I began taking care of the feral cats in my neighborhood in 2008, and became the legal caretaker of a colony of cats in February 2009. Tree House is my sponsoring organization, and I manage the colony according the Cook County ordinance. That includes: spaying and neutering all the cats in the colony, feeding the cats on a daily basis at a feeding station, providing sleeping shelters for the cats, monitoring their health, finding homes for the stray cats who show up, and placing any kittens who may be born into the colony. I also work with people in my neighborhood to resolve any issues that may arise from the feral cats living in our neighborhood.
Some of the clients who hire me to care for their cats value the work I do with feral cats as their cat was once feral. They want a pet sitter who is familiar with feral cats and who understands how difficult the adjustment can be for these cats when they begin living indoors. Some of these cats are more than shy; they are fearful, and a pet sitter coming into the home is sometimes an incredibly stressful experience. I am comfortable working with feral cats and understand how to approach them, and how to gain their trust over time.
I have had several jobs for clients who have indoor cats as well as feral cats who live outdoors.
I understand how to assess the situations that could develop related to the care of these cats, e.g., an injured feral cat who may need to be trapped, a raccoon or an opossum living in a sleeping shelter, and how to deal with them while my client is out of town.