Tuesday, August 14, 2012


A big shout-out today to Project Purr. This worthy group of humane animal activists is doing its bit to reduce the unwanted feral cat population in Santa Cruz County, not by hunting down the animals or incarcerating them in shelters, but through the innovative Trap-Neuter-Return program.

Here's how it works: anyone concerned about a feline population explosion in the neighborhood, especially if you've been feeding the strays and looking out for them, can borrow a trap from the animal shelter. Any one or more feral cats you bring  in to an animal clinic will be spayed or neutered, given necessary shots, and treated for parasites and fleas, then freed again.

And right now, during the months of August and September,  these services are absolutely FREE to all Santa Cruz County residents at two participating animal hospitals: East Lake Animal Clinic (740 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville, (831) 724-6391), and Animal Hospital of Soquel (2651 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, (831) 475-0432).

At the Watsonville Clinic, surgery is available seven days a week; no appointment is necessary. The Animal Hospital of Soquel requests that you call ahead before trapping, to make sure there will be surgery space available.

Anyone of any income level, with no voucher required, is invited to borrow a trap and help to liberate feral cats and kittens from the punishing reproductive cycle. Kittens brought in who are still young enough to socialize will be put up for adoption through the local shelters. That's what happened to BoBo (above), a feral kitten brought into the program whose sweet personality quickly won her a home with a smitten new owner in Los Gatos.

Which reminds me, if you're looking for a furry companion or two, the shelters are full to bursting with adoptable kittens right this minute. Spring and fall are "kitten season," so now is the time to go find and bond with the little fuzzit of your dreams.

Take two; they're small! That's what we did five years ago when we brought home our tortie sisters, Bella and Roma. Here's Roma, doing her famous impression of a harbor seal! With cats in the house, who needs any other kind of entertainment?

Click here to find out more about Project Purr.

(Photo of BoBo by Ann Parker.)

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