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Here's a long awaited picture of Foxy in her loft! She looks a bit unhappy but her eye contact is a huge sign of progress in her comfort level. Her chirpy meows in place of or in addition to hissing when I put her meal down are also a big step for her. Foxy lived under the Magnolia Bridge for possibly her entire life. Her only positive contact with a human was a lady who fed her regularly. Fortunately Foxy was spayed early on and hasn't spent her life producing kittens, so she is strong and healthy. I never lived with a calico cat and think I only sat for a few during my career in Seattle, as they are fairly unusual to find. Now I have two beautiful calicos living with me, Christina and Foxy!
There are feral cats living in many public areas and neighborhoods in communities all over the country. Feeding them is nice but the most important thing anyone can do for them is to get them altered to stop the cycle of kittens. If you know of someone feeding community cats and they are not capable or are overwhelmed with the idea of trapping and altering the cats, please help them or reach out to folks who can help. (Resources for folks who need help with TNR) We are lucky to have quite a few free and low-cost clinics in Western WA, such as. the Feral Cat Spy & Neuter Project in Lynnwood. Never trap cats like Foxy and take them to a shelter - this is certain death for a truly feral cat. There are barn home programs in more progressive shelters and rescue organizations, but make sure they actually screen the adopters and that the adopters understand how to acclimate a feral cat to a new location so that the cats don't simply get "dumped" and disoriented at their new property. (Help with finding placement for a working cat) Unlike house cats, cats in barn homes may be exposed to predators and face a shortened lifespan but given their nature, being free is tantamount to their ultimate happiness.
Foxy has access to an outdoor catio and isn't actually free to roam like a barn cat might be. Given that she had a consistent food source and was living in an urban setting, the Flower Feline Sanctuary is hopefully the best option for her to be safe and comfortable. Technically Foxy is "feral," but each cat has a unique set of circumstances about what living situation may be best. Being feral is not a black/white dichotomy and is not a crime that should result in death.