People have asked me why? Why I care.
It all started around 6 years ago on an ice-cold snowy winter’s morning. A member of family had just moved near some derelict barns and we noticed a black and white matted scruffy-looking long haired cat was sitting and staring at us from across the lane. I didn’t know much about cats, but I had a feeling it was cold and hungry.
As the cold days went by we noticed it had another friend, almost as if the black and white cat had told it to watch us too. Soon we realised right there in the bushes there was 2 or 3 tiny kittens as well! It was at this point I knew I had to investigate.
So, fresh from the pet store armed with some new bowls, some cat food and some bottled water me and my sister decided to approach the old barn to try and find this little family. After trudging through the snow and carefully making our way through abandoned cars, broken glass and scrap metal we arrived. What happened next changed my life, forever.
As my torch lit up the old building inside through the broken window there was a sudden scurry of panic as at least 10-15 petrified cats darted away. Scattered amongst the beams and junk was at least another 15/20 pairs of gleaming eyes beaming back at me from the less nervous moggies who’d stayed where they was to see who had come disturbing them. I turned round to my sister and said ‘This isn’t a family………. This is a whole community!’
The conversation that followed,
‘There must be 30/40 cats!’
‘How do we feed 30/40 cats?’
‘That’s just what I’ve seen, there could be double that?’
‘They must be breeding like crazy!’
‘What on earth are we going to do?’……..
We needed to help these cats, and quick!
Next morning we rang a local cat charity to tell them about the problem. They said they would lend us a trap as this was the only way we would catch the cats to TNR them (Trap, Neuter & Return). We were given vouchers at this point to pay for their operations. They told us advise the vets to ear tip them because there were that many we needed to distinguish which had been done and which hadn’t. It wasn’t easy because often we’d trap ones we’d already trapped before so it took some time and patience. One by one we got them all doctored. We started naming them and asking the public to help choose names too. Before we knew it we’d named and counted 53 of them which included another cat colony my sister and I had started to feed on an industrial estate. We named the two colonies the Garage Cats and the derelict Barn Cats once we set up a social media account to raise awareness for them, plus created an Amazon Wish List and PayPal to try and help. We got small amounts of food donations, etc from here and there, but it just wasn’t enough to feed so many mouths.
Food and vet bills became hard on my sister and I, but we knew we couldn’t let the cats down as they relied on us. Before I knew it, this caring had opened my eyes and heart to help other cats in need, so I started to volunteer with local cat charities and help scan, reunite, trap, rehome, TNR and rescue more cats.
Each winter my sister and I sob at the deaths, the struggling, the cat flu (gunky eyes), the breathing difficulties they have, the cut paws from glass, the parasitic worms hanging off their backsides and mouths, not forgetting the tics. All year round people race down the lane like rally drivers on bikes and in cars knocking them down and we feel some have been poisoned too (not everyone like cats).
If you would like to look at the beautiful homeless felines and see what we do for them then please look at our Instagram page http://instagram.com/english_barn_cats english_barn_cats and our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cat.english.562
Cat English. We believe in this day and age no animal should have to suffer. There needs to be more shelters for unfortunate cats, this is something so close to our hearts ♥️ and we are sure other peoples ♥️ too. It can be done we’ve seen people in countries like America help the cats in this way, so why not England?
Our dream is to take the feral/ stray/ injured/ sick/ unwanted/ unloved cats away from their suffering and care for them in a sheltered, heated cat sanctuary so they can safely be outdoors and indoors as they please with food, warmth, cleanliness, medication, and love. To provide a safe haven for them to either live out their days or to be possibly re-homed. Unfortunately feral cats are very nervous around humans but since feeding so many some have become friendly. How great it would be to re-home the eligible once feral cats alongside the other cats in need we wish to help and re-home. That would be PURRfect.
If made possible we would give these innocent cats a second chance in life rather than being put to sleep (which is what a lot of vets advise and resort to). We hear of many homeless feral cats in the area, for example, the scrap yard cats that are at risk of being crushed as they search for food amongst heavy machinery, but for now there’s no place for that large colony to go. Just like the Barn Cats and Garage Cats.
When four cats died in the space of only a few months it became clear that all of these lives as well as others on the streets are going to pass away before their time, what a waste of life.
We have seen a plot of land in a field for sale with what was once a building (it looks old and weather torn and partly knocked down) so will need to be built back up to a building fit for caring for cats, to have warmth, especially for the senior ones, indoor and outdoor play areas with tree houses. It will need a roof, cat safety fencing, with 24/7 security surveillance. With winter not far off, we reach out to all as a matter of urgency and believe hand-in-hand WE can do this!
Please spread the word by sharing this post and please, if possible, be so kind to donate for the sake of the cats to save them and make it possible. All grounds will be for the cats and cause of charity.
From the cats, ‘Thank you to all who care enough to help us. We say thanks with purrs, head-butts, mini licks, trills and little meows. We do hope you make it possible as a better life is our dream. Our feeders have both sold their cars and sentimental jewellery to feed us and they’ve gone without meals themselves, so we don’t. If you see our videos you’ll see we get so happy at feeding times that we run for the food and don’t mean to run away in fright. We are just like any other pet and we don’t mean to be feral but people didn’t neuter their cats and we are living proof this is what happens and why we live homeless. In the winter we are so cold and our feeder sisters tell us to hang on in there and promise to save us one day. They tell us we are all so lovely and beautiful, that’s why they named our partially blind lady Barn Cat Beauty because although one eye has sunk into the back of her head and the other is clouded, she’s ever so pretty but she’s getting older as the months go by and it’s only a matter of time before she’s fully blind. How will she live if she’s not cared for at the cat sanctuary our two feeder sisters want to open? The feeder sisters tell us all we deserve a warm place to live just like any other pet and they tell us they want to save more cats like us. Meow.’
To all who who donate you will be entered into a draw to choose a name of your choice for the sanctuary as a way of saying thank you from all the cats in need.
DonationsSee top donations
- Fiona Gallagley
- Helena Lee
- Grace Wilcock
- TRACY FORDYCE
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