A Purrfect Chance to Help Save a Life

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The fur that was once glossy and thick lays dull and uneven over bones. There was skin showing where she had itched. Dust, dirt, and mud all stained her matted coat, knotted and twisted with months of neglect. The cat walked with a stiffness of age, but also with the fragility of one so withered. The cat was a ginger, but not harsh red tabby, it was more like the kind of orange you’d see on a beloved old-shirt mixed with heavy cream. Her tiny cheeks were completely covered with long white whiskers and her large colored eyeballs would sparkle at some angles.

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Meet Ginger.

She is a one-year-old.

Straggly, homeless, they mostly roam the streets once the blue sky turns a tangerine jelly and then black. They eat handouts found in parks, trash cans, parking lots, back yards, and scraps behind restaurants. They mate often and babies now have to join the struggle for survival.

Hundreds-upon-hundreds of stray cats wander Boca looking for food and shelter. Some of these cats have even been found halfway dead in such places as Boca Del Mar at Mizner Trail Golf Course.

This is why Boca Raton resident Jane Springston is giving a helping hand to these paws. “I don’t like to use feral cats because it makes them sound unwanted, I like to call them Community Cats,” said Springston.


What is a Community Cat?A BocaWatch Article from 2018


Community Cats reside in a location for food and shelter. These cats live outdoor and like any other members of the cat species. However, Community Cats are not socialized to humans and therefore are unadoptable.

Springston dedicates her time and resources to help these cats. “I volunteer and I don’t care if one of these cats comes from the moon. I’ll help them and I’ll help a life,” said Springston.

Springston has a program called the Community Cats of Boca Raton. “I’m not with the city and the city doesn’t give us the kind of help we need. But my heart bleeds for these cats and we need help,” said Springston.

The goal of Community Cats of Boca Raton is to neuter and return Community Cats to their outdoor homes safely. Community Cats of Boca Raton stabilizes the cat population in a humane manner and they treat cats with injuries as well.

In order to help these cats and the community, they use a trap-neuter-return strategy. This is a strategy that marks cats who’ve been caught and treated by marking their ears. This marking shows that they’ve been free-living cats that have been neutered.

The Palm Beach County Ordinance about Community Cats has listed they allow for people to take care of these types of cats and kittens. However, taking care of them has it limits. For instance, people cannot just dump any kind of food anywhere for them. It is recommended you contact someone who carefully handles cats and trap/neuter them to limit the number of community cats.

Community Cats

Female cats that aren’t sprayed can have up to three litters a year. The continuous cycle of breeding, pregnancy, birth, and nursing is harder on these female cats, never allowing her to get and stay healthy. Unaltered male cats actually fight for dominance and breeding rights. This can cause injuries and possibly spreading diseases such as the spray to mark territory. Male cats will go long distances to breed with unsprayed females causing more cat colonies to pop up into an area.

Her eyes are the color of a newly bloomed bluebell from the valley, enchanting, delicate. Like a flower his gaze was never direct, preferring a shy earthbound focus. Just to say her eyes are blue was like saying that the sun was yellow. It is sufficient but not accurate to capture the burning. “I’m always on the move,” said Springston, “I found a blue-eyed cat along a canal and my hope is to rescue the kittens to along the mosquito-infested and trashed canal that I was told the county won’t do anything about,” said Springston.

The street stretches onward, hugging the land, taking each turn in stride. The street looks like an unfinished painting. Some of the canvas is still white as if waiting for the artist to return. The busy road was a smooth grey and black river, the sort of wheels floats so effortlessly along. He padded through the streets with his head hung low. His injured eye was every shade the sky possessed from dawn until dusk.

Meet Pookie.

He is only a few months old.

Springston said, “He [Pookie] was picked up on a busy street. A nice couple rescued him. They wanted only the best for this little baby.”

Pookie was found by college students and they couldn’t afford a vet bill for the kitten and they also could not keep it. They were sent to another rescue organization that told them, “We are full.” Therefore, Springston was contacted. “Pookie is feeling much better and he looks at me with a thank you each time,” said Springston. “I may be “full” but my heart is not and there is always room in my heart to save a life.”

You may join the Community Cats of Boca Raton Facebook group to follow Jane Springston saving our furry friends and to see information on how you may help save a life.

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Nile Fortner is a Multimedia Journalism major from Florida Atlantic University. When Nile isn’t at a bookstore catching up on new books and authors or having a fresh bowl from Boca's Bolay, Nile usually covers Arts & Entertainment features. Nile covers topics such as movies, television, local hot spot attractions, and more for some of the websites and publications he loves contributing with. However, during a class presentation at Florida Atlantic University, Nile found an interest in bringing attention to Boca Raton economic awareness and attractions. Nile hopes to inform and encourage people to care more about their environment the same way he was informed and encouraged.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Jane Springston is a woman who has done a tremendous job (too often alone) resulting in a huge reduction in the number of unneutered abandoned cats in our city. She deserves our support and the support of our city’s leadership, both morally and financially. Just visit her Facebook page and see the good work that she does. A city grant, personal donation or an offer to foster would be so appreciated by Jane who works tirelessly on behalf of these beautiful animals. If you love animals and live in Boca, please consider helping Jane. Thank you, Nile, for putting a much needed spotlight on an issue facing Boca that everyone can agree deserves attention and citizen assistance.

  2. Jane not only traps spays and neuters, but takes all sick cats to a vet for treatment before releasing them. She almost always is able to find homes for kittens when they are rescued early enough. Please donate to her efforts…it is costly to do all this.

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