Anyone feeding feral colonies or stray cats in Frederick is probably familiar with the name Babs Wratten and/or Tip Me Frederick.
I got to know them when the stray cat family on the back of my property started to reach an embarrassing size. I knew they need to be “fixed”, but who has hundreds of dollars to spend on animals that really aren’t theirs? It became a vicious cycle of not wanting to see them going hungry and their multiplying. Healthy cats stick around to be fed and they are good at having kittens.
I don’t remember exactly who or what agency put me on to Babs, but they were heaven sent. Two of her volunteers helped me trap over a dozen cats and get them to the vet. They were spayed and neutered and it was all paid for by a grant and community donations.
I asked Bab’s if I could use the information on her Facebook page to share the story of how Frederick came to be blessed by Tip Me Frederick. She agreed, so here it is:
“Our story starts outside with a mamma cat and 3 tiny kittens. It was late summer and we wondered how they’d make it through the winter. Before long, mamma died by putting her head in a jar to find food. It was a tragic and heartbreaking fate as she couldn’t get out and she couldn’t get air. We were left with 3 babies to feed and get through the winter.
Having 4 indoor kitties already, and FeLV in the house, we had to leave these babies outside. So feeding began. Once there was regular food, we noticed a few more cats coming around to eat…..and breed. By the following winter we had 30 cats to feed. I knew it was time to do something. I started looking for affordable vet services.
As many of you know, there is not much available in our county. However, I did find QuickFix through the Frederick County Humane Society and some low cost options through Animal Welfare League of Frederick County. Even though I found discounted services, I still needed to find the money to pay them, and 30 cats was thousands of dollars. I asked all my friends and family and was able to get my 30 cats neutered several months later.
Tip Me Frederick grew out of this experience because people need a truly low cost, or free, program to get these outdoor cats altered. They breed exceptionally fast, and are very resourceful. They are unowned, and many people have their own pets to care for, so these community kitties take a back seat. Left to their own devices, they will keep breeding till the area is saturated with cats. Then resources are used up and these cats suffer from hunger and illness.
We’ve worked hard with local vets & area rescues. We’ve gotten grants from the Maryland Dept of Agriculture, Best Friends, PetSmart and the Community Foundation of Frederick County in order to help the cats and the kind people who care for them. We have great support from PetValu including funding and a place to adopt some friendly cats and kittens. We hope to be able to continue our mission with the help of all of you who follow us and support us. Thank you so much!”
I know things are tough for humans right now with places closing and self-quarantines happening all around us. Cats aren’t going to keep a “social distance”, quite the opposite in fact this time of year.
If you have it in your heart and wallet to help Tip Me Frederick and the community cats and families she assists, you can donate both your time, money and resources. They can be reached via their Facebook page here. You can also donate via their PayPal on their website here. Also listed on their website are organizations they have partnered with who will donate part of their sales. I use AmazonSmile and have chosen Tip Me Frederick as my charity. Whenever I make a purchase part of those funds goes to Bab’s very worthy charity.
Let’s not forget our animal neighbors and those who take care of them while this virus is hitting its stride.