Vermin’s days reigning California’s mean streets are over. They’re fleeing or facing extinction because ferals are working like cats with rewarding careers through a rescue and advocacy group called Voice for the Animals (VFTA).
(Photo by Bob Chamberlin, LA Times)
Ferals are kitties with no use for domestication. VFTA catches them and then sterilizes, vaccinates, and microchips them for their own protection. Then they’re reassigned where they can do some good, like the Flower Market in Los Angeles, which has been infested with rats since 1909.
The cats are kept in a big cage until they feel comfortable in the new place and consider it their home. This usually takes about a month. Otherwise, they’ll split and try go back where they came from.
Once on the job, few corporate CEOs have it so cushy. The cats’ duties consist of eating, sunbathing, and prowling. Thanks to eons of losing wars with us, all it takes is the smell of a cat to make rodents run for their lives.
Once cats were on the case, the Flower Market was soon rodent-free without poisons, traps, or disgusting rat carcasses – except when the cats killed for practice.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Southeast Division recruited 6 ferals when the rodents got so brazen, rats lived in bicycle officers’ equipment bags in the parking lot, and mice scurried across people’s desks inside. Humans who doubted the cats’ abilities were soon believers when the vermin vanished.
Ferals have no use for humans except at mealtime. However, if these working cats have a change of heart and turn friendly, they’re retired and put up for adoption.
So, with gainful employment, housing, regular meals, sports opportunities, and career options, L.A.’s ferals are sitting in the catbird seat.