Help feed Rooster613's Cat Colony

$1,485 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 41 people in 30 months
We are caring for a colony of 9 cats on our hobby farm in rural Minnesota.  No, we are not an animal shelter or a charity, just a softhearted multi-species family willing to take in some homeless cats. And they willingly stay with us. We have a cat door, they can go in and out as they please, but at feeding time, everybody shows up!

Why do we have so many cats?

Because people keep dumping them here on our hobby farm, or we find them lost, abandoned, scared and lonely. Some people think you can just dump a pet cat in the country and she'll live off the land just fine. DEFINITELY NOT !! Most of the time she ends up hungry on somebody's doostep -- or worse.

Every cat we have has his or her own story.  We don't take them to shelters because out here in the boonies, there just aren't any no-kill places. I simply could not bear to think of these beautiful animals being put to death because nobody wants them.

We have 15 acres of land in the country and big open hearts, but not much money.  Feeding and caring for these cats gets expensive.  Over the past year we finally got everybody spay/neutered and vaccinated, except for a feral tomcat who shows up now and then whom I have not been able to catch.  The colony population is now reasonably stable, but I'm deep in the hole with my vet and it's costing me a lot to feed them, too.

Who am I?   Am I trustworthy? 

I am the same "rooster613" on ebay who used to run a sale there to help feed these cats, but recently eBay took the sale down -- even though hundreds of people had bought and were satisfied and even though I clearly said it was NOT a charity auction.    So their loss is GoFundMe's gain:  I'm moving the fundraiser here.

In real life, I'm Rabbi Yonassan Gershom, published author, peaceworker, vegetarian and animal welfare activist.  I am best known for my books on reincarnation. But, as any author knows, you rarely get rich as a writer, and freelancing does not come with a pension.  So, my retired-nurse wife, Caryl, and I sometimes struggle to feed the cats on our meager income.  Again, I stress that we are not a charity and your donaton is noy tax deductable, but you will have very good karma for helping care for some of God's creatures. 

Visit my blog,  Notes from a Jewish Thoreau, for more about me, the cats, and my essays on Judaism and nature.
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This is Dusty, 12 years old. She and her brother Patches were abandoned as kittens in a box outside the local grocery store. Recently I noticed that Dusty was not eating well, and was scratching a lot - so much so, she was losing fur and getting scabby, But there were no fleas or other parasites. Turns out she had two medical problems: some infected back teeth and a food allergy, probably to the red dye in some cat foods. Our vet gave her a cortisone shot to stop the itching and put her on a dye-free diet. He also removed the bad teeth (which we think were overloading her immune system resulting in the food sensitivity) and gave her antibiotics for the infection. She's recovering fine now. She's no longer itchy, and her fur is growing in smooth again. All this cost me over $300, but it is well worth in to give this loving senior kitty a better quality of life in her old age.
Dusty at age 12
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Meet Tiger, the latest member of our cat colony. He showed up in December of 2016, cold, starved, and very scared. He also had a severe limp in his front paw and was walking on 3 legs. I first saw him hanging around the chicken coop, so I began feeding him in the entryway there. It took me over a month to get him to trust me enough to take catch him and take him to a vet. We got him his shots and returned 3 weeks later for neutering, as well as checking out a hard thing under his skin by his paw, which turned out to be a bullet. Some cruel person had shot him. The vet removed it and when I looked at it, it was all smashed, as if it had ricocheted off something else first.

Today Tiger still has a limp, but he gets around fine and has turned into an real cuddle kitty, as you can see in the second picture. He still goes outside, but also spends a lot of time indoors with us. He is very, very grateful to us for saving him, and for your support to pay for his medical treatment.
Tiger Cat, who wandered in Dec 2016
Tiger cuddling with me on the couch
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This is Koko Cat, who is named after the famous Koko in the "Cat Who" mystery series. He was abandoned as a kitten at the laundromat in 2014 and we rescued him. Last week he had a bladder obstruction --very serious -- and the vet had to flush him out, catherize him give a penicillin shot & keep him overnight. He's home now, on a special diet, and doing fine. But all this cost me over $200 and his special food will run around $35/month. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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This is Garfield, an old battle-scarred tomcat that my grandson found. As you can see from his scarred-up ears, he's been in a few fights. Neutering him helped with that, and he stays close to home now. He also had a tumor growing on his cheek that he had scratched open and it wouldn't heal, so the vet recommended removal. He's healing up fine now, and will be with us frever. All of this care cost me over $250, so if you can spare $5 or more to help, Garfield and his friends will be very grateful.
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Read a Previous Update
Valerie Jeanne
19 months ago

Thank you, Kvod aRav, for your wonderful essay about cats and Judaism, and for embracing Ha-Shem's creatures with such love and understanding. With blessings, Dr. Val.

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Yonassan Gershom
28 months ago

That would depend on local ordinances. Out here in the country where we live, it's zoned "farmland" so we can have as many animals as we want. However, cities and towns sometimes have rules about how many cats or dogs you can keep. With a mother cat and kittens, she can certainly keep them until old enough to adopt out, but it would be best to ask your local animal shelter what the rules are.

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Weston Reed
30 months ago

hi ive got a question . you seem pretty cool first off , so here it is, if you dont have the answer that is alright. I am just curious about how many cats are ok in one house. the love of my life tho she will not see it that way is the mother of my kid and her cats had kittens and well shes had some bad luck placing them and really i think my daughter loves them and maybe thats why it seems to be taking extra long to place them tho maybe their all gone or placed as of yet its impossible to know because shes hard to get a hold of and i am worried she could get in trouble for having to many to long they are all looking pretty big now , i mean the kittens are getting big. when is it gonna be a problem or is that not possible in sandstone country areas? Thank you Sir.

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$1,485 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 41 people in 30 months
Created March 18, 2016
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SP
$50
Sharon Parker
10 months ago

With much appreciation for your kindness to animals.

AZ
$18
Avi Zelmanovich
11 months ago

יְבָרֶכְךָ ה' וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ. יָאֵר ה' פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ. יִשָּׂא ה' פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם. From An Animal-Lover Jewish Family for your work and caring for cats

$50
Anonymous
11 months ago
GE
$25
Gracia Fay Ellwood
12 months ago

Thanks for your willingness to tell your story to our Quaker periodical The Peaceable Table.

Valerie Jeanne
19 months ago

Thank you, Kvod aRav, for your wonderful essay about cats and Judaism, and for embracing Ha-Shem's creatures with such love and understanding. With blessings, Dr. Val.

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Yonassan Gershom
28 months ago

That would depend on local ordinances. Out here in the country where we live, it's zoned "farmland" so we can have as many animals as we want. However, cities and towns sometimes have rules about how many cats or dogs you can keep. With a mother cat and kittens, she can certainly keep them until old enough to adopt out, but it would be best to ask your local animal shelter what the rules are.

+ Read More
Weston Reed
30 months ago

hi ive got a question . you seem pretty cool first off , so here it is, if you dont have the answer that is alright. I am just curious about how many cats are ok in one house. the love of my life tho she will not see it that way is the mother of my kid and her cats had kittens and well shes had some bad luck placing them and really i think my daughter loves them and maybe thats why it seems to be taking extra long to place them tho maybe their all gone or placed as of yet its impossible to know because shes hard to get a hold of and i am worried she could get in trouble for having to many to long they are all looking pretty big now , i mean the kittens are getting big. when is it gonna be a problem or is that not possible in sandstone country areas? Thank you Sir.

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