All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing ~ Edmund Burke

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Alice Walker All beings shun destruction A 14-year-old convalescent cat in the winter Beannacht - 'Blessing' in Irish gaelic


*** DRUMROLL ***

Okay folks!!! *** BIG DRUMROLL *** *lil twirl* *raises top hat* As part of National Feral Cats Awareness week 2014 *cymbols CLASH* we’d like to introduce to you *stray cat caterwaul chorus* the launch of the Fantastic *applause* the Magnificent *enthusiastic applause* the Fantabulous *thunderous applause* TNR MANUAL for IRELAND!!!! *the crowd goes WIIIIILLLLLLD* 

Download it here (7.7 Mb):

The TNR Manual for Ireland

*** Please NOTE: the links in the manual are NOT yet live on Feral Cats Ireland (FCI), but they are on this site – replace any FCI link with[page name] ***

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Cool Paw Luke

Lil fiesty fella turned up in my garden, feeling peckish but not particularly friendly, today. It’s market day, and I’m always suspicious when stray companions appear on market day – it’s a prime day for people to dump the living creatures they’re supposed to be caring for. But it’s feasible the wee guy is a local feral and there’s an unneutered female around somewhere – who will need to be trapped and neutered. I haven’t seen any new cats around, but they tend to avoid my place recently since I’ve eight resident cats in charge of the territory.

So, I come home, look out the french windows and … there he is, tucking into the dry food I leave out for strays (so I can spot em, trap em, neuter em and release em). As soon as he sees me he’s off. No sign. So I baited and set a coupla traps. And sat back and waited. Didn’t take long. There he is in the trap. And he’s LIVID. How DARE I inconvenience him this way???

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Okay, so everything’s mayhem at work (West Cork Music – Chamber Festival in progress, Literary Festival in a coupla weeks, Masters of Tradition bookings just opened – words can’t express!) and the phone goes. Nothing unusual in that. But it’s not someone looking for tickets, it’s Hannah at the vets. She’s covering for Jennifer, who’s having a much deserved day off. Jennifer is a mainstay at RAWR and is the one who gets called when an animal is in trouble.

And there’s a kitten in trouble! Hannah would normally be able to help out, but she’s covering for Jen. I’d normally be able to help out – but we’re run off our feet at work for the next few weeks. Bless my co-workers at West Cork Music – they were okay with taking on the extra load for a half hour while I went kitten hunting.

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The Coffees’ Story

Just been having a look through older fostering pics and stories. I wanted to check the Coffees because they’re such a good example of the indication of illness/malnutrition in the coat colour of black cats – their coat goes coffee coloured. Here’s Mocha when she first arrived, ill kempt and coffee coloured in August 2007 – and in January 2008 when she and her sister, Arabica, in their foster home just before they were adopted – shiney, healthy, sleek black!

There may be some pedigree cats that are brown – I know and care nothing about breeding. But black cats with brownishness need a checkup usually. Tho you’ll sometimes see a brownness reflected in the sunlight in healthy black cats. It’s more when it’s obvious all the time. Sometimes it’s a real illness showing, sometimes just a heavy worm burden that worming will fix.

Back in 2007 we had an html site – so archaic now! As a result, we just wrote stories when we were looking for homes, so adopters would know the stories of their new charges.

Anyway, here’s the Coffee’s story from way back then.

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Glengarriff TNR Reccy

Popped up to Glengarriff for RAWR (Rural Animal Welfare Resources) yesterday to do a bit of trapping and check out the caregiver situation. RAWR have neutered most of the cats in the area I was checking out. But a few more need to be done. And they’ve been proving elusive!

So here’s some pics – including the three youngsters that obligingly trapped themselves, some pointers for setting traps (these pics will be useful for the TNR Training workshops coming up this autumn/winter) AND a gorgeous nature hideaway that Caseys have been keeping secret – a complete sidetrack from TNR but so lush, had to be included!

