CAMBRIDGE—Don’t call her the Crazy Cat Lady, there’s nothing crazy about getting cats off the street and out of the wild. Pat Wilcox has heard it all, when it comes to cats, but her ambitions are pure.
“We started five years ago this March, helping the people of Dorchester County, and the cats of Dorchester county,” she told us. “Our mission is to take all the abused, unwanted cats, cats who have been displaced due to owners losing their homes. We get calls about houses that have been foreclosed on and cats are left in the house, and we go and get them.”
Who would have thought that abandoned cats would be a such a big problem? “Right now we have 203 cats in our care. We provide wonderful places for them to stay, food and water, and heat and love. But we do need homes for them, and we do need a larger location.”
It’s important to note that the cats Kitty City brings back to their shelters are not feral, or “wild” cats. “The cats that we have for home placement are not feral cats. They are cats who have been pets for people, where people just throw them out.” A lot of cats are abandoned when people move. This is when Kitty City steps in.
But, feral cats are still a big problem, and the main issue is to make sure they’re disease-free and can’t reproduce.
“We do a lot for feral cats; we have a big spay and neuter program,” Ms. Wilcox says. “We go out ten months out of the year and every week we’re trapping feral cats. We take them in for spay and neuter, we take them back (to where they came from) and we have three of us who go out and feed those cats every day. We go down to Crocheron and we go up to Hurlock. It’s not just Cambridge, it’s all of Dorchester County.”
What happens if someone calls about a family of feral cats?
“We put them on our list, and we go out and find the area; as a matter of fact we’ve worked a couple big areas. Last year we worked all down in Crocheron, Toddville all down in South Dorchester, then we did the area all around Madison, with the help of all of our friends. We have the help of a couple of wonderful vets to spay and neuter them, and this has all been free. Each time we’ve done over 100 cats in a four-day seminar. It’s a lot of fun, we call it our cat roundup!
“In these cases, they’re all ferals. We trap them and none of the cats are kept. Only in rare cases, when they’re unhealthy and we don’t want to put them down we nurse them back to health, and sometimes we end up keeping them and they become wonderful pets for adoption.”
“We do go back and monitor the feral cats, and the one good thing about this is that they’re all getting rabies shots. Rabies could be an epidemic in Dorchester County, with all the raccoons and everything. So all of the cats have their rabies shots when they’re spayed and neutered. We’ve even gone back and re-captured some of them and taken them back for their three-year rabies shots.”
With such a huge obligation, where does the money come from? “Well, I took on the obligation, so I give a lot to Kitty City Rescue. We do fundraisers. We have a spaghetti dinner coming up in March, and we have different things we do to raise money, yards sales and that sort of thing. And also we take donations. The spaghetti dinner is going to be at the American Legion on March 11, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., tickets are going to be $8 each, so come on out! We’ll have a lot of good door prizes, we’ll have a 50/50 raffle, and a lot going on for people to get involved in.”
“The one thing we want everyone to know is that if they have animals in their care, please get them spayed or neutered. Second of all, anyone can come in and talk with us at any time if they need help trapping we’ll be glad to do it. Also, if anyone knows a place, a farm or something, where we could take animals, we need places to keep cats. Right now we’re renting two locations and we’ve built one location. To be able to continue doing this we need help from the community.”
Cats are also available for adoption from Kitty City, and one of those 204 felines might be just right for you! Adoption is always free to a good home, but Kitty City gladly accepts donations to help them continue their work. Contact Kitty City at 410-228-2880.