Did you know that Disneyland is home to a managed colony of 200 feral cats who dine at five discreet feeding stations and receive medical care in exchange for keeping the resort rodent free? Since the weather turned colder, our thoughts have been with the abandoned, stray and feral cats of Coney Island, who are on their own. Discussion ensued with Carolyn McCrory, who works in the amusement area, and Dianna Carlin of Lola Star Boutique about launching a group to help the Coney cats. Maybe we could raise funds for prefab cat shelters, organize a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, and find foster homes for the kittens?
We all have pets but no experience as caretakers of homeless cats and are just learning what’s involved. Dianna, who has fostered and helped find homes for three dogs rescued by PJ McKosky of Empty Cages Collective, said he would help. Yesterday, thoughts suddenly turned to action when a very sick white cat, whom we’ve named “Snow Coney,” had to be rushed to the vet who works with Empty Cages.
Snow Coney cried in the car, but the fact that he started purring for the vet’s assistant made us feel optimistic. However, Dr. Jill Caruso of Faithful Friends Animal Hospital said Snow Coney was very seriously ill and today we learned he is much sicker than we thought. He had to be rushed to intensive care in another hospital to receive a blood transfusion. The symptoms suggest the cat ingested rat poison.
Donations to cover the cost of Snow Coney’s care, which is rapidly adding up, can be sent to Empty Cages Collective. Questions about volunteering to foster or adopt the other Coney Island cats can be sent to PJ McKosky as well.
The mama cat in the photo at the top of this post is a former house cat who is Snow Coney’s mother. We are seeking a foster home for this cat and her kittens after they receive veterinary care.
Since ATZ began covering Coney Island in 2009, the cat colonies have been pushed farther west by the dismantling of Astroland and the demolition of vacant buildings such as the Henderson and the Playland Arcade. In 2010, we wrote about a gray cat who was the last tenant of the Henderson Building after the humans had been evicted by Thor Equities. We soon realized the cat was part of a colony of similar looking gray cats living in the former music hall.
The NYC Feral Cat Initiative offers free TNR workshops, classes and events to educate and support colony caretakers. If you have experience managing a feral cat colony or would like to learn and help launch a TNR program in Coney Island, or can foster or provide post-op recovery space for a few days, please send a private message using the contact form at the bottom of this post. You may also leave a comment below or subscribe to the comments. We’ll reply or post updates as soon as more info is available.
UPDATE November 17, 2013:
Snow Coney is feeling better after a blood transfusion! If not for the swift action of PJ McKosky of Empty Cages Collective, this cat would not be alive today. Donations to cover the cost of medical can be made via www.emptycagescollective.com/donate/.
Here is the contact form to send us a private message about helping the Coney Island cats. Let us know if you’re able to foster or provide post-op recovery space after TNR surgery.
Related Posts on ATZ…
September 30, 2013: Photo of the Day: Coney Island Boardwalk Kittens
January 24, 2013: Landlord Evicting Famous Coney Island Cat and His Humans
February 21, 2011: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat & His Friend Pretty
January 26, 2011: Photo of the Day: Henderson Music Hall Cats Now Homeless