The Scratching Post is a weekly newsletter from pets columnist Kate Karp, bringing you all the latest news on pet adoptions, animal welfare and ways to get involved.

Photo courtesy of Kris Beardsley.

Retired FBI agent gathers intelligence for a new ‘cat coalition’

Next Saturday, Long Beach residents interested in making a solid effort to humanely reduce Long Beach’s stray cat population can join forces and resources at a grassroots workshop. 

The Stray and Feral Cat Resource Workshop aims to create a coalition of advocates and volunteers — from experienced TNR (trap-neuter/spay-return) trappers to people posting things like “Help! There’s a mother cat having kittens in our carport and I don’t know what to do!”

Retired FBI agent Kris Beardsley has been gathering intelligence for the purpose of helping people help cats ever since she moved to Long Beach four years ago. She and a neighbor came upon a bunch of cats near her house, and Beardsley, an animal lover, had no idea what was involved in the TNR of stray and feral cats. But instead of throwing up her hands, she asked for someone to show her how.

“I sent out an email to a bunch of different TNR trap-and-release rescues,” she said. “I was very grateful because Long Beach Spay and Neuter messaged me back and essentially trained me on how to trap the cats. That started my wanting to help the neighborhood and trap as many cats as possible and get them spayed and neutered.”

Beardsley plans to do that on a grand scale by inviting everyone in earshot to the workshop, which she planned with the help of neighbors, in particular shelter volunteer Clara González (“She’s a saint,” Beardsley said). 

At the workshop, experienced trappers will share their knowledge of, well, trapping cats and adopting out kittens and abandoned adult cats. They hope to also reach residents who — like Beardsley some years ago — want to help but don’t know how. 

Representatives from Long Beach Animal Care Services and Helen Sanders CatPAWS will talk about resources such as low-cost spay/neuter resources for trappers and the shelter’s spay/neuter vouchers and Community Cats program.

Some concerns may be voiced, such as resistance from property owners and the financial burden on trappers’ pockets even after the discount from shelter vouchers.

The workshop will take place on Saturday, Jan. 20, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Email Kris Beardsley at [email protected] or text her at 323-363-0814 to join the Stray and Feral Cat Resource Workshop. Once you confirm your attendance, you’ll receive the address of the workshop location.

And speaking of good deeds, the Long Beach Post and its sibling pubs have restructured as a nonprofit, meaning that we’re here to serve our community (you!). Find out here about becoming a subscribing member or making a tax-deductible gift to support the Long Beach Journalism Initiative. As an added bonus to our pet community, a portion of the funds from Scratching Post newsletter subscriptions will go to the venerable Friends of Long Beach Animals.

Pets to adopt or foster

Here are a few cats that Kris Beardsley has taken from the street and found fosters for. To adopt any of them, email [email protected].

Pongo. Photo courtesy of Kris Beardsley.

Pongo is a sweet 3-year-old boy who loves to watch cat TV. His favorite channel is Fish Swimming Around in the Aquarium. When he was trapped, he was in bad shape and was rehabbed with the intent of release. However, his foster mom noticed that when she gave him love talk or fed him, he’d thank her and purred like a motorboat, so he’s up to finding a permanent place to park his paws. He can get defensive with some male cats, but he likes his current foster and other nonaggressive cats. Pongo is FIV-positive, which means that he has an immune-system disorder. Cats with FIV can enjoy a regular lifespan but he’ll need immune-boosters and vet visits. His foster mom is also willing to provide support with any medical care that he may need throughout his life.

Twiggy (left) and Archie (right) are a bonded pair. Photo courtesy of Kris Beardsley.

Archie will be your new best friend. He loves to rub against your legs and give you love, and he’ll sit next to you while you read or watch TV. He loves to lie on his back and get silly with his laser pointer, a feather stick, or anything stringy. He’s very curious about water and loves sinks and showers.

Twiggy, Archie’s mom, is a playful female calico who loves playing catch with her mouse toys. She’s super-inquisitive and always exploring, but she mostly loves being on your lap while you’re keyboarding or watching TV. Twiggy and Archie are a bonded pair. Twiggy’s other kittens have been adopted, so let’s send these two home together. 

Pet events and announcements

Wish list for LBACS’ new year, and beyond

Long Beach Animal Care Services has organized an ongoing drive for great, big Kong Toys — the smaller ones can clog the drains in the dog kennels. You can buy them at pet-supply stores or ship them through Amazon or Chewy to Long Beach Animal Care Services, 7700 E. Spring St. If you have any spare change, check out LBACS’ Amazon and Chewy wish lists.

Shelter hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. LBACS is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

National Dress Your Pet Day at Feline Good Social Club

The Feline Good Social Club founders seem to have made a new year’s resolution to have as many silly, cat-related events that they could squeeze into a month. This one’s a doozy. In observance of National Dress Your Pet Day, where there’ll be snarling, unsheathed claws and puffy tails, the Club’s volunteers are putting outfits on their cats and invite you to interact. And you can donate here to help the Lounge recover from a recent break-in.

Sunday, Jan. 14, spaces open from 1 to 2 p.m., Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave. Tickets are $19.99 (for the special deal, use the code 2024dressyourpet, good for three tickets this day only) and can be purchased here.