I’ll be taking the gang back on Friday, and timing so that I’m there for another trapping session with the Black Cat cafe crew when they put out food for the felines. They’ve about twelve that turn up, including their own Black Cat. I’ll know the ones already neutered by their ear tip, and can use a manual trap to catch the rest. We reckon there’s probably only three or four – another young tabby, two tatty looking black males and an elusive white and black female. Fingers crossed!!!

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Free HUGs!

I’d a great few hours today, shaking a bucket for HUG (Homes for Unwanted Greyhounds) in Bantry town. Lovely bunch of people, great cause – and fabulous, gentle, friendly greys. Lots of people were interested to meet HUG’s greyhounds, to learn more about the situation for greyhounds in Ireland (not good) and the wonderful work HUG does to rescue and rehome greyhounds – mostly abused and discarded by the racing industry.

Greyhounds make fabulous companions – HUG have some great information on the breed here; and on greyhound welfare in Ireland here.

My favourite part of the day was offering free HUGs for every donation – they’d lovely wee stickers with ‘HUG’ on them that I could give out to fulfil my promise. I got, and gave, a fair few REAL hugs too!

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Visiting Cork CAT

I’ve been visiting Cork CAT a few times over the past wee while – and am most grateful for Ann’s hospitality while I’ve had courses in Cork. Last visit I got some fab photos and footage of lil Bhindi Bhaji – a doralicious wee black girl, rescued from a situation where her family was decimated. With a feral mum and virtually no handling through her first few weeks of life, BB is a testament to the resilience of felines – though shy at first, she was soon playing away with my dread (portable cat toy numero uno) and demanding attention. Here’s a wee snippet:

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DAR *PurrOut*

Just a quick *PurrOut* for Drogheda Animal Rescue (DAR), one of the fab TNR organisations that came along to our workshops this weekend. Liza passed on their recent publicity with County Matters Louth – an excellent example of how to promote TNR, rescue and volunteering effectively and inspiringly – AND, as Liza said, ‘… how to look windswept and interesting.’!

Check out the video from Louth Matters 35 – you’ll see their slot starting around 12:02 and finishing at 19:20 – only seven minutes, but they pack loads of information into the slot, lots of volunteers inputting and a great plug for neutering companion animals, TNR and adoption. I especially love the little girl’s change of expression around 12:23-12:28 – she goes from slightly blank to affectionate, absorbed and engaged as she looks at the lush black beauty held in a volunteers arms. It’s what it’s all about.

Congrats to DAR and all their volunteers for a fab bit of publicity!!!

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Talking TNR in Navan & Athlone

Following on from our Cloughjordan TNR session back in March, CATalyst’Talking TNR sessions are heading up north for the weekend. Learn all about TNR and why it’s the only humane, long-term solution to the feline overpopulation problem in Ireland (and the rest of the world!).

Come and join us at either free event to find out more – and network with other TNR and animal welfare enthusiasts.  Everyone welcome!

If you’d like to support our fundraising campaign for these pilot TNR awareness raising & education projects – and more to come – read all about it at Indiegogo, and find loads more information to share about TNR while you’re there. Check it out here.

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BJ the Stray


We don’t know the name of this sweet wee dog, but have temporarily called him BJ, short for Beagley JRT. He’s been wandering round Bantry market and the roadways around it today, all on his ownio. I’d spotted him, but couldn’t catch him – he was off on a mission. But I put the word out and a wee bit later Kathryn, shining star that she is, saw him and grabbed him for me. A quick call to Jen at the vets and Neilie, our dog warden, and away we went to the Veterinary Clinic till we find out who he belongs to.

Friendly wee thing with a brand new collar – but no tag. He’s around 2 or 3 years old, isn’t neutered and, on examination, turns out to have Cryptorchidism, a condition characterised by incomplete or nonexistent descent of the testes. If he isn’t neutered his risk of testicular cancer is thought to be approximately ten times greater than in normal dogs.

BJ would very much like to find his owner. He’s headed off with Neilie, the dog warden, for the night.

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