Being concerned about the hostility between Zelda and Isabella, I had previously called the clinic where Isabella was spayed (Riverside Rescue) to see if they could take her in. No room for her there, or any other shelter for that matter. When I spoke to the lady at the Riverside Rescue she gave me the number of a lady that just takes in cats, gets them neutered and try's to find homes for them. Her name is Linda and she lives way up around Cannan Vermont, some distance from where I live. I called Linda, but she had no room for her. The more I thought of it, it saddened me to think of Isabella locked up in a cage all day.
Linda was very friendly and helpful with many tails of woe, of her experiences with stray and feral felines. She has trapped many feral cats, and had them neutered/spayed and inoculated. She said she kept them (in cages) for awhile to see if there was a possibility that they might be adoptable. A few of them came around and bonded with her, but the cats that remained aggressive towards her were eventually released back in the wild. As for the cats that accepted her, she tried to find homes for them, and very few were successful adoptions. Seems that most of them bonded only to her. And when they remained unlovable and fearful towards their new owner, they were eventually returned.
She told me a very sad story about a mutilated cat that was found. The poor thing had a smashed up leg, it's front paw was bent backwards, it was matted and loaded with fleas. Two men were going to shoot it, to put it out of it's misery, but she stopped them. She thought perhaps it might belong to someone, so she took the cat to the vet. The vet cleaned it up, put the front paw in a cast, and had to amputate the leg. She tried to find the owner, but nobody claimed it. So she ended up with a fearful, aggressive, cat towards humans, and a very high vet bill. Finally after a time the cat bonded with her, and she found a home for it. So far she's not sure if this cat will come around and bond with it's new owner, so time will tell. She seems to think that this cat was abused by some one. But I would rather believe it was a wild animal, and that there are no humans that cruel.
Her current project is nursing some very young kittens that were recently born. Some cats were found living in an abandoned barn, and apparently the mother cats milk dried up. She said every few hours they must be fed. Now that's a time consuming task, those kittens will surely imprint themselves on her. But they will probably be very acceptable to human hands.
Considering her past experiences, she knows a thing or two in dealing with the shelters in our area. I was surprised that the shelters don't take cats unless they are friendly and lovable. If they have the room, they will take friendly cats that have already been spayed. Seems everyone wants a kitten, so they will take kittens because they can place them quickly and make more money on them. They tend to be more accepting of the Angoras, the Maine coons, and the Siamese cats. I certainly believe this, because when I called the shelter about placing Isabella, her first question was "what kind of cat is it?" I said "she's an american short haired cat, all black with a little white at her throat" Her reply was "I'm sorry we have no room" :(
Now unfortunately there is no catch and release programs for feral cats in the state of New Hampshire or Vermont. And I can understand why the shelters don't want to get involved with the difficulty in dealing with feral cats. However there are many cats that are just strays that have gotten lost, been abandoned, or ran away because they were abused. How sad that such little concern is shown for the ordinary looking stray cat, that might have a few social problems. Well I guess they need to turn the money around so they can board them, fund inoculations, and being altered. However if taken to a clinic to be altered it's not that expensive. It only cost me $52.00 to get Isabella inoculated and spayed, at the Riverside Clinic in Vermont. I'm sure they take all the kittens to that clinic, or one like it for their medical procedures. My granddaughter took 5 kittens there all together, and it was amazingly cheap. I cannot comment on all shelters, but for the shelters in my area, it's all seeming more like a profitable business?
God Bless people like Linda, that are willing to take in and assist any helpless stray or feral cats in need of care. She try's to place the cats in good homes, and requests no fee. With the goodness of her heart, she does it all on her own. After talking to her I thought to myself, most shelters are charitable non profit organizations, relying only on private donations. Considering that I'm sure they don't get any help from the state. Now I'm wondering how many states are involved with the 'catch and release program' And might one go about requesting a state to assist in funding a catch and release program for feral cats? I'm sure someone has already inquired of that. And if it were doable in this state, there would be a program.