Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, shares stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.
When Dorian Wagner of Deerfield Beach, Fla., began feeding a couple of cats in her office parking lot, she had no idea that five years later, she’d still be taking care of them.
Wagner is one of many people across the United States committed to feeding and monitoring feral cat colonies.
According to the ASPCA, the estimated tens of millions of feral cats in the United States are either born in the wild, or have been abandoned or lost andturned to wild ways to survive.
Many feral cats live in colonies, and proper management of these groups by dedicated human caretakers can keep colony populations down and improve the cats’ quality of life.
But who are these caretakers? From lawyers and monks to students and retirees, they don’t fit just one profile. But what they do have in common is their sense of duty and their compassion for animals.
“I honestly didn’t mean to take them on,” says Wagner, who has two cats of her own. “But cats just seem to find me.”
One day, after a few months of feeding her “parking lot kitties,” Wagner noticed another woman feeding cats in the adjacent parking lot. She struck up a conversation and learned that the woman had been caring for the cats in the office park for 20 years.
Over time, Wagner met two other ladies who also fed small colonies in nearby lots.
The women eventually joined forces, and today they take turns feeding all of the cats in the office park. Wagner no longer works there, so she pulls weekend duty. “It’s about an hour out of my day on Saturdays and Sundays to drive over and feed them,” she says. “But it’s part of my life.”
The women update each other every time they visit the cats. “If a cat is MIA for a few days, we go on a full-out search to make sure the cat’s OK,” Wagner says.
The number of cats in the office park has declined, thanks to the women’s Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) efforts. They have also found homes for some of the friendlier cats.
Wagner says other employees in the building were interested in the cats. “I’d be in the elevator, and someone I’d never seen before would ask how the cats were doing or tell me where they saw one that day. Everyone knew me as the cat lady.”
Wagner believes her efforts have made a difference for the cats in her care. “I like to think that people are nicer to these cats because they know someone cares about them.”
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.