Friday, July 14, 2006

 

The Nine Lives of Maui's Feral Cats


Ten years ago I adopted a feral cat by the name of Anela which translates to Angel in Hawaiian. My tricky red-haired (Amy Irving look-alike) girlfriend Basha named it knowing I would "bite" with such a name since I love the angels, write about them,talk about them, and praise them constantly for all the assistance they give me and others. For instance, I praise my parking angels, my shopping angels, my writing angels... the list of angels I praise is a long one! The miracles they bring my/our way is endless. While I'm writing about them, "thank you angels one mo' time!" Thank you is one of the best phrases in any language.

Basha was a volunteer for the Cat House at the Maui Humane Society, and she is what I would term a "cat woman" because has a house full of cats, eats, breathes and talks 'cat'. You know the type, right? Maybe you are one too? As for myself, I enjoy cats, respect them and marvel at their beauty, but I am not that cat obsessed. Or so I thought until I discovered myself putting together Anela's very own cat profile on Catster which made me re-think my relationship with Anela and cats in general. Let's put it this way: if Basha is a 10 on a scale of 1-10 for cat obsessed, maybe I'm an 8, which is rather scary when I mull it over. So there you have it-- my cat confessional! If you wish to read more about Anela on Catster, her profile is here. The darling Party Cat drawing of her was made by my artistic friend M. who is a dog person. I'm also a dog lover and an animal lover in general...if you have been reading my blog for very long, you probably will have figured that out! And yes, for dog lovers there is Dogster.

Anela had been nursed by Basha because Anela's guardian angel led her to the Maui Humane Society where she met nurturing Basha who began nursing tiny, starving Anela. Next thing you know the scheming wench (Basha) planned her devious approach to manipulate me to adopt Anela. I was a hard sell because I was still grieving my former cat Lucky who had been run over six months earlier. I couldn't imagine opening my heart to another cat and go through the possible pain of loss again. However, Basha had her "plan" which made me grab Anela that very day. How could I resist this adorable, tiny kitten who could fit into the palm of my hand with a giant garish red bow on her petite head and called Anela to boot? The rest is her-story, and Anela has ruled our household for many years... especially her main servant, my partner B., who caters to her every whispered demand.

Anela is what is known on Maui as a feral cat. Feral cats aren't liked very much here because they proliferate rapidly (like bunnies so it is said), and they hunt and kill many endangered birds to survive. Thus, there is a cat condundrum happening: what to do with all the feral cats? Two organizations which I recommend you check out if you're interested to see their solutions are the Feline Foundation Maui and Hawaii Cat Foundation

Both of these organizations are working to solve the feral cat population on Maui. Feral cats are called such because they are the wild offspring of domestic cats which have been abandoned or were birthed in feral cat colonies located throughout the islands. It has been said that if the shit hits the fan for other world species, cats are the species most likely to survive. On Maui feral cats are thriving or starving, depending upon whom you listen to. There are zero coyotes to grab them like in the western states...the weather is warm...and there's lots of jungle and undergrowth to hide in and mate. Unless trapped and neutered, they could possibly rule Maui some day just as Anela (aka Queensie) rules our home.

One final comment: Cats Rock!
Comments:
Here is my Catfessional....
I fashion myself a dog lover,however cats have a way about them somewhat Catty (pardon the purr I mean pun)

I can only say that Cats know when you are talking about them, they are very telapathic, and tend to be by your side when you a feeling sick.

Other than that, they are very independant and choosey animals...but that is what makes Cats well Cats!

So lets lift a glass of milk and cheer for the Cats for they won't be around to hear the cheer, they are off and busy catching that mouse or gecko and way tooo busy for feline admiration.

On a scale of loving cats I am a 5 but appriecate that they don't have to go on walks...hmmm make that a 6!
 
I was so touched by the story of how your very wise and nuturing friend Basha knew just where to place the adorable and fiesty msanela. what a pair you two friends must be.chat lovers of the planet unite and remember when they first gazed upon their beloved furry and wise chats.we are so blessed that our creator ,created chats...or was it the other way around?
 
I had 2 cats, but decided to keep my foster-fur baby, Blackie. My second kitty, Abby, is feral. Alot of areas have problems with feral cats, I am not sure that our problem is that bad. We do have a large problem with FIV (Feline Imunodificiancy Virus). All three of my kitties have it, and though they are perfectly healthy, I can only have FIV+ cats in my home. I really enjoyed reading your post, thank you.
 
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