My curriculum vitae:
I joined TCS in June 2002. Hubby and I conduct research on publicly traded companies for a living, and our research is distributed to the people who manage money. We lived full time in an RV. We traveled the country visiting companies, meeting management and touring their facilities. After 9/11, a lot of scandals, etc. the nature of our business changed a lot, and we seemed pretty permanently parked in a lovely park in New Jersey. We befriended our first feral, Booger. Turns out she was already spayed - and was a pure bred Maine Coone! The late Spring of 2002, a litter of kittens turned up in our yard. After feeding them for a few weeks, I started conducting research...
The result was the discovery of The Cat Site. I became a really active member, and not too long after that I became a moderator. Along with two other mods and a TCS member (valanhb, okeefekl, and Russian Blue) we ended up developing two websites: http://www.savesamoa.org
Hubby and I became very active TNR advocates. When things got really tough at work and we adopted a homeless 18-year-old heroin addict, Naomi - and then lost our jobs, and then Gary started experiencing all kinds of health problems - I became pretty scarce at TCS and resigned as a Mod because I just couldn't be here on any kind of regular or timely basis.
Although Gary's still got a number of health issues, the rest seems to have settled down a bit, and I've become a pretty regular visitor to the Caring for Strays and Ferals forums these days (though I pop up in the Behavior and Health & Nutrition forums too
All our kitties are feral rescues. Apart from the first two we rescued as pets, the rest of our gang we kept because they were special needs kitties. Flowerbelle is deaf, has one eye, and is close to blind in the other. Spooky was abused. Tuxedo was insanely aggressive (sent two cats to the hospital with stitches), totally disruptive to the feral colony we'd "collected," and then developed an autoimmune disease that almost caused his death (and he's such a lover now!!!). Ming Loy is neurologically damaged, and we had to "coat" our entire house with bubble wrap and pillows until she grew enough to control her muscle coordination. Lazlo was our first indoor-only pet, and he's still our most "ferally" of them all. Sheldon should have been named Sylvester - he's a silly loving goof!
We began working with local vets and shelters, and became known as "the crazy cat" people that anyone could turn to. We started spay/neuter funds at numerous vets, and we supported the start-up of a shelter in Northern NJ while continuing to practice TNR, and especially through the SPA site, advocate TNR and support those who needed info &etc.
We've fostered and socialized numerous ferals, and we cared for a small feral colony (22 at the height?) - they all ended up being adopted out except the one mom that disappeared after being spayed. If you count the kitties rehomed through the shelter we were closely affiliated with in 2004/2005, we've helped trap and spay/neuter and return to a colony or rehome over 400 cats. We also help co-ordinate rescues for people who individually contact us, regardless of where they are in the country. Unfortunately, we haven't developed a network outside of the U.S.
We moved into a house in the fall of 2004, and the kitties have all loved having the stairs to zip around on! They don't seem to appreciate having all the extra space, and they did great and were incredibly happy when we took a trip in the RV in February.
I always tend to write novels, but I always address questions the way I would want to be answered. I got my start in working with ferals at TCS and learned so much here - and I'm just glad I've got time again to share some of that knowledge and experience.