Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Riverfront Cats

The Riverfront Cats total 20 and live around the neighborhood. Each cat has a name and knows their name!

First we'll introduce you to  Samantha and Sabrina (2 of 4 tabby sisters) and Mama Cat.

 Samantha is one of four sisters and the only shy one who will not let any human pet her. Her beautiful round cherub face sparks the urge to want to pet her and hold her. She gladly accepts the food and volunteers can come within a few feet. But that's it. Her sisters, on the other hand, are not shy at all.

 This is Sabrina, Samanth's sister, and the dark stripe down her back is the only distinguishable feature from her other two sisters, Tabitha 1 and Tabitha 2. Impossible to tell those two apart.  Sabrina readily greets me and expects me to scratch her head and down the back. She is playful and gets along with the other cats.

Mama Cat
This has to be the sweetest cat of the colony. The prior volunteers named her Mama Cat because she had a single kitten who disappeared at tender age.  Her soft gray coat, and soothing green eyes match her sweet disposition and nurturing side.  She is the first to run to me and wait for me to pet her, scratch her belly and repeat the process. Mama Cat doesn't appear to roam much so I always wonder if she would do well  indoors.  Probably a high risk given how long she has spent outdoors. She is at least 2 years old.  Unfortunately overseeing the cat situation on top of two jobs can be overwhelming there's just not enough time to test the waters and see if some of these cats would adjust indoors. How I love this cat. How could the developer consider dumping them at some park where there is no caretaker?!

Leroy, Sonny, Scotty at Station 1

We have four stations but we can not disclose them as people dump their indoor pet cats and other strays. (Please know this is illegal under Florida law). There used to be five black cats at Station 1. Tragically Nikki (the mother) and Sonny were electrocuted next door inside the transformer room at Florida Power & Light during record cold days in winter. We rushed to bring in Tiffany and she was adopted. However, in observing Tiffany, she was unhappy indoors. We learned that bringing in and outdoor cat that has lived outdoors for over a year, takes away their freedom to move about freely.  But now she lives in two-story house with lots of room to run and climb.  Scotty and Leroy still remain outside. Scotty needs to be neutered but he is rarely seen and therefore he's very difficult to trap. Scotty is believed to be a Scottish fold because his ears are folded down. Notice the photos below. Because he's not neutered and has little contact with humans, Scotty is feral. He hisses constantly but we know he doesn't attack.

Scotty eating

Leroy (no photo) is such a sweetheart he would rather spend quality time having you pet him instead of eating. We wanted to bring him in but after the lessons learned with his sister Tiffany, we decided he was better outdoors with his best friend Lion King.

Lion King

Lion King is semi-feral. After three years he finally approached volunteers and rubs against our legs. We can only pet him with his back toward us. The second he turns and sees our hand, he hisses. Fickle cat. Lion King is one of the original cats.

The Queen of Station 2 was Cosette. She does not get along with other cats and prefers to be alone and reign in solitary. But in this fenced-in area, other cats discovered it was free of cars and humans. Now six cats reside there: Cosette, Tabitha, Romeo, Sabrina, plus two new cats: Funny Face (female) and a fox looking male.

At this time we do not have photos of Station 2.

Christine feeding Mama Cat and Romeo Station 3

The above photo was taken over a year ago. Only four cats feed here now:  Sabrina, Mama Cat, Tabby and Gabriel. All these cats love to be petted.

Station 3: Sabrina, Romeo, Gabriel, Tabby, Mama Cat

Station 4 has 7 cats:
Master, Annie, Bobbie, Midnight, Mr. Bear, Tom Cat, Callie

Bobbie, Station 4, he has gorgeous blue eyes
Most cats at Station 4 are feral and you can not pet them

Tomcat, the announcer, Station 4
Tomcat waits for us at the foot of the stairs. The second he spots the feeder he runs up to us and then turns to run to announce to the other cats that it's dinner time. They all come scrambling out with glee. It's the cutest fluster of cats we have ever seen.

The cats are fed daily between 7pm-8:30pm, weekday, weekend, workday, holiday, sun, and rain. Cats learn routine and wait for us each day. They trust us for food sources which prevents them from crossing major streets and getting ran over. They are very much like outdoor pet cats and it's the most uplifting part of our day. They are always happy to see you especially when it has rained--they're starving. 

So even if you have a bad day, feeding these cats is therapeutic and rewarding. They remind us how happy they are with just food and shelter and little love. We could all learn from these homeless cats.


  1. These cats are fortunate to have you to care for them- although they were obviously misfortunate to have monstrous former owners who dumped them (although I realize some were born into this life). The developer and fellow residents in your complex who haven't volunteered to help out need to realize that those cats didn't ask to be in that situation- they ended up there due to humans not fufilling their responsibilities toward them!

  2. Are all the cats spayed/neutered?

  3. Hi Catherine! Thank you for your comments and donation. To answer your question, Yes all the cats except for one are spayed and neutered! Scotty is one of the new five black cats in the neighborhood. We only see him once or twice a week. Very hard to capture him but we will!