March 16, 2009, 4:34PM MT
By Jennifer S Hayes
One woman’s determination to make a difference for community cats
In 2006 Jamie Taylor began her own one-woman campaign against the overpopulation of cats in and around Evansville, Indiana. She noticed a paper bag at an intersection, and as she drove closer, saw it was fluttering and discovered a kitten inside that had been hit by a car. She pulled over and held the kitten in her arms as it took its last breath. At that moment, she knew she wanted to do everything she could to decrease the kitten population.
She named her TNR (trap, neuter, and return) organization, Feline Fix, and with the help of donations, she has spayed or neutered 1,120 cats to date. Retrieving ferals can be daunting for a one-woman operation, such as the time she went to a site that was home to 70 feral cats. And, she laughs like it’s simply a walk in the park to retrieve cats and kittens from a Pepsi machine, a garage wall, sewage drains and salvage yards – even to recover a mama and her nine kittens from a silo. She’s got true grit.
Taylor takes approximately ten feral cats a week to clinics. However, during spring through fall she traps constantly, so those numbers can increase. To her, the TNR program is vital. She believes with every cat, “it makes a difference, and with every cat it saves its life. Females don’t have to endure continual pregnancies, and males don’t have to fight to live. And of course, all the innocent kittens don’t have to be born to suffer at all.”
When Taylor can’t return the cats to where they were living because of an unsafe environment, she tries to find barns or other suitable locations for them. She currently is in need of additional places to relocate some of her cats. “Any offers would be greatly appreciated,” she says. “I always relocate at least three adult cats to a new site.” Kittens are not returned to their original location. They are socialized and put up for adoption through various local sources.
At day’s end, Taylor reflects on why she does this year after year. She admits she loves trapping the last stubborn cat in a colony and releasing the healthy, vaccinated cats. She loves going places where cats are safe and well fed, and the caretakers just need her help getting them trapped and sterilized. She loves it all!
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