Women give stray cats a chance
Two Waiuku women are doing their bit to improve the lives of stray cats scavenging in colonies in Waiuku.
Sharon Browne and Zoe Swann are so concerned about the numbers of hungry and neglected cats in the town, they have taken it upon themselves to feed, nurture, and re-home the homeless moggies.
Both are digging into their own pockets to fund the feeds and venture out after hours to make sure the forgotten strays are nourished enough to make it through the night.
Their crusade began after both noticed hungry cats foraging for scraps behind the old New World supermarket.
‘‘I couldn’t stand seeing them in that condition so I started feeding them,’’ says Michelle. ‘‘They looked so sad, so unloved. People have just dumped them – they exist on so much less than basic needs and comfort – they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.’’
That’s when she met Zoe, also disturbed by the colony’s plight, and feeding the cats.
Together the women visit the New World colony, and others scattered throughout the town, most days. They are becoming familiar and friendly faces to the timid cats, with the goal of trapping them to take to vets or SPCA for desexing and ultimately, adoption.
Cats and kittens trapped that are too malnourished for immediate treatment are nursed back to health at either Zoe’s or Michelle’s home.
Currently Zoe is tending to a tiny kitten she has named Charlotte.
But it is not just the colony cats the pair are working to save. They also provide support to residents who have cats they can’t care for.
With the help of Franklin Vets in Waiuku, Zoe and Michelle can provide advice on rehoming options, health and care, and desexing.
‘‘ We want people to know there are so many more options out there rather than just dumping their cats or kittens,’’ says Michelle.Zoe and Michelle welcome donations of food and volunteers to help them during feeds. Donations can be dropped off at Franklin Vets, Waiuku, and those keen to volunteer can call the vets on 235 9101.
RESCUED: Charlotte, a newborn kitten, has been rescued from a stray cat colony in Waiuku and is being nursed back to health by Zoe Swann.