We are the Cats of Cal U.
On Sunday morning, April 17, 2016, our lives were changed forever. Our main caregiver, a man who has been feeding us for years, has built us shelters, has trapped us and transported us to the vet for spay/neuter surgery and then brought us back, has raised our kittens on his back porch and socialized them so they could be adopted out to loving homes, our friend and champion, died in a house fire when he went back in to save his own three cats. He got his girlfriend out safely, but could not leave his babies behind. His name was Ed Marks, and he died as he lived—as a hero for cats.
We are left to wonder why his truck is not pulling up in the morning, and the gentle soul with the gray ponytail is not getting out to bring our food and talk to us. We wait for him every day and come running at the sound of his truck. We don’t understand why he left us.
We live along a beautiful river bank on a university campus, and our colony is the result of students who went home for the summer and left their pets behind to fend for themselves. Ed, with the help of several of his co-workers, took it upon himself to care for us. These people give of their own time and money to keep us healthy and warm. Ed bucked the administration and stood up for our rights, and for this we love him. What was once an uncontrolled colony is now a sustainable colony of about 40 cats. Most of us are spayed or neutered. A couple do slip through every year, and they are caught in the following summer's trapping.
The Cats of Cal U need people to carry on Ed's work. We need volunteers for feeding, trapping and transporting, and we need food. If you would like to help the Cats of Cal U, please contact me.
For more information on feral cat colonies and how you can help them, go to www.alleycatallies.org.