Saturday, October 15, 2016

Put Feral Cats to Work, Not to Sleep

Put Feral Cats to Work, Not to Sleep

Today is Blog the Change 4 Animals and tomorrow is National Feral Cat Day so I'm gonna combine them into one post. I hope no one minds and if they do *pfffttttt*. I once was a feral street cat but—not to worry—I'm not really in the bag. We did some photoshop magic. Thanks to my Pop, I learned about some working cats in NYC and I'd like to share their story.

Put Feral Cats to Work, Not to Sleep
Javits Center photo ©Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons
Sylvester, Mama Cat, Alfreda and Ginger are feral cats. They're also "employees" at NYC's Javits Center. At the Javits Center, located in the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan, they were having a problem with rodents on their loading docks. Exterminator costs were adding up so they used their heads and contacted the NYC Feral Cat Initiative of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals.

As their website explains, the NYCFCI offers

Two years ago, the NYC Feral Cat Initiative started bringing potential employees from their TNR (trap-neuter-return) program who were rescued from construction sites where it was too dangerous to return them.

Put Feral Cats to Work, Not to Sleep
Photo ©Saaaaa via Depositphotos
Once the cats arrive at their new "job," they're kept in enclosures on the dock for several weeks to get acclimated to their new territory. The cats get free shelter and grub, in addition to any rodents they catch. Actually, just the cats' scent reminds rodents that this is not the place they want to hang. Working on the loading dock isn’t much different from living out on the street with the added benefits that it’s safer, they have protection from the elements and know where their next meal is coming from.

This is not only a chance for those cats to find work and food, but six of the cats, including Mama Cat's kittens, brought to the Javits Center have been adopted by employees and visitors. While the cats aren't totally socialized, they come running when dinner is served.

As you can see, this is a win-win for all: the Javits Center gets rid of its rodent population for only the cost of feeding the cats and the cats, who normally would go to a death sentence at an over-crowded shelter, get a place to be sheltered and call home. It was an even bigger win for those who got forever homes.

If you work with feral cats and have a colony in a dangerous location, like a construction site that need to be relocated, start calling your local businesses and offering low-cost pest control. Cats will work for food—and treats—plus there’s no toxic chemicals to endanger employees and guests.

Today is also the Caturday Art Blog Hop hosting by Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty so not to stray (no pun intended) far from the message of this important post, I did an impressionistic painting of the lead image using Autumn colors. That image is also art since we took out the background, photoshopped me into the bag and added the BtC4A badge.

Put Feral Cats to Work, Not to Sleep

25 comments:

Summer at sparklecat.com said...

I love that Javits is helping employ feral kitties - my human has been there several times for Book Expo America.

The Menagerie Mom said...

CK, this is such an amazing story. I love the idea of employing feral cats to work somewhere safe. How pawesome! Thank you for sharing this with us, CK. Oh, and of course we love your art, as always!

Savannah's Paw Tracks said...

YAY!! Javits is an enlightened business. My public shelter just started a Working Cats Program too. And Mom L found a cozy wear house placement for two of Miss Lisa's semi feral cats she thought she would have to take care of forever...now they will me guardians of a warm cozy large wear house along with the resident senior wear house cat. Excellent post BFGF

Marie Symeou said...

Great that Javits are doing this. Let's hope others follow.

Your art is amazing!

Purrs xx
Athena and Marie

Flynn said...

That is very good news that they employ cats to do what comes naturally. Good news for the business, and good news for the cats. Your art is lovely.

Bernadette said...

Great news! I hope more places will take on some feline employees.

Three Chatty Cats said...

That is awesome what Javits Center is doing. Definitely sounds like a win-win for all!

The Swiss Cats said...

What a smart idea ! That's awesome, we hope others follow this example. Purrs

Anonymous said...

Fantastic project! We have to have that in our Country. Great artwork on you too again, CK. Purrfect for the occasion :) Extra Pawkisses for a Happy Caturday :) <3

Tamago said...

This is such a great project! I love that feral kitties are safe and cared. Reminded me of the story of kitties working at brewery. Your artwork is stunning! Have a great weekend xo

Kitties Blue said...

Terrific post for Blog the Change, C.K. We missed it. Mom manages to remember about once during the year. What a great program to help both cats and businesses...a definite win/win. Your art is terrific. We really like the bright colors. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

Wow. NYCFCI is incredible! More cities should take note. I was so disgusted to find that most municipalities in the area have an “extermination” policy … kill, no questions asked. It actually made the news because one city partnered with a rescue and adopted TNR. Even worse? The comments on the story complained about “nuisance” cats – and supported killing all ferals. Completely disgusting. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to claim Bear was feral … but he saved my life and he was one of those homeless “nuisance” cats when we met – so this topic is close to my heart.

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

This is fantastic! In my area ferals are frequently hired as barn cats to take care of rodents. Win, win! Your artwork is pawsome as always too :)

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

That is a great program, thanks for spreading the word about it. Your art came out very nice.

Brian said...

We love you post CK! That is such a tremendous program and just makes so much sense!

Peaches and Paprika said...

Thanks for the good work U r doing! Love your header! Is it ok to include it in our slideshow? Or if you prefer you can send us a different one! Carol, Peaches & Paprika

Mariodacat said...

Cool art work CK. We have working cats right here in Green Bay. Several businesses have hired feral cats to take care of rodents, etc., here too. It is such a neat program. An in the cases here that I know about, the employees really get attached to the kitties and some have turned more social than feral. It's such an awesome program.

The Island Cats said...

What a great idea for feral cats. The dad guy stopped having the pest control company come to his business after Chip and Slim showed up.

The Florida Furkids said...

What a pawsome idea!!

The Florida Furkids

meowmeowmans said...

That's so awesome that the Javits is employing feral kitties to manage their rodent population. I used to work trade shows, and we had many at the Javits!

NatureFootstep said...

lol, yes I will joine "Cats to work". :) Sure!

Anonymous said...

Pawsum posty CK. We've heard of this purrogram and think it's pawtastic. We wish more places would do this. We really wish folks 'round here would do it.

Luv ya'

Dezi and Raena

Nellie Kowalik said...

Great post CK< not only is the Art a masterpiece, but so is what Javits is doing. Also mes loves to hears about cats that works!
Sending yous kisses grrl furrend
Nellie

Jean Neilson said...

We are impressed. All these services offered by Javits. The idea of these cats working on the docks is incredible and I know if I have a purpose, I am a happier kit.
Very interesting CK. I almost forgot your art work. Well, its the best as usual.

Shoko

Kim Thomas said...

Wow, this is such a phenomenal idea! Granted, there's plenty of TNR going on around the country, but I just love the way the NYCFCI has organized all the various aspects of assistance one might need, as well as covering the logistics involved. And the ingenuity of the Javitz employees in seeing a way to resolve an issue humanely is so heartwarming. Absolutely purrrfect!! (And don't we all just love win-win solutions?!)

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea. Let's hope it takes wings and spreads so many other kitties can "work" for food and shelter.

And thank you for blogging - and being - the change for animals!
Kim Thomas
Be the Change for Animals