2/10/2018 – GERMISTON VET
Buks and Linda are the founders of the initiative Feral Friends. They started this initiative early 2017 and have since been rescuing, spaying/neutering and re-homing feral cats and kittens.
These two pensioners have a passion for animals and with a lot of time to spare they are making a difference in many feline lives.
Linda used to be a teacher while Buks worked in IT. This, however, didn’t stop them from caring for cats that lived in the veld opposite their house. They started feeding and caring for these animals out of their own goodwill. Not realizing that properly fed felines tend to breed more. After some close friends brought it to their attention, they started this initiative.
So what classifies kittens as ferals? According to ‘Cats’ 9 Lives’, feral cats are the offspring of lost or abandoned pet cats that were never spayed or neutered. Some of them are then fed or fostered by people, but others aren’t as lucky. We hear so many heart-breaking stories of cruel people dumping their animals and this needs to stop.
When starting this initiative all of the funding came out of their own pocket and it still does where financial sponsors aren’t able to assist. After approaching a few Vets in their area, Germiston Vet was one of two who offered special rates for the spaying and neutering of these ferals.
They mainly work in Germiston but do areas as far as Rosebank, Boksburg and Benoni. This is mostly where other organizations or individuals are not involved. If sterilisations are done on business premises, a payment request is sent through to the business.
Linda and Buks mentioned that since starting this initiative they haven’t seen one single kitten in the veld opposite their house. With this massive achievement, a reduction in feral kittens has been noted in all areas where they’ve worked. This being said, cats will then be able to grow old without having mountains of offspring.
What can happen if these kittens aren’t sterilised? Well, one male and a female can be parents of over 2 million offspring in as little as 8 years. This is if all their offspring is alive and well. From 4 months on a female cat can go on heat and have their first litter at 6 months. Keeping this figure in mind it means that it’s VERY important to sterilize your cats before this.
Linda and Buks go on to tell:
“We have met many interesting people along the way. We have laughed and cried along on our journey. One day Linda climbed in under a wendy. This wendy had kittens under the floor and on the support beams. She ‘swam’ under the wendy to rescue these kittens so they can be re-homed. When coming out she was full of mud from tummy to toe!”
They go on telling that they once tried to trap a ‘pregnant’ female. This female was at a flat complex and they wanted to catch her before she delivers the kittens. After rescuing her and taking her for a checkup the vet phoned with some interesting news. The ‘babies’ were in actual fact just fat. This feral was sterilised but was being fed by the butchery, chemist and some flat occupants and just picked up a few kilos.
Another happy story that stood out for them was a feral that was caught at a business property. This feral had a broken leg and the vet decided to fix it using pins and surgical wire. He then stayed in the hospital for about 6 weeks. A wonderful lady visiting her own cat in the cage next to him, started giving him attention as well. Through all the talking and feeding she managed to fall in love with him and decided to adopt him. Today this wild feral is sleeping on a bed and is loved by a human.
To date Linda and Buks have rescued, spay/neutered and rehomed 138 cats and kittens.
We want to encourage the public to take action this October month. Support the #AdoptAFeralCat & #AdoptAShelterDogMonth together with Germiston Vet.
If you want to get involved and support Linda and Buks you can make a donation towards Germiston Vet for the sterilization of a cat or cats. Please contact us on 011 902 3507 for further details. You too can love or just sponsor a feral. Any help with a feeding scheme or sterilization fees would be greatly appreciated.
Get in contact with Linda and Buks – Feral Friends – on 0825556788 or 0824696151. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.