In April 2018, a friend of mine posted the photo you see on the Aeroton Feral Cats FB page, on her WhatsApp status. She had been in the area doing ministry work and had spotted this pathetic little creature. Immediately I got the location of this little one and went to see the situation, as did many others who had seen my FB post.
The situation in Aeroton was horrible. The cats were starving, and no one seemed to care. There were 2 kittens not 1 and we were told that the mommy had been run over and they clearly were not getting enough sustenance. I wanted to come back to trap them, but my daughter was having none of it and she just scooped them up and we took them home. We took them to the vet and Hector told us not to hold out much hope, he didn’t expect them to make it through the weekend.
They didn’t want to eat, they were skin and bone, full of fleas and filthy. Instinctively Jenna placed them on her bare chest so they could feel her warmth and feel her heartbeat and they began to revive. Tuna brine stimulated their appetite and they began to eat. We bathed them and brushed them, and they began to purr and speak. Two weeks later they went to their forever home.
Since then I have, almost single handed, had 108 Aeroton ferals sterilised. A handful were rehomed, but most of them were returned.
It’s been hard, emotionally and financially. I have had to fight with company owners, threaten them at times, but it’s also been extremely rewarding. To see the little ear tipped beasties coming for food is a joy to behold. There are many more to do and it’s a never-ending labour of love. There are days where I think why should I carry on doing this, but then I revaluate and say if not me then who?
I still drive out from Randburg to Aeroton twice a week to feed and evaluate the situation. I don’t name the beasties or get attached, there are just too many, and I can’t spare the energy. Along the way I have had help from some fabulous individuals like Sally Pinto, Anneke Malan, Bridget Kelly, Taryn Bright, Elvis and Karen from Animal Allies, Gaylene Brits, Louise Nel, Renaldi, Felicity Haldane, Jenna Deacon, all the vets and staff at Boskruin Vet – either with food donations, vet bill donations, advice, building shelters, vet services etc.My husband Paul has also been amazing, he gives me time off work to feed and sterilise. He only moans a little when my car comes home smelling of pilchards and unsterilized tomcat pee. He pays for all my fuel to get to Aeroton and back and always makes sure my car is in good running order.
It’s been a positive experience for the most part, and I feel blessed to have it continue.