The following article was published on Examiner and is reposted here with the author’s permission.
They live in the shadows, empty lots and condemned buildings of every neighborhood across America. Their lifespan is short due to their constant struggle to find food and water and the constant threats of disease, starvation, cruelty and predation. They are abandoned, lost and wild and they need our help.
Statistically there are tens of millions of feral cats in the U.S. People often think a “stray cat” and a “feral cat” are one in the same. This is not true. The distinct difference between the two is a stray cat was once owned by someone. A feral cat was born in the wild and never domesticated. The best way to tell if a cat is a stray or feral is how it responds to human contact. A stray, used to people and human contact will come to you or allow you to pet/interact with it. A feral, never having been socialized with humans will not allow you to get too close or even touch it.
Amy Graves of Elko, Nevada has made it her mission to do something to help the feral cats in her area. It all started two years ago when she was visiting a local restaurant and saw cats outside. Her conscious would not allow her to ignore them so she started feeding them. After working with and feeding the cats for about a year she decided she needed to do more for them than just feed them. They needed to stop overpopulating. So Amy and her daughter Jennifer scraped together enough money to buy their first trap. They named their mission “Operation Piggy” after one very special cat they tried to capture but never could. They named him Piggy because he was a silly, inquisitive cat who would peek out from behind the bushes whenever they went to feed him. He would also spend time entertaining himself by playing with grass and playing with bugs. Amy was so excited to have the trap to finally catch him and bring him home. Sadly, two days after Amy purchased her trap, Piggy was killed. He was hit by a car. Amy brought him home but not in the way she had hoped and buried him in her backyard. Two weeks later Piggy’s mother cat “Momma Green Eyes” was hit by a car as well.
Since that fateful time of losing two cats Amy and her daughter Jennifer Kimball have committed themselves to helping end the heartbreak and suffering of feral and abandoned cats. To date they have trapped, neutered, returned over 50 feral cats. This does not include the foster cats and strays they have picked up along the way. They have also caught, tamed and rehomed multiple feral kittens.
Currently in their care is a cat nicknamed “One Eyed Jack.” He is a creme-colored tabby approximately 10 months old. Amy and Jennifer noticed he had problems with his eye. His sibling that was with him was also totally blind. They worked very hard to catch them to get them to the vet. One Eyed Jack was caught and his eye is being treated with antibiotics. If this treatment does not help the eye will have to be removed. Medical costs are mounting for this poor cat along with many other in Amy and Jennifer’s care. Not only is the surgery costly but there will also be follow up care and kenneling. He will have to be rehomed as he will have been away from his colony for too long to re-introduce him back into it. Also, his blind sibling is still out there until it to can be trapped.
There are many ways you can help Amy Graves help One Eyed Jack and countless other cats who are left out in the cold and the wild to fend for themselves. They have an Amazon wish list of much needed supplies;
You can also donate via paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both Amy and Jennifer also sell Scentsy products as a way to generate funds for the feral cats. Visit their site at;
Both Amy and Jennifer have given up a lot to help the forgotten cats in their community. Rescue work is a 24/7 job. There is no fame or glory attached to it nor is there huge financial gain. Please help these ladies keep on with their important mission.