In the spirit of "it's what you spend a little bit of time on each day that gets results", my 50 Days 50 Things project to rehome some of the cats is moving apace. And I've actually started getting results, a testament to how spending 5-10 minutes a day on a project can make things happen. The cats are all still here, but by starting to share our situation with people, I'm starting to get a community of people who want to help us get rid of these cats.
So in case you've missed this in earlier posts, we have unwittingly become Cat People. This is because we Give a Damn about animals. During the economic recession, people would literally drop their pets off in our woods. In most cases, the local humane society was able to help us get them fostered out, but in the case of Polly and her Kittens, there was no foster home. Polly gave birth to her four sweet kitties in our bathroom in May 2008, and while we thought we'd be able to find homes for them all, we didn't (it was 2008 - the economy was in the tank - no one was taking in cats) and we still have these cats. Plus Joey, who showed up one day, super friendly to the point of danger when he started wandering in the neighbors' house to play with her dog (she leaves her door open) and she's completely allergic to cats. She was going to call animal control. We said we'd take him in. So he's in. Also Twilight. Poor Twilight. She would sit on the window sill in the snow, looking in at us in the middle of winter. She came in, too.
There are also the feral ones that live under the deck, but I'm not as worried about them when we move back to PA. They do all right on their own (with the exception of Mama Cat, who I am determined to figure out how to bring with me if he's still alive, despite his feral-ness).
So anyway, we have a crapload of cats, not through our own devices really, and we want to be responsible and not just take them to the pound, but either rehome them, or take them to some kind of no-kill shelter.
I've been researching shelters, and the no-kill ones seem to only service people in their city limits (ie Palm Springs has a great shelter, but you have to have a valid city ID to take an animal there). I did find Pet Pride in LA, who will take cats, but they charge you a fee (fair enough, since they'll be caring for the cat until they can place it) and the fee is a sliding scale based on how adoptable the animals are. Our black cats are pretty much unadoptable (people don't adopt black cats). So their fee would be like $2500. Yeah, no can do.
So I've really been at my wits end trying to figure out what to do with them. Yesterday I wrote to a woman who places cats through the independent adoption exchange that the mountains humane society offers. We had a great conversation today, and she's willing to help us with contacts, and ideas of how we can place some of these animals. I'm so glad I spoke with her. Now I need to send her pictures of the cats so she can pass our information on to her friends. She's already given me names of shelters I hadn't known about, and I'm going to start following up with them.
For the first time, I'm actually seeing a solution to this problem of too many cats, and it's exciting! One little thing a day, and hopefully I shall have at least one or two cats gone in a few months.