As a longtime owner of cats, I’ve always thought of myself as the perfect “mother”. And there are so many others like myself dedicating their time, passion, and money to their love of felines. No other animal on the planet inspires as much loyalty from humans. However, I began to realize the feline/human relationship was much more complicated than I ever imagined. Cats and humans coexist through multiple levels of domesticity, from household companions to wild street animals to secluded island inhabitants. CAT PEOPLE explores the evolving challenges facing cats living in a human world.
- STREETS -
Where are kittens coming from? - Mostly from the street. Urban Cat People’s mission is to stop these kittens from being born to control the cat population. They deal with cats from all walks of life: pregnant, injured, and abused. Trapping cats on the street for Spay Neuter is their way of spending Friday night. Cats don’t take days off, and neither do Urban Cat People. I followed dedicated TNR trappers, Jacquie Navratil, Chilly Nathan, Kathy Smith, and Melody Curtis from Luxe Paws, and Karn Myers from the spay neuter clinic, FixNation.
- HOMES -
Many of us spend hours fixating on funny cat videos on YouTube. What we don’t see is the truth of domestic cats: They are bored, mistreated and forgotten. Led by Kate Benjamin from Hauspanther, Domestic Cat People provide interesting solution for cats to thrive even in a small confined space like our home.
- CAT ISLAND _
House cats in United States appear to have happy long lives in the bubble of safety. Cats on the Cat Island of Tashiro-jima in the northern part of Japan have an average 5 year life expectancy. They have no safety bubble, yet instead live a life full of freedom. They are neither domesticated nor wild, rather loosely connected to the people that share the island with them. Currently, the cat population is 120 and human population is 50. A cat photographer, Yoshinao Tanaka, and veterinarian Dr. Kress Kiyomi take care of the cats and document their environment.
FixNation is a California non-profit public benefit corporation. Their mission is to reduce the population of homeless cats by sterilizing as many as possible while demonstrating the effectiveness of Trap-Neuter-Return and colony management for the humane care of homeless cats. http://fixnation.org/
Luxe Paws is a small, grassroots team of part time volunteers, laser focused on decreasing the number of unwanted kittens by fixing neighborhood cats. They practice Trap/Neuter/Return or “TNR” in their corner of Los Angeles known as Silver Lake, Los Feliz & Echo Park. https://savekittensla.org/