Hello, Nikita here!
Daddy brings home the LA Weekly a lot, and when he's done I read it, too!
In the latest issue there is an interesting story about a homeless Christian-Muslim man who lives in a tent behind a Bed Bath & Beyond in Northridge, Ca.
The Railroad, local politicians and Feral Cat Activists all have taken an interest in this man, his living arraingements, and activities.
Patrick McDonald, of the LA Weekly, presents the story in an interesting, and sympathetic, manner, that sorts out all the issues of this very complex situation.
Seven days after his court hearing for trespassing on railroad property, Naser Nasralla a Palestinian immigrant from Jordan known as “Jimmy” by his friends, is once again feeding the stray, skinny cats that roam his neighborhood in Northridge, a tree-lined Los Angeles suburb in the San Fernando Valley made famous by a devastating 1994 earthquake.
“Cats have no reason to be hungry,” explains Jimmy, who speaks fluent English. “Cats love life like people do.”
While I wish there was more about the Feral Cats I still think this was a good story with pictures of Jimmy, his elaborate tent, and one of the feral cats as well.
Jimmy is a kind hearted man, with complex personal issues, who needs the system to reach out to him, and get him to accept some help, not wasting all their time and money trying to evict him, especially when no-one has a clue of who has proper jurisdiction of the spot where he has pitched his tent.
Someone also needs to reach out to the kitties in the area, and get some help for them, too!
A Forever Home, and getting spayed/neutered, would be better than the rugged existence they live now.
Ed Muzika leaves a comment, among the many posted to the story, that says:
Jimmy is part of a network of people in the area that tend colonies and do get the cats spayed and neutered. To name just a few, there are Helene, Monica, Rebecca, Marie and myself. We do periodically trap and get the animals fixed. We help each other in terms of medications and food and trapping as needed.
The real problem is that there are already lots of cats on the street all over the Valley, fixed and not fixed, and your options are to do nothing, as you seem to propose,or you can help keep them alive, or even place them.
Jimmy is in no position of provide vet care or get the cats fixed as he is confined to bicycle transportation. So each of us does as he or she can. But to criticize Jimmy for not being a full service "feral cat placement service" sort of misses the point of the article.
Jimmy does build coyote-proof houses for them out of heavy lumber donated to him. The cats stay in these shelters which he has erected all over Northridge at various feeding stations until people steal them. The other cats living near him have escape ledges underneath the bridge that no animal larger than a cat can get onto. He has also built sort of guard rails so the cats don't fall into the riverbed below.
A Google Search has led me to the great Blog of Ed Muzika, LA Animal Watch, and it is something that he has been posting on, regularly, since 2006.
I will add it to my Blogroll. ;-D
Read the rest of the story, here: Jimmy On the Edge of Town.