Hi Everyone, Valentina reporting in after another brief hiatus. It's been unusually cold here in the Powerhouse Arts District (PAD). We've heard stuff on the TV about how bad the weather has been the last few weeks, so every night we ask St. Francis to help the feral cats in Jersey City.
Z-Girl wanted to give the inside scoop on the outside cats back in November. But with the holly-days, it didn't seem appropriate. So I decided to help give the updates cuz Z-Girl--she can get a little emotional.
This is Puck, when he was not quite a year old, sitting in a beam in what was an abandoned lot.
Jersey City has a feral cat population that crosses neighborhoods. Aunt Nat and Z-Girl look after cats in the PAD section. Given the construction of several buildings currently afoot, there's been multiple re-locations of individual kitties. Puck, pictured above, used to hang out in an open lot diagonal from our building. But that lot is now filled with tons of steel rods and equipment, for the building that is going up in front of our window. The very same building construction that has interrupted the pigeon's playground that used to convene on top of the abandoned Manischewitz factory. But--I digress.
The PAD colony is now living in a location that I can't disclose so as to protect the kitties. To assist in telling the story, we'll call this location a lot. The day prior to Thanksgiving, Z-Girl received a text from Aunt Nat at work.
"Very sad news, one of the younger cats from the colony was killed by a car; received word from Helen and came to see if he could be saved. It's terrible. I won't describe it. At the same time, I heard cries in the lot and found Blackie. He is not well. I rushed him to Dr. H and he's taking a look. Text you when I know more."
Z-Girl was overwhelmingly sad. One kitty, tragically and senselessly killed by a speeding car. And Blackie. Turns out he had cancer and tumors in his mouth and was FIV positive, in organ failure. Dr. H said that there was nothing he could do for him. Aunt Nat and Z-Girl had to give the okay for him to be put to rest.
Needless to say there were lots of tears. Z-Girl told us just that previous Saturday evening that Blackie was the first at the lot to come for food when she went to feed the colony. That night it was cold (but not below freezing), and he emerged from a pile of leaves. He slowly approached and took his share of dinner. The other cats who came out stood back and allowed him to eat.
Z-Girl texted Aunt Nat after serving dinner and they shared the same belief that Blackie was sick, and needed help. But what to do? Where to put him? This is the constant dilemma they face: kitties in need and limited resources.
The holly-days are not really Z-Girl's favorite time of year, but she knows that many people have different perspectives. So, she opted not to tell this story to our readers when it took place. We decided that it's okay to tell it now--in the context of continuing to raise awareness about the plight of the feral kitties, or those cats who find themselves left outside by humans with little sense or no heart. We here at Squeedunk want to be part of the solution.
The status on the colony through this arctic cold, snow and ice has been tenuous. Uncle Phil and Aunt Nat have put multiple cat shelters in the lot, camouflaging them from plain view. The Leader Cat, Puck, and the other three kitties do take refuge in them which we all believe has been a critical factor in their survival. The last week has been shrouded in some mystery---little to no food consumed and only one cat appearing for nightly feedings. At least last night Aunt Nat saw three of them. The temperatures are dipping again, and the situation becomes dire when this happens. Aunt Nat and Z-Girl keep close eye on them and will trap and vet anyone who is in need.
We hope all kitties who live in the shadows can be rescued and placed in loving homes. Between them, Aunt Nat and Z-Girl have been a part of rescuing and re-homing close to 30 kitties right here in the PAD! Yet their work continues.
Maybe someday soon, Puck will be on the Inside looking Out, just like Manhattan, Bessie, Lulu are today--and so many of the other PAD kitties once on the streets.
Me n Manhattan, PAD watchin'.
This is Valentina, Over and Out.