Recently rescued kittens Starsky and Hutch have found a warm home for the winter season, but other stray cats still need help. (Photo - CARE Network)

CARE column: Cold winter season terrifying for stray cats

Kittens Starsky and Hutch will have a warm foster home this winter.

JAMES RODGERS

Special to the Westerly

For most of us, the scary season (Halloween) is over for another year as of Nov. 1. But, for local, abandoned cats and kittens who live outside 24 hours a day, the start of our cold and rainy coastal winter is the scariest season.

Fortunately, Starsky and Hutch, two of many kittens recently rescued from living rough in the wilds of Ucluelet, will have a warm foster home this winter.

These two characters come from a colony of abandoned and feral cats that have been cared for by compassionate neighbours, the Ukee SCAT team, and CARE Network for years. We have recently created a ‘detective’s investigation chart’ (picture a corkboard with photos of different cats on it and lines of yarn connecting them) to get a better handle of how many cats are in the colony, who is related, and who has been spayed or neutered.

Consistent with most of their siblings, cousins and parents, Starsky, the girl, took a little longer than her brother, Hutch, to appreciate the love and cuddles provided by their adoring foster family.

But, in the end, love won out and they are now both cuddle-bugs when they are not eating, playing and investigating their new digs.

In contrast, Starsky and Hutch’s young cousins have had some cold nights lately.

Volunteers have been able to catch glimpses of them wandering the woods and can sometimes hear them mew when they fall off a log.

With luck, our fishy kitten traps will be sufficiently luring to catch these little fur balls before the rains start up again.

It took dozens of local folks to help Starsky and Hutch get a good start in life.

There was the caring neighbour who keeps an eye on the colony through her sliding glass doors, the team who spent hours trying to trap the kittens, two foster families, a volunteer driver, and some cat shelter volunteers to make sure they are healthy and ready for their forever home.

There are several more cats and kittens who need this sort of support. Can you help? Sign up to be a volunteer at carenetwork.ca.

CARE Network are the local folks who have been helping raccoons, birds and of course dogs and cats, from Ahousaht to Hitacu since 2012.

We are neighbours working with neighbours to improve public health, safety and wellbeing for all residents and visitors, whether they have two legs or four, fins or feathers. Facebook.com/coastalanimalrescue.

James Rodgers in the Coastal Animal Rescue and Education Network’s co-founder.

READ MORE: CARE column: Two baby raccoons rescued after dog attack near Tofino

READ MORE: VIDEO: Rescued eagle released in Ucluelet

READ MORE: VIDEO: Pet tortoise returns after nine months on the lam in Ucluelet

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