Categories
Fun(d)raising News

Community Cats Network’s First Birthday Party

At the end of April, we will turn one year old (already!), so grab your sombrero and join us in Sober Lane at 8pm to celebrate Mexican style! 

We have plenty of surprises in store for you…

Chilli Bus poster

The party will begin with a Chilli Eating Contest (we would like to thank Khan Spices of North Main Street and Southern Fruit in Togher for sponsoring the chillies).  At 8.30pm, our 50 contestants will sit down and go through 5 rounds bringing them to new levels of heat.  Whether you want to take the challenge or just watch the pain on their face, you can’t miss it!

You think you can do it?  Then, we want you there!

Recruiter poster_web

There are only 50 places, so hurry up!  You can register by calling in to Sober Lane, where the staff will take your registration, or by downloading the registration form (CCN_Chilli_Disclaimer form_Registration_Final), filling it with your initials on the first page and your full details on the 2nd, and returning it with your €5 fee to Community Cats Network, PO Box 50, Midleton Delivery Services Unit, Ballinacurra Business Park, Midleton, Co Cork.

Contest Disclaimer Readable_web JPEG

Our winner will receive a magnificient trophy sponsored by Gerald McCarthy Gifts and Awards.  The 2nd nd 3rd place will get a certificate.  All three runner-ups will get lovely prizes.  Every contestant will also receive a souvenir badge of the night to prove their bravado!

Our Facebook event will be updated on a daily basis to give you tips to learn the tricks of the trade.

Don’t worry if you’re not brave enough to enter the Chilli Eating Contest, you can still come along and have fun!

We will treat you with delicious food served to the sound of Mexican music.  There will be a guessing competition for all to enter (no, we won’t tell you what you will have to guess!).  We will also hold a fantastic rifa (Urban Dictionary: spanglish. literally means “raffle”. but used as saying a certain gang or area is “the baddest” or “untouchable”. mexican slang.) with prizes for all to enjoy!  If you cannot come to the party, you can still take part to the rifa by buying your tickets online and make this birthday a special one for all the feral cats in Cork (see here for more details).

And for all of you Facebook addicts, we also have a sharing competition on our page.  You could win a dinner voucher for two at Very Healthy Food (Douglas Street, Cork).

We would like to thank Colm and his staff at Sober Lane for hosting the event and offering great feedback, Gerald McCarthy Gifts and Awards for sopnsoring the trophies, Zia of Khan Spices (North Main St, Cork) and Jim of Southern Fruit for sponsoring the chillies and all the businesses that sponsored prizes for the night.

A massive thank you goes out to all our supporters who have followed us along the road to help the feral cats in Cork county.  Thanks to your support, we can change their lives, so here’s to the 2nd year!

Categories
Fun(d)raising

March 2013 Auction

Every month, Community Cats Network offers a new item for auction in order to help us to raise funds to help us to continue our mission of neutering stray and feral cats.  The auction takes place on our Facebook page and bidding ends at midnight on the 15th of the month.

This month, we have a shimmering handcrafted necklace, bracelet and earrings set donated by one of our supporters.  To take part in the auction, visit this link and place your bid under the photo.

P1080170 web

Close-up of the earrings:

P1080167 web

Close-up of the necklace:

P1080158

Categories
News

3rd National Feral Cat Awareness Week; 11-18th of August 2012

National Feral Cat Awareness Week, an initiative from Feral Cats Ireland, is taking place from the 11th to the 18th of August.  The theme this year is “caring for a feral colony”.  The purpose of this event is to raise awareness for the plight of feral cats in Ireland, and, of course, to encourage the neutering of feral cats. 

Every year, many kittens are born in terrible conditions.  Most of them die at a young age; the ones that survive start reproducing very early in life (a female cat can become active at 16 weeks old).  It is a myth that all these kittens can be rehomed as too many are born for the number of homes available.  Too often, people do not realise at what rapid pace cats can reproduce.  They begin feeding one or two cats and quickly end up with a whole colony.  To prevent the situation to get out of control, there is only one solution: neuter.  Neutering may cost money, but it certainly costs less to neuter one or two cats than to feed an entire colony.  It is also the only humane solution to the problem of over-population.  Putting the cats to sleep is not only inhumane, but it also does not solve the problem.  It was shown that the culling of a colony creates a vacuum effect: the cats are soon replaced by other cats.  It is thus more effective to keep a colony under control by having all the cats neutered.  Moreover, neutering also prevents the suffering of many kittens and the spread of disease.  Cats become healthier and the risk of spreading infectious diseases such as FIV (feline AIDS) and FeLV (feline Leukemia) are much lower since these diseases are transmitted through deep bite, which occurs during mating and fighting.

In order to support this campaign, a number of vets in county Cork have agreed to offer a discounted rate to the public for the neutering of feral cats (see list below).  Local groups are available to help you to humanely trap the cat if you cannot catch it yourself.  Please contact us or Cork Cat Action Trust, Mallow Animal Rescue, RAWR (Bantry) and Animal Rescue Cobh for more information.

Community Cats Network will be holding a few information tables to mark the beginning of Feral Cat Awareness Week.  You can come to visit us at the following stores if you would like more information:

Please, help us to spread the word in Cork by printing the poster below and placing it in shops, work places, etc.

You can also show your support to feral cats by signing the petition asking to have all cats included in the new Animal Welfare bill.

