Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Sad Farewell to A Wonderful Caregiver

We are the Cats of Cal U. 

On Sunday morning, April 17, 2016, our lives were changed forever. Our main caregiver, a man who has been feeding us for years, has built us shelters, has trapped us and transported us to the vet for spay/neuter surgery and then brought us back, has raised our kittens on his back porch and socialized them so they could be adopted out to loving homes, our friend and champion, died in a house fire when he went back in to save his own three cats. He got his girlfriend out safely, but could not leave his babies behind. His name was Ed Marks, and he died as he lived—as a hero for cats.

We are left to wonder why his truck is not pulling up in the morning, and the gentle soul with the gray ponytail is not getting out to bring our food and talk to us. We wait for him every day and come running at the sound of his truck. We don’t understand why he left us.

We live along a beautiful river bank on a university campus, and our colony is the result of students who went home for the summer and left their pets behind to fend for themselves. Ed, with the help of several of his co-workers, took it upon himself to care for us. These people give of their own time and money to keep us healthy and warm. Ed bucked the administration and stood up for our rights, and for this we love him. What was once an uncontrolled colony is now a sustainable colony of about 40 cats. Most of us are spayed or neutered. A couple do slip through every year, and they are caught in the following summer's trapping. 


This year, the trapping will take place without Ed. His friends in the community have rallied around to make sure we get fed and vetted. We have seen many of the ladies crying, and we feel sad for them. We wish we could tell them we will be okay, but the truth is, we will miss Ed as much as they do. Someday we will see him and his three kitties at the Rainbow Bridge. But until then, rest easy, gentle friend. You were a prince among men.

The Cats of Cal U need people to carry on Ed's work. We need volunteers for feeding, trapping and transporting, and we need food. If you would like to help the Cats of Cal U, please visit our GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/2su9u24.

For more information on feral cat colonies and how you can help them, go to www.alleycatallies.org. 


Franny Syufy said...

What a tragic story! Ia there any movement afoot to raise funds for the continued upkeep of the Murphy cats? You might want to contact GoFundMe. I just featured an article about a blind cat who is raising funds for animal charities in Ireland. Her adoptive father is raising the money through GoFundMe.


Polythene Pam said...

Hi Franny, thank you for your note! Currently, some employees of the university and some "townies" are pitching in to feed and vet the colony, but we are planning to have some type of fundraiser for food. One very generous soul has already pledged to buy a pallet of cat food! But first we need to figure out where we can store it, because on campus will not be possible. I just feel so bad for the cats, because they have to be wondering where their friend is. I still start crying every time I think about Ed.

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