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the forgotten ones

Version 2 - A closer look :). See previous shot for full photo and color version. I also turned the image around for a better face view.

 

On a very frigid night in February 2007, I headed to the beach to catch a full moon rise over the ocean. (The finished product: Path of the Moon Goddess I set up my tripod on the beach and waited. It was very quiet, except for the rolling of the waves in front of me. I imagined it was too cold for most, because I didn't see anyone else around. In that quiet, as I stared at the ocean and sky waiting for my moon to rise, I heard a small "mew". Startled, I turned around to see a little cat standing behind me in the sand. "Mew" he cried again. I wasn't alone here after all. I asked him what he was doing there (like I expected an answer) when a second cat walked up behind him. The second cat was slighly bigger, but of the same coloring. They sat and watched as I clicked away and probably wondered what strange thing I was doing there. I finished the shots, and they followed me back on the boardwalk, where they stayed while I packed my gear back into the car. I had gone shopping before I came there and remembered I had some sliced turkey. I brought some back to the waiting cats. When I walked towards them again, they jumped down from the boardwalk and sat just underneath, on the sand. There were plates strewn about in the area, and I realized people were feeding them here. That's why they were so friendly to me. Not friendly enough to touch them, but they knew kind people came and brought food to them.

 

After that night, I saw them a few times when I was in the area. Once summer started, I still saw the plates there, but they probably didn't come out until the boardwalk closed and the crowds left. I never saw them during the summer or autumn.

 

This month I went down to the beach with my camera again. It was just before sunset and after taking some shots on the beach, I looked for the cats again. This is one of three cats I saw that night. She/he is looking up at me from their spot under the boardwalk. It makes me think of my own cats and how warm (and spoiled!) they were at home. I know the cats I saw at the beach are only a few of millions of feral and stray cats that live on the streets. This situation is in the news in the state where I live concerning the cat colonies that are very well known in Cape May

 

For more general information concerning feral cats , you can check out Feral Cat Coalition

   

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Taken on February 9, 2008