Meeting & Feeding Our New Outdoor Colony: Merrick Gives Back
Good day, lovely reader!
Today, we want to introduce you to our brand new outdoor kitty colony. Now that we are firmly established in our new building, we thought it would be a great time for us to support our very own outdoor colony. And when we told Merrick, who we are proud to say sponsors the feeding program at Tree House, they were happy to include food to keep these guys fed, as well, which is great because feeding is an integral part of how we keep them coming back.
Tree House’s outdoor feral cat colony was established in February 2020 as part of our Cats At Work program. This program provides positive outcomes for displaced feral cats who cannot stay in their current territory due to some kind of threat to them. In short, if they’re not safe living where they are, we find them a place where they will be safe, cared for, and will thrive.
In our colony, we have Penelope, Gilmore Girl, and Pavlov’s Cat, who were brought to Tree House at 6 months old completely unsocialized, so they were not able to be placed up for adoption. They all came from the same location and already knew each other.The trio acclimated in Tree House’s parking lot inside their custom-made shelter, funded and built by the generosity of Erik Anderson and EA Construction Company, with additional support provided by Tree House’s long-time donor Chris Collins. The acclimation took 3 weeks in order for the cats to get used to the sights, sounds, and smells of their new surroundings.
During this acclimation period, our new residents were classically conditioned to associate a bell sound with their Merrick wet food meals so that, upon release from their shelter, they would continue to arrive for their meals at the sound of the bell. They were also fed on the same schedule each day so that they would come to expect their meals to arrive at specific times.
(Video of Gilmore Girl and Penelope frolicking in the parking lot.)
Tasty food and a reliable feeding schedule go a long way in ensuring that our Cats at Work colony cats return each day for their meals. So far, the trio’s favorites include the Tuna Pate and Thanksgiving Day Feast. We know they love their food because they continue to come home to clean their plates each day!
So, a big thank you to EA Construction for providing a place for them to live, to Merrick for keeping them coming back for their tasty meals, and to our staff for faithfully feeding them and ringing that bell.
If you’d like more information about our Cats At Work program, feel free to reach out. And if you stop by the shelter in the future and see one of our outdoor kitties, feel free to wave – quietly and from afar.