Ivan is a beautiful ebony black feral (wild) cat who lives behind a shed at our town dump. Its my job to bring him food, fresh water, and loving glance into his beautiful eyes every day. Ivan has lived at the dump for over seven years now, here is his story:
On Christmas day in 2008 I lost a friend to pancreatic cancer, she was only 55 years old. Leslie Smallridge was an incredible woman who was an avid animal lover with a kind and a gentle heart. For seven years my friend (daily) cared for our group of local dump kitties. I was able to fill in for her on many occasions, once for about two months after which I got to actually stroke the soft little head of one feral kitty. All the cats at our dump were black or black and white. Their numbers ranged from four some years to just one. All of them have been trapped, neutered or spayed, and have had their basic shots. We live in New England which has some severe winters with lots of snow and cold. Because of Leslie's love for these feral cats, they have lived relatively well in a snug little igloo house packed well with hay and always fresh (thawed) water and food.
Now I am the main caregiver for the ferals and there seems to be just one beautiful black cat left, I’ve named him Ivan. There are many days of bitter ice and cold, when I need chip through Ivan’s frozen water to make room for fresh but I never miss a day because I know I will be greeted by those soft golden eyes that become more trusting every week. Leslie worked closely with a local charity known as Animal Dreams, together they made a huge impact on the quality of life for many stray and abandoned kitties.
After Leslie's passing, I looked into my heart to find the best way I could offer my condolences....I decided that continuing to care for Ivan would be my way of remembering Leslie. As an artist and Co-leader of the group Art for Critters, I also contribute a large portion of my art sales to animal charities. Leslie, if you are looking down on us...thank you for all you have done and I promise to continue to care for Ivan the “Feral Cat” forever.
If you would like to help Ivan, you can use the “Donate” button above.