List of participating vets in county Cork (please, call to enquire about the rates available):

City:

East:

North:

West:

Categories
News

National Feral Cat Awareness Week 2012

The dates for the 3rd National Feral Cat Awareness Week have been announced.  It will take place a bit earlier this year, from the 11th to the 18th of August.

The week is intended to raise awareness about the plight of stray and feral cats in Ireland and to encourage the neutering of colonies, no matter how big or small they are.  Remember that it is a lot more manageable and affordable to neuter the few ferals that come to your garden than to wait until they have had litters and until the situation is out of control.

For the occasion, Community Cats Network will endeavour to obtain discounted rates available to the public from as many vets as possible in county Cork.  We will also organise some informational events and of course be there to help you to trap cats.  Do not hesitate to contact us to communitycatsnetwork@gmail.com.

Categories
In memory of

To a little fighter

Your life was too short, but we did what we could.  You were a little fighter and we really thought you were going to make it. You had made such good progress!  But this world must have been too hard for you and you left us tonight.

Rest in peace sweetheart; I will always think of you when I pick my May flowers xxx

The little smallie of the new-borns left us on Tuesday evening.  It happened without a warning.  He suddenly became all lethargic and his mouth turned white in a few minutes.  Maggie tried everything she could, but without success.  We knew that it could happen, but it always comes as a shock.  We actually didn’t think he would survive his first night, but he did and he had grown stronger.  Even though he passed away so young, I still think of him as a little fighter.

I asked Maggie if we could bury him under the Lily of the Valley in my garden.  It is one of my favourite flowers, a flower that blossom in May.  I brought it back from France and it has grown stronger in the past few years, so I think that in a way this little smallie will keep fighting.

Categories
Kittens

Happy Birthday Spica!

Happy Birthday Spica!

Spica, whom we took in as she was only one day old, turned four weeks old on Friday.

I called in to see how well she is doing and take a few photos.  She is simply gorgeous!  A whole 465 grams of cuteness!  Camilla and Alan really did a good job and she loves her mummy!

So relaxed with her mummy…

The other good news is that there may be a potential home waiting for her!  I know someone who will be crying, but this is what fostering means: you eventually have to let them go to help other kittens in need…

All this excitement is quite tiring!

Here are a few more photos for your enjoyment:

And some videos too!

Categories
Kittens Rescue

The new-borns

It was pure chance that I was sitting in front of my computer when I saw the appeal for a nursing queen on Facebook.  I rang Tracy to get more information.  Her neighbour’s spayed cat had brought three tiny kittens to her home.  Apparently, she is in the habit of “robbing” kittens, although she had never brought back such young kittens before.  Tracy and the neighbour tried to locate the mother, but could not find her anywhere.  She thought that the kittens were one week old and they had been on their own since that morning; it was around 4.30pm.

A bunch of new-born kittens

I offered to help to try to find a nursing mum and started texting everyone I could think of.  The clock was ticking and I knew the kittens wouldn’t make it if they weren’t fed soon, so I grabbed my bag with the kitten fomula and kitten bottle and jumped into my car, thinking that something could be sorted out later.

The umbilical cord usually falls off between the 1st and fourth day.

When I arrived there, I found three tiny kittens, not even a day old – they still had their umbilical cords attached.  They looked really poorly in their pet carrier, so I tried to feed them immediately, but one barely ate anything.  The only time I had fed a new born kitten was when we rescued Spica and I didn’t really feel like facing this task on my own, so I headed to Maggie and Jim’s.

One of the babies having his 2nd bottle.

Bottle-feeding kittens is tiring, physically and nervously.  You need to make sure that they eat enough, that they are in an environment at the right temperature – since they cannot control their body heat themselves, you need to make them go to the toilet by stimulating them, etc.  Basically, you need to do everything a queen would do, knowing that you are not a cat and cannot provide the same comfort as a mother and that a kitten might die very quickly for no apparent reason.  But what else can you do?  These little lives are there, needing help and you certainly cannot let them die without even giving them a chance.  All you can do is your best…

Maggie helping out the little smallie.

While at Maggie’s, we got a fright as the smallest one nearly stopped breathing, but Maggie helped him and he regained a bit of energy.  After a couple of feeds, I felt more comfortable going home with the kittens.  We had also been in touch with Sara, who told us that she was in the process of trapping a nursing mum and her kittens and we had planned to try to introduce the kittens to her if Sara was successful.  Should that fail, we had arranged to do shifts, so that I would have the kittens during the week and Maggie at the weekends, in order to make things easier on everyone.

The little fatty

How difficult were those first night feeds!  Yet, what pleasure did I get from hearing the little one giving his first screetch!  I must admit that I was exhausted after two nights.  Feeding three new-borns on your own is exhausting, but it was also a satisfying feeling to see them eat and “making it!”. 

The little smallie

Some will say that only experienced people can bottle-feed new-borns.  Experience will help, but we all need to start somewhere, and sometimes, you just don’t have the choice…  It takes dedication, patience, time, common-sense and a lot of love.  As with a human baby, the little ones become your priority; you must give up on nearly everything else and give them all your attention.

The crawler and screetcher

Nowadays, we also have the help of the internet, and I would recommend to visit the following websites should you ever find yourself in the same situation: FAB Cats has a very good and detailed page on hand-rearing kittens; The Cat Practice in Michigan has a dowloadable guide covering all the major aspects of hand-rearing kittens;  Feral Cat Coalition also has a page that is worth viewing and  kitten rescue offers a simplified feeding guide with some good tips.

Three happily fed kittens