Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Update--new kittens discovered

It has been awhile since I walked by the empty lot on 3rd Street where Alfonso, a homeless man, used to "live". As I walked by I  noticed not one, not two, but three older kittens. Oh no!!! How could I neglect this section where cats could easily hide and give birth?! Well, the reason is obvious, Alfonso had amassed a literal mountain of trash that was so repulsive I would get nauseous at the sight alone not counting the eery spiders and record-size cockroaches.

Immediately I noticed the kittens were already 5-6 months old. THIS IS BAD NEWS. This means the females can get pregnant any minute! Oh cat goddess help me!

What to do? Well one positive aspect of Alfonso living on the lot, is that he had been feeding the cats dry cat food. So the kittens were used to getting close to humans. After the City of Miami evicted Alfonso for trespassing on private property, I took over the feedings with permission from the owner.
In total I counted two females and two males.  This means the Riverfront condos could have 20-50 cats within a year! In addition to the 17 that live on or around the property.  (How? Each female can give birth three times year to a litter of one to seven kittens). I witnessed this last year and rescued every kitten! But I can not do it alone anymore.

With expenditures averaging $150+ a month just to feed the regular colony of 17 cats, and the countless hours and sacrificing many nights feeding the cats, our three volunteers have limits. It was time to alert the association and educate them in order to effect a community-action plan to stop the cat population from exploding and reaching crisis proportions as they are experiencing in Miami Beach.

Sadly, after two months of sending emails via a middle person (no one will give me contact information), the Master Association of the IVY and WIND and MINT have yet to return any of my messages to just set up a meeting.

Residents witness the hurried exterior improvements such as brick pavers, the rows of palm trees and shrubbery, and new fencing costing a few million dollars. Why won't the association set aside 20 minutes to address an  "exterior feature" that will affect the neighborhood? I have offered a win-win-win solution  for the residents, the cats, and the assocation. Could it be that the three individuals on the board are not animal people? Possible. Also the cost to sterilize 5 cats is $70 each. $350 is a drop in the bucket compared to the millions spent on "aesthetic" improvements.

Given the urgency of the situation, I will make a final attempt to reach out to the association before turning to the media for help.

Here's hoping for the best.

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