Giuliano & Smudgie

For Animals, Inc., Uses Social Media to Raise Funds for Hank

by Theresa Bachu & Bekah Wilcox, For Animals

Hope for a Brooklyn Kitten

by Raquel Battle

Help Us Compile a List of Feral-Friendly Veterinarians

Does Your Organization Work With Feral Cats?

In Every Issue…

Upcoming TNR Workshops & Events

Donate to the NYC Feral Cat Initiative

Volunteer to Help Feral Cats

Newsletter Team

Editor-in-Chief: Steve Gruber

Art Director: Krista Menzel

Contributing Writers: ASPCA, Theresa Bachu, Raquel Battle, Kelly Giuliano, Valerie Sicignano, Bekah Wilcox

Photographers: ASPCA, Amy Devecka, Rick Edwards, Krista Menzel, Mike Phillips, Valerie Sicignano, Alexandra Steedman, Betina Wassermann, Meredith Weiss

The New York City Feral Cat Initiative welcomes reprints of the articles in NYC Eartips. To request permission to reprint any of these articles, please contact us at eartips@NYCFeralCat.org.