Thursday, June 22, 2017

Catnip Nation's June Report: Plight of Jones Beach Feral Colony

Last month I brought you the first installment of a series of posts by Tina Traster, Producer and Director of the documentary film Catnip Nation. This month Tina tells us about a lawsuit that could have a devastating long term effect on feral cat colonies. Thankfully, Alley Cat Allies is involved in the case and hopefully it will have a positive outcome. It saddens me that this is happening so close to my home. Please tell us your thoughts in the comments below and let's get this conversation started. I'm also asking you to please share this post on social media to bring attention to what's happening on Jones Beach. 

There are still a few days left to help out Catnip Nation on their Seed and Spark campaign. Let's help them spread the word about the importance of advocating for feral cats. And don't forget to come back in July to read Tina's next update. 

Cats. Versus The Birds on Jones Beach

Hello all, from the Catnip Nation team. You may remember reading about our documentary project a month ago on this blog. We’re planning on keeping you updated on a monthly basis on our project, and to give you an inside peek into the stories we are following.

Catnip Nation is a documentary that tells the stories of a handful of unsung and unseen heroes who care for ferals, and the adversity they come up against.  Ultimately, we will use the film to advocate for laws for TNR, and to stimulate a national conversation so people who do this incredible work can come out from the shadows.

Catnip nation documentary

In this blog post, we’d like to bring your attention to a lawsuit that could have a lasting impact on feral cat colonies. In April 2016, the American Bird Conservancy, a powerful advocacy group, sued New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey, for allegedly violating the federal Endangered Species Act by allowing cats (and cat colonies) to remain on Jones Beach, on Long Island. The ABC alleges the cats are creating “the likelihood of injury” to piping plovers. The plovers, shorebirds that migrate in the spring and nest in sand divots, are considered threatened by the federal government and endangered by the state of New York.

Jones Beach is also home to at least two well-fed colonies of feral or homeless cats. Some volunteers say they’ve been reducing populations through Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR).

Birding advocates say cats prey on the plovers and their chicks, but cat advocates – who are far more under-represented – dispute this claim. They say the cats and plovers “are not really in close proximity”, and they maintain that well-fed colonies are less likely to predate on birds.

If the video doesn't play, you can view it on YouTube

We have been following this situation for Catnip Nation because a ruling on a federal suit like this one could have tremendous implications for cat colonies everywhere. It seems bird advocacy groups are not easily convinced that TNR is effective, humane, and even cost effective. Cat advocates try to explain that rounding up colonies and euthanizing cats just creates a “vacuum effect,” which means new cats will arrive and take their place. Bird advocates take a black-and-white view on this.

For our film, we’ve been closely monitoring this case. Here’s what we can report as of now. The colony care-takers continue to feed and trap. They view this as their “job” and their duty to these living creatures. The Washington, D.C.-based Alley Cat Allies is weighing in on the lawsuit, but they are not a party to the suit. According to court filings, the two sides have been going back and forth for a year, but now they’ve asked for a 60-day “stay” in order to work out a settlement, and to include entities that are not parties to the suit.

It’s entirely unclear whether a mutually-agreeable negotiation can be worked out, but as we shape this story, a couple of aspects of this story stand out. First, the colony caretakers are completely in the dark on the issue, and while they’re upset and worried, there’s been no community support for them. The other interesting thing I can infer from monitoring the case is that the state has been willing to put up a fight. The Commissioner could have caved by now and ordered the cats gone. But perhaps they don’t believe the ABC has sound proof that the cats are the problem, and the burden is ultimately on the ABC to prove this in a specific way.

Please weigh in. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

And, if you’d like to help support Catnip Nation, please visit our campaign page.

Tina Traster is a socially-conscious, award-winning journalist, author, and filmmaker. Her 30-minute documentary, This House Matters, is an examination on historic preservation in the Hudson Valley. The film has screened at the YoFi Film Festival, the Kingston Film Festival, the Hoboken International Film Festival, and the Nyack Film Festival. Traster's work has appeared in scores of newspapers, magazines and literary journals including The New York Times, The New York Post, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, Redbook, Family Circle, Parade, Time Out New York, Audubon, Ski Magazine and many others. She is the author of the award-winning memoir Rescuing Julia Twice: A Mother's Tale of Russian Adoption and Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder. Since 2006, Traster has written the "Burb Appeal"column for The New York Post. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Scratcher Heaven

I'm such a lucky girl because I have several scratchers. These are two of my favorites. It's like I'm in scratcher heaven! 


Friday, June 16, 2017

Catnip Heaven With Kitty Kick Stix- Review and Giveaway!

Hello, everyone. This is Lexy checking in, and I’ve got a great catnip toy to tell you about. Not long ago, Lola and I won a giveaway over at Layla’s Woof for Kitty Kick Stix toys. After looking at our blog the nice folks at Kitty Kick Stix contacted us and asked if we’d like to do a review. How could a catnip connoisseur like me pass up this opportunity? 

Kitty Kick Stix
That looks interesting! 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sisterly Love

Hello and Happy Tuesday! I have a very old post to share with you today. How old is it, you ask? Well.... it was way before we even had a blog! This little post goes all the way back to 2011 when we were only on Facebook. I hope you like it! 

April 26, 2011:
Lexy and I still aren't best friends (as you all know), but Mommy says we tolerate each other and that's OK.  We have had a few special moments, which I wanted to re-cap for you!

To be honest, Lexy and I didn't get along very well back then. Will would come over and cat sit when Mommy had school (she was in massage school way back then), and when she went somewhere she didn't stay out very long. Wow! Sometimes it's even hard to remember those times. Today Lexy and I still aren't cuddly friends, but we respect each other and Mommy can go out and not worry. 

Do all of your pets get along? 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

It's Adopt-A-Cat Month! Change a Cat's Life Today.

Hello and Happy Thursday! Do you know what the month of June is designated as? Go ahead, take a guess… OK, never mind, I’ll just tell you. June is  Adopt-A-Cat Month! Now, since Lexy and I are adopted cats, we couldn’t miss discussing this important topic with you. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Join The Year of the Cat Celebration With Wellness Complete Health Cat Food #HealthyMeetsHappy

Hello, everyone. This is Lexy checking in with another installment of The Year of the Cat sponsored by Wellness. Even though Lola and I are mature cats (at seven and nine years old, respectively), we are still both spry as kittens. Mother wants us to stay healthy and active while Lola and I want to be happy with delicious food to eat. Lucky for us Wellness® Complete Health™ suits all our needs. 

wellness complete health

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Throwback Thursday - Me and the Floor Vase

Hello, and Happy Thursday! Today I'm going back to May of 2011. All of a sudden, one night, I became interested in the floor vase. It as kinda fun! We still have that vase, but there are boring leaves in there now. Who wants to play with fake leaves? 

If you can't see it, you can watch it on YouTube here

I hope you enjoyed my flashback today. 

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