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You love them, even though they hog the good chair

Every significant other has their downside. There are some that always hog the good chair, are driven mad by birds, and leave little gifts every morning that are a tad revolting. But you love them, because, of course, they are cats; always there for a cuddle and rodent extermination.

Celebrate your love for them at the Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau Catastic Valentine Frolic next month.

The Frolic is hoped to raise funds for BFAB’s feline spaying and neutering programme, aimed at controlling the feral cat problem in Bermuda.

“When you have neutered cats in the environment, they protect their territory and refuse to let other cats into that territory to breed,” said Lynn Vaughan, BFAB volunteer.

If you remove feral cats from the environment and then kill them, new unneutered or unspayed cats entering the environment will increase breeding speed because conditions are optimum: the extra food and space in the environment make it a great time to start a family.

Scientists have observed the same phenomenon with coyotes. During attempted extermination programmes they found the population of coyotes actually increased. Basically, nature abhors a vacuum. And there are always new cats entering the environment due to neglectful humans who fail to spay and neuter their cats. An unspayed female cat may produce as many as 20 kittens a year and the average lifespan is 11 years.

“We have been very successful in many areas, totally removing breeding cats from those areas,” said Ms Vaughan. “Just over 20 years ago there were an estimated 20,000 cats living in the wild. We know we have brought those numbers down.”

At the Frolic there will be little crafts and other feline-centred activities, and information about cat care. Val Sherwood of the Bermuda Folk will sing a special song she wrote for BFAB. However, there will be plenty to do for those who are less enthusiastic about felines, including a bouncy castle and train for children, food, second-hand goods and games for everyone.

“We are looking for vendors,” said Ms Vaughan. “The vendors that are there can do whatever they want as long as it is legal and family-oriented. We have people coming with jewellery. The second-hand clothes won’t be cat-related. We consider ourselves environmentally-friendly because we are trying to control the feral cat population in Bermuda. We are reaching out to other organisations that would like to have an information table at the event.”

If you would like to be a vendor at the event, contact BFAB by January 21. There is a $25 fee for vendor space. The Catastic Valentines Day Frolic will be held on February 9 from 10am to 4pm at Somersfield Academy. Donations of money and cat food are gratefully appreciated. Call 291-1737 for more information.

Useful websites: www.bfab.bm and www.crazycatladies.org (a website for cat lovers who want to end the stereotype about women who like cats).

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Published January 16, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm)

You love them, even though they hog the good chair

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