New York City Feral Cat Initiative
A Happy Ending Meets Speedy at the Finish Line!

Initially a victim of a wild chase, incarceration, mistaken identity, and a respiratory infection, Speedy’s life is now a lot calmer.

Speedy, an eartipped cat, was originally found racing around on the street near 50th and 10th in a panic (hence the name Speedy) before being cornered, crammed into a carrier, and taken to Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C).

Fortunately, eartipped cats arriving at AC&C are held while attempts are made to reunite them with their colony and caretaker. With the zip code of the intake location, Neighborhood Cats uses the managed feral colony database to notify caretakers nearby and sends out pictures of eartipped cats arriving at AC&C. Despite the wrong zip code listed at his intake, Urban Cat League tracked him down and retrieved him through AC&C’s New Hope program, thinking he was probably Angel, a cat who lives as part of the Lower Riverside Park colony near 50th Street among the rocks along the Hudson. Upon observation by UCL, however, it became clear that he was not Angel, but another mystery cat — perhaps a TNR’ed deli cat, only semi-feral?

A cat-savvy and generous person agreed to foster him, but only after Speedy recovered from an upper respiratory infection. Having renamed him Errol (after Flynn and Garner), his foster caretaker agreed to adopt him, and he is getting along well with everyone else in the household.

One more happy ending against all probable odds!   

At first, Urban Cat League thought that Speedy might be Angel, a cat who lives in the Lower Riverside Park colony.

Renamed Errol, Speedy has been adopted by his foster caretaker and is enjoying life with his new family.

St. James Cats Update (3/27-5:15 pm)

Representatives from the NYC Feral Cat Initiative of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals met today with representatives of St. James Church and the Archdioceses of New York to discuss a resolution to the feral cat situation on the grounds of the church. We listened to their concerns and shared information about TNR with them, and they asked us to write up a proposal regarding the possibilities for ongoing care of the cats on the property. 

Please continue to politely encourage Father Gonsalves and the Archdiocese to pursue TNR and ongoing colony care as the only humane and effective solution for the cats and the parish! 

Call Joseph Zwilling, Communications Director for the Archdiocese of New York, at (212) 371-1011 x2997.

E-mail the Archdiocese of New York at Father Gonsalves, the Vatican, and the NYC Feral Cat Initiative will be copied on your e-mail.

St. James Cats Update (3/22-7:01 pm)

Archdiocese of New York Agrees to Meet to Discuss the St. James Church Cat Situation

Please thank them and ask them to let this managed colony stay!

First and foremost, since our last update to you, we can report that the valiant caretakers are getting some food to the cats, but of course this is not how a colony should be cared for, as you all know. We are not putting the cats’ health in jeopardy, and we would not use them as bargaining chips. That said, our primary goal is to keep them where they are and restore daily care as quickly as possible.

Secondly, before all of your calls and e-mails were received, the Archdiocese of NYC had insisted that the lockout of the cat caretakers at St. James Church was just a one-parish issue that they would not get involved in. Now, more than 1,000 calls and e-mails later, they have reconsidered. The Archdiocese of NYC has agreed to meet with the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals on Tuesday, March 27, to discuss the situation. Obviously, this is much more than a one-parish issue.

Thank you for your articulate and ardent letters and calls urging the church to allow the cats to remain where they are and underscoring the benefits of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). While the benefits of not removing a group of neutered, vaccinated cats living peacefully and being well cared for is obvious to many of us, many people still don’t understand that removal just doesn’t work.

Read more and share your opinion…

St. James Cats Update (3/20-12:45 pm)

Stay tuned for updates on the status of the feral cats at St. James Church and what you can do to help them!


Priests Starve Cats at St. James Church