Monday, March 21, 2011

Bluffers Park Cats Are Finding Their Way Into Loving Homes

Just one lonely female remains of the once-thriving colony of feral cats at Bluffers Park. We’ve been following the sorry tale of the 25 or so cats that lived for many years in the lakeside park, until coyotes along the Scarborough Bluffs began preying on them earlier this winter. The caretakers who put so much love and effort into nurturing them spent several frigid weeks on a nightly vigil to fend off coyotes, before trapping the cats and placing them in temporary homes. Many ended up in a cat fancier’s basement and did not take to captivity at first, but are slowly making progress, said Robert Brydges, the main caretaker, who’s still feeding the cats in the basement. The only straggler is a wary miss named Halfmask, who has resisted all efforts to capture her and has also managed to elude the coyotes, said Brydges.

After Halfmask disappeared about a month ago, the caretakers were certain she’d been devoured, but she has since reappeared and refuses to let anyone get close to her, he said. To their knowledge, only two cats were snatched by the coyotes, mainly due to the overnight guard duty, when coyotes were chased off at least once each night, said Brydges. With most of the others starting to adjust to domesticity, he’s hopeful that permanent homes can be found for them and says several people have offered to adopt one or two cats.

Two of the 20 or so taken out of the park have so far been placed in permanent homes, he said, while a woman who temporarily took in two now says she wants to keep them. If the rest in temporary homes continue to domesticate, they’ll eventually make good pets for people with enough patience to let them come along at their own pace, said Brydges.

Anyone who’d consider adopting a cat or wants to help can email Brydges at bluffscats@hotmail.com or look for photos and updates on a Facebook page called Scarborough Bluffs Feral Cats.

*www.thestar.com

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