27 March 2012

Below are photos of some of the 16 feral cats I feed each night.  I work with a few trappers to get new cats spayed or neutered, but some of these guys are hard to trap.

The photos below are in the order I feed them each night. I prepare the plates at home before going out.  The less neighbors see you, the better, because there are always people close by who dislike cats, or cats in their yards.

In an alley behind Vons in Northridge are three, unrelated brown tabbies.  The two large males eat in one location, and the very fat and very friendly female eats in another.

This third location has six cats.  Six months ago there was only the old, large black and white male cat.  Then kittens of various ages began showing up.  One, the Tortie-colored female (black/brown and orange) came up to me out of nowhere six months ago, and in the loudest voice I have ever heard in such a small cat, yelled at me with the loudest "Meow" possible, demanding I feed her too. Two of the males and at least one of the females has not been fixed yet.  This is in a Spanish neighborhood near the Vallarta market near Roscoe in Northridge.

Then, on a postage stamp sized open ground area in front of a donut shop on Reseda, there is this pretty, but fairly old Tuxedo-colored male.  He is getting close to letting me pet him. The shop owners when they are there have never complained.

The cat below is fed on a slab supporting a large transformer for a small shopping center.  The slab is in front of a 99 Cent store.  I was not able to photograph a black and white cat who often dines here.

Below is a huge and affectionate Persian cat, who I have to feed when he or she shows up, otherwise he will eat food I leave out for a true feral.  This cat is likely an indoor/outdoor cat of some neighbor.  The feral I feed here will not make an appearance when this large one is present.  This last cat (not shown) was Jimmy's favorite, and is a female who is not very friendly.  She tends to bite her feeder on the ankle if she dawdles in feeding. She has been in the neighborhood according to one colony manager, for over ten years.

Last is a photo of Marie.  What a remarkable saint.  She feeds between 140-150 cats a night in 27 different locations.  Three locations have 20 or more cats.  I'll post those photos some day when I can get someone to ride with her to take photos and a video for our wearesentience website.  She does not want anyone to see her face.  She believes she could get into trouble in Animal Services if she were ever recognized.  Apparently she thinks Animal Services peruses everything I write.

Our wearesentience organization  usually gives Marie 15-20 bags of hard food a month and maybe 15 cases of canned food.  Another feeder, Rosa, gets maybe six bags and six cases a month. Rosa feeds about 100 cats, and helps trapping and spay/neuter a lot.

Yet another colony manager, who, like Rosa, does a lot of trapping, has recently been diagnosed with stage four intestinal cancer.  She also fed over 100 cats a night and we are trying to figure out how to spread the load.

I think if I were to make snap judgements, the Tuxedos (black and white) cats are the most affectionate. Gopi, Charlie, and Dustin were or are my lap cats.  The Calico females all tended to be shy and greatly overweight.  The Torties have the most extraordinary personalities, far bigger than their bodies.


  1. Wow! Ed, these photos are wonderful. You and Marie are both saints.

    The Persian ankle biter is gorgeous.

    Thanks for sharing this aspect of your life with us.


  2. Cat festival! Wonderful.

  3. Ed, how do you make feral cats not fear you? There are several cats around my area, sometimes I spot them walking in my garden but there is no way I can get closer a certain distance.

  4. It takes time and patience. The key is food. Feed them once or twice a day, keep quiet or speak in a low, friendly tone. Assume it will take a year or more. Patience.

  5. Its a great service you and friends give Edji. Its not fun being hungry ,no fun at all. Doesn't matter whether its a cat , a cockroach or a human.

  6. My job is door to door charity fundraising. So I speak to an awful lot of angry, pissed off humans. I self enquire these five hours and run on autopilot. The only time I stop enquiring is the many times I encounter animals.....cats and dogs mostly. Each one is a joy, a ray of sun in the cesspit of human suffering and angst I encounter.