Talk about herding cats.
Animal advocates have found a new home for 33 feral cats that spent the last decade living in a colony on Plumb Beach that the feds have targeted for destruction — now they just have to catch and move them.
Self-described “crazy cat lady” Nancy Rogers has been feeding the ferals in a section of the beach controlled by the National Parks Service for the last 11 years, but the feds recently ruled the cats have to go because they pose a danger to birds and small mammals living in the park.
Now the cats’ caretakers are furiously trapping the kitties ahead of a June 30 deadline to remove the cats before the Parks Service steps in. The mousers are being moved to a farm in another state, but Rogers said she couldn’t elaborate.
“I cannot say where it is, but the cats are leaving New York,” she said, a veterinary technician who has been helping caretakers trap, fix, and release the cats over the past year and a half.
Kitty caretakers got a surprise two weeks ago when they showed up to feed the cats and found Parks Service signs saying the colony would be “dismantled” on June 13. The Service would have trapped the cats and taken them to a shelter, according to a spokesman.
But advocates said a shelter would have been a death sentence, because most of the cats were not socialized and thus not adoptable. After a flood of phone calls and a hand-delivered letter, the caretakers convinced the Parks Service to extend its deadline to June 30.
Rogers has caught more than a dozen of the 33 cats so far and is keeping them in cages in her garage until they leave for the undiclosed location.
The felines will go to a private residence south of the city that asked to remain anonymous, according to Rodgers.
The hairball haven is taking the cats for free, but Rogers said that moving them will still be a costly affair.
Before the kitties can move to their new home, they all need to be vetted to assure that their shots are up to date — a standard procedure when introducing cats to an existing colony — but that can cost hundreds of dollars per pussycat, Rogers said.
To finance the feline flight, Rogers and her partners have started an online fund-raiser that has garnered more than $1,700 toward the group’s $3,000 goal.
Donations can be made at www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/save-the-plum-beach-cats/192464.