JCN Kyoto volunteers help rescue 20+ cats at a building site
About two weeks ago, the JCN team in Kyoto was alerted to a situation by fellow cat protector and all-round hero Tamarah from the Kyoto River Cat Project. Tamarah had been told of a site with a colony of 20+ cats living feral within it. The site is due to be demolished in the next 2 weeks leaving these cats without shelter. None of the cats are spayed or neutered and there are a number of quite young kittens in the colony.
On inspection of the site, Tamarah spotted a kitten who appeared to have a wound on her back. A couple of discarded air rifles lying nearby had us all fearing this poor cat had been shot. A couple of JCN Kyoto volunteers went out to the site to hopefully trap this cat and get her some urgent veterinary attention. Fortune was in our favour as we bumped into Tamarah onsite and she was able to help us identify and trap the kitty in question, who has bi-coloured eyes (one blue and one yellow) and sure enough had a red and pink patch on her back where the injury was.
We safely transported this beautiful cat, now sporting the suitable name of Grace, to be looked at by a vet. We were lucky enough to get more good news, the wound was not a wound, but in fact some pink paint that somehow this cat had come into contact with. Possibly a paintball, or hopefully just exploring some discarded trash in amongst the very dirty site she called home. Either way, she was unharmed, and although a little skinny and dirty, otherwise doing ok.
Grace has now been with us for about two weeks, she has been safely spayed and vaccinated and is recovering well from her surgery. Meanwhile she is also learning about humans and discovering that despite her tough start in life, we can be kind, friendly, a great source of food and even a good source of affection!
It’s been amazing to see her change over these two weeks. She has changed from a very afraid, possibly injured feral cat, into a well-fed, affectionate, playful cat. In the last two days she has begun to welcome head scratches, under-chin rubs and to greet us with a meow and a slow blink.
Sadly, there are a number of other cats still living in Grace’s old home. We have rescued two other kittens so far, who although a little afraid now, we expect to become friendly, human-loving cats before too long. For now they are getting used to us and they are safe, warm, dry and well-fed - something that cannot be said about all their cousins, brothers and sisters still at the demolition site.
Tamarah continues to do amazing work, providing food and shelter at the location where the cats are living, as well as getting as many as she can spayed and neutered before spring. We will be helping with this Trap, Neuter, Release program over the coming week, bringing as many cats as we can to be neutered, then allowing them to recover somewhere safe with plenty of food. This also removes them from the dangerous area whilst the demolition takes place.
The result of this is that we are now caring for an increased number of cats in our Kyoto location, and have increased expenses as a result. Food and veterinary bills are our major costs for this project, as such, any donations or purchases from our Amazon wish-list would be so gratefully received and would enable us to better support this colony of 20+ cats.
Words by Hannah Davenport. Photography by Fernanda De Icaza.
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