CATastrophe’s efforts a life-saver for feral cat colony near Chemainus

More food needed to keep cats healthy and ready for adoption

Christmas is a time to turn more attention to the homeless and the hungry and that includes our furry friends.

The Chemainus CATastrophe group already goes above and beyond the call of duty all year to voluntarily manage a large colony of nearly 100 feral cats in a rural area of town, but is being extra vigilant now and hoping for additional community support.

Eleven members of the community are actively involved in different roles such as feeding and collecting donations. They work in connection with Cowichan Cat Rescue pertaining to the trapping, spaying and neutering, fostering, adopting and releasing back of the cats.

The goals of CATastrophe are to manage the colony so cats are not reproducing, find homes for the less feral cats, find barns for the ones that aren’t as likely to be tamed and have the cats fed and of out of the cold in the winter. The quality of life for the cats is much improved while humanely reducing the overall population.

Lindsay Bergeron shoulders the biggest task of feeding the cats on a daily basis.

“Pretty much to help cats to survive, have a better life,” she said of her motivation.

“They used to be eating whatever they could find, including garbage. Now that I have been feeding them cat food every day, the result is less sickly and dead cats and their survival rate is much higher.”

It’s a huge expense to provide the required amount of eight kilograms of dry food and four cans of wet food daily.

“If we don’t have enough wet food, then the cats only get fed dry food,” explained Bergeron. “Cats need wet food, especially in winter, for more protein to keep them warm on those very cold nights and to prevent dehydration.”

Currently, about one week of the food required each month is covered on a regular basis by donations and the other three weeks aren’t.

Fortunately, the campaign is gathering steam and many residents appear more than willing to help make sure the food supply doesn’t run short.

One anonymous Chemainus donor has already pledged to donate a bag of cat food every week.

Food and cash donations can be dropped off at Downtown Auto, 9793 Chemainus Rd., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Donations can also be picked up at homes or businesses by sending an email to chemainuscatastrophe@gmail.com or a message through Facebook to @chemainuscatastrophe.

Tax receipts can be issued for those who’d like them for donations of $20 or more.

About 45 cats have been trapped since September 2016, with only two of them released back and the rest adopted out.

The program is helping to place many in foster or permanent homes. Increased support will continually improve the situation.

If there’s an overriding message in all this, “one big thing I would like to get out there is just to spay and neuter your animals,” said Bergeron.

Future plans for CATastrophe include a beer and burger fundraiser in the spring.

Just Posted

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Why Oak Bay deer study matters to the rest of Vancouver Island and beyond

Method ‘could revolutionize how we go about doing wildlife studies of this kind,’ says scientist

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Update: Early morning shooting in Courtenay

Reporter at taped-off scene outside apartment complex

Nutrition and the Vancouver Island vending machine

Campbell River City replacing high-sugar and high-fat snacks and beverages

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Parksville council won’t ban single-use plastic bags

Politicians vote 6-1 against proposed bylaw

Victoria parking fees bring in more than $17 million every year

Parking fees make up seven per cent of the city’s annual revenue

Saanich police look for driver involved in a hit-and-run

Incident happened Monday, Feb. 18 near Admirals Road by Murray Drive

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read