A Kansas City, Missouri, woman was concerned when she saw five community cats, a mother and her kittens, living outdoors near her home. She reached out to Cindy Weber, a Kansas-based member of Alley Cat Allies’ Feral Friends Network, for help.
Weber explained that community cats can live happy, healthy lives outdoors, especially with the help of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). Weber guided the woman through the TNR process and has showed her how to care for community cats.
“Now she’s seeing how happy they are outside,” Weber says.
Weber joined our Feral Friends Network in November 2017 because she is passionate about saving cats’ lives and wanted to expand her reach.
“There really aren’t a lot of resources in the Kansas City area, but there are people who want to help but don’t know what to do,” she says. “If I could help other people in the community learn how to take care of cats, we can help save lives.”
In the relatively short time she’s been part of the network, she’s already made a difference in the lives of community cats and those who are new to caring for them. For example, she became friends with the Missouri woman she helped, a meaningful relationship because that woman only recently moved to the United States. Developing relationships is another benefit of being part of the Feral Friends Network, says Weber.
“It’s fun getting to know other people who want to help outdoor kitties,” she says.
As a Feral Friend, she’s helped people in various ways, whether it’s showing them how to care for community cats, guiding them through the TNR process, or transporting cats to spay and neuter appointments.
“Hopefully I’ve helped them better understand community cat living and how they can help,” she says.
In one case, a woman was feeding cats at a trailer park and knew one kitten was friendly enough to be adopted. Weber loaned the woman her traps and told the woman how to do TNR—and then actually adopted the kitten herself.
Weber, a longtime supporter of Alley Cat Allies, had indoor cats of her own when she noticed an eartipped cat in a vacant home in her neighborhood in 2013. Weber started feeding the cat and has being caring for “Kitty Girl” ever since.
She also carried out TNR for the first time that same year, after she found out a mother cat and her kittens were living on the property of the domestic violence shelter where she volunteers. Since then, Weber has cared for and helped others care for community cats, and now, as part of the Feral Friends Network, she looks forward to continuing that lifesaving work and “educating animal lovers about how to best care for their community cats,” she says.
Weber says she is thankful that the Feral Friends Network exists to connect people who want to make a difference in cats’ lives.
“It’s what’s really meaningful to me,” she says. “I work in human resources, but this is saving lives.”