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Feral Cat Colony Is Prospering
The colony of feral cats at Jacob Myers Park is doing well.

Riverbank residents Wendy Miller and Betty Trabucco, who negotiated with the Riverbank City Council for the animals' care some months ago, were spotted feeding them on Thursday.

There are a dozen or so cats living under the bridge at the east end of the park, healthy, apparently contented animals that stay in that area and do not approach park visitors, Miller said.

"They are a large family who do not let other cats in. We have named them all. They count on us to come each day. They will let us approach them. We bring brushes to tend their coats besides food. They each get a half-cup of dry pet food per day. But they are perceptive and keep clear of strangers. They have to be careful to survive. Some people have come after them with BB guns."

The women feed about 60 cats in Riverbank every day. There are at least four other colonies living in town besides that at Jacob Myers Park and the women also feed these animals. There is one group living at the community garden opposite California Elementary School and another near the corner of Third and Stanislaus streets in the downtown.

With the help of Alley Cat Guardians of Modesto, which Miller described as a non-profit, large-volume spay and neuter animal clinic, the women trap feral cats in a cage and have them spayed or neutered and given vaccinations at the clinic. They then return them to their original location with the assurance they are healthy, incapable of producing young and will receive daily meals plus a lot of care and attention.

Miller and Trabucco have removed three feral cats from Riverbank High School at the staff's request and have been asked to do the same at the former ammo plant on Claus Road. They emphasize they try to find new homes or locations for displaced cats and never put them down unless they are diseased and suffering.

Working in an area with a radius of about 15 miles, Miller estimated they have arranged treatment for more than 250 cats in the last two and half years.

The clinic trims the tip of each animal's ear so they are easily recognizable as having been treated.