It is not an easy task for those who spend their time aiding Boston’s street cats.
One of the things the volunteers of Boston’s Forgotten Felines (BFF) do is trap, neuter, and return (TNR) the feral cats to help manage the stray cat population in addition to rescuing and finding homes for the tame stray cats and feeding over 200 wild cats all across the city every day. By doing this, fewer kittens are born into the harsh lives of the city streets.
Thus, when BFF’s residents recently captured 11 stray animals for their TNR program, they had no idea that they were in for another six little surprises.
“The city is filled with feral and abandoned cats,” Joni Nelson, founder of BFF, who has been rescuing cats for over 30 years, told. “We got lots of calls about feral cats in backyards. Just getting rid of them is what most people want us to do.”
Most of BFF’s volunteers are in charge of feeding the city’s needy cats; only four volunteers, including Joni, know how to trap feral cats. “I got a call about this yard,” Joni said. “When I walked in the yard, and there were so many cats and kittens. I spoke to the man, who said, ‘It’s out of control, they’re everywhere.’”
Joni and Lynne, another volunteer, trapped 11 cats and kittens over the next few days. They planned to take them to get spayed and neutered ASAP. But there was a slight change in plans, Joni said: “Lynne called and said, ‘I think one of these cats is pregnant … and I mean very very pregnant.’”
A lovely black and white cat now known as Marie was one of the 11 kitties. When Joni and Lynne learned that Marie was expecting a child, they offered her a cozy bed in which to give birth.
And that day, the first of August, was that birthday. BFF posted on Facebook, “Welcome to the world!” “I’m very glad we managed to get her before she gave birth to these six wonderful children. Marie, you and your children are protected and loved.”
And Marie, the once-feral woman, is starting to realize that those around her are there to support her rather than harm her. The small family is now being fostered by Lynne.
Marie has developed into a sweetie, declared Joni. “She allows us to handle her and hold her young. She has changed completely since then.”
Marie can now raise her children safely and comfortably. They will then start seeking for homes with their siblings when they are old enough to be spayed and neutered. Joni stated, “I usually aim to adopt out in pairs.
Because they aren’t socialized to live with a human family, feral cats are typically not adoptable, but Joni believes Marie will be an exception because of how loving and kind she is.
Joni said, “She’s such a terrific mommy.” “She is always at their side. It’s incredible… If I could, I may even keep her myself.”