A group of cats in Long Beach, California are stranded on a jetty after their outdoor shelter and feeding station were suddenly destroyed. With seagulls devouring the piles of kibble left out on the rocks and with rain and sandstorms on the way in the coming months, a crisis is brewing.
Some of the cats here have been living on the beach for years, but until recently, they had access to a sheltered area in the lifeguard station. It gave them a place to get away from the ocean during bad weather and a covered food supply. But the cats were recently evicted following a directive for increased security at the lifeguard station. With access to their ‘home’ suddenly blocked, the cats had no choice but to make their way down the ocean wall with nothing but water ahead of them, yet nothing to turn back to.
At least some of these cats are former pets who were dropped off when their owners could not or would not take care of them any longer. Were they once loved? Some still wear collars, remnants of a time when someone cared enough to claim them as family, a time when someone gave them food and shelter.
A Black Cat Named Patty Was Dumped Here with a Siamese One Rainy Evening
“One evening I went to fill the cat’s water container,” explains Ellen Baer. “It was cold and raining and there was actually a cat in the water container, shivering and soaked. I went to my car and got a blanket and dried him off. I couldn’t get into the locked, gated area where the cat shelter was. There was a cat house there but this cat just couldn’t figure out where to go. So, I got a cat carrier and put in a fresh, warm blanket and he went inside.”
That cat, who was apparently dumped along with a Siamese (both wearing collars without tags), is now called Patty and is one of a baker’s dozen of cats living here. Despite his horrendous first night on the beach and a subsequent three week period during which he seemed to vanish, Patty has gone on to acclimate to his new surroundings and he regularly greets those who come with food. And though there is a significant population of homeless cats here in Long Beach, volunteers do hold out hope for responsible caregivers to adopt Patty and the others.
Highly Responsible & Experienced Cat Parents Sought
“We aren’t looking for rescuers who will put them in a garage or a cage and forget about them,” Ellen explains referring to common circumstances that befall overwhelmed volunteers and the future of these beach cats. “No hoarders. No rescuers who will adopt them out to just anyone. Some of these cats have friendships and we want to keep bonded pairs together and find them responsible homes. We owe them that much.”
The odds are high that at least some of the cats in the group are feral while others are clearly fond of people. More cats will inevitably end up here, so the first step is to establish a new fenced, shelter area with weatherized cat houses and shelter food and water dishes. This will buy animal advocates some time while highly responsible and experienced cat guardians are sought to foster or adopt the friendly felines in the group.
Time is of the essence here. In the months to come, the weather will shift and rains and potential sandstorms will not only provide punishing conditions for the cats, but will make it nearly impossible for volunteers to provide them food. There’s simply no safe way to walk out on the jetty with a bag of cat food while the surf is hitting the rocks and rain and wind bring visibility to zero.
3 Ways to Help the Jetty Cats
Petition Signatures: Sign the petition below respectfully requesting permission for a sheltered cat area to be rebuilt in a fenced, protected location near the lifeguard station.
Fundraiser to Keep Them Safe: Donations are being collected to purchase fencing and weather proof cat houses to protect the cats on the beach now and those who may be dumped in the future. Click here to learn more
Local Adoptions and Foster Homes: Any interested adopters living in the vicinity of Long Beach, California (no out-of-state inquiries please) may send an email to beach volunteer Ellen Baer at BeachCatss@yahoo.com. Please understand that there are very limited human resources here, and it may be several days before you receive a reply. We ask that this email address be reserved for people with a sincere interest in adopting/ fostering and a genuine capacity to provide a responsible home environment. All other remarks should be restricted to the ‘comments’ section below.