Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Official Feline Express™ Driver!

Hello All, Mom Linda Here!

I am now an official Feline Express™ Driver. I passed my trial  “do it yourself” training ride with flying colors! At least that is what I was told. Given the enthusiasm from Savannah’s readers when I posted about my training as a Feline Express™ driver, I am certain you are going to enjoy coming along on my last training ride. Please follow along all year to learn more about Savannah’s new Paw It Forward Project.

The final certification ride means I had to do everything and Julie, the founder of Outcast Cat Help who began this lifesaving program with our local public shelter, was the ride along.

Feline Express™

But first I want to clarify how this Return to Field (RTF) program differs from the classic Trap, Neuter, Return program (TNR). Several of you asked “what’s different?” And the difference is LARGE. The difference is all about who trapped the cats. RTF is a public shelter dependent program.

Feral Ward

Feral Ward

TNR is not. Any rescue can launch its own TNR program whether the local public shelter assists them or not. No transfer partner (rescue) can do RTF UNLESS the cats they are returning were first trapped by the PUBLIC and brought to the shelter as a feral, stray surrender. RTF does not involve any of us who participate to do any trapping. We are the “freedom ride” back to their neighborhood for the community cats brought to the public shelter. We set them free rather than the shelter having to euthanize them.

Allow me to share the four cats who joined me on my certification Feline Express™ ride. Enjoy the joyful very short (2-5 seconds) videos

I had four cats to return—one male and three females. I have a 2000 Toyota 4 Runner of which I have been a kind and caring caretaker. I love my car, but for this ride, I draped the cargo section in black plastic garbage bags, and then placed old towels over the plastic should any kitty decide to leave me a urine sample!! Towels absorb, plastic protects from absorption into my cargo mat.

4 Runner

My first cat was the male. Orange tabby. BIG guy!! Once I released him, it was clear that not only did he know he was home, so did his neighbors. They never ever barked even once.

first ride 1

Clearly Mr. Marmie knew where he was and heard the dinner bell chiming. His neighbors also recognized him and never barked once.

first ride 2

And Mr. Marmie was clearly headed for his dinner chow!

first ride 3

The joy of being a Feline Express™ Driver is enough to make one both heady at the thought of a life saved and yet, also filled with concern as to what will happen after I drive away. I always leave with positive thoughts and feelings just to send the cats on their way.

My second release of my certification ride—Ms. Cow Cat dashed for cover, then stopped to look back at us. Let me tell you, that is one very special moment—I can hear her saying “thank for the ride guys! I am home now!”  And then she dashes up the front walk to look for her expected dinner. You may ask, “how do you know what happens once they are released?” And I answer you “I don’t.” But I have faith in my heart that these cats always seem to know they are home.

My third release that day was pretty fast, once she decided to end her nap in her feral den!

And my fourth release of the day, Ms Midnight, just did what black panther cats always do—she slipped off into midnight.

In our county, we serve a lot of different cultures of animal ownership. Feline Express™ drivers never know the neighborhoods in which we release cats. But thus far, almost two years later in program operation for OCH, we have had no extremely negative experiences.

I personally want to thank ALL who chose to donate to Outcast Cat Help (OCH)after my first post about my training to become a Feline Express™ driver. OCH continues to be challenged with the realities of being a small, all volunteer, RTF transfer partner with a very very large heart. Once again, I invite anyone who is so inclined to give them a boost by shopping on their Amazon wish list or—even better—give them the gift of freedom by donating funds to allow them to purchase all the needs  required to keep the Feline Express™ alive.

My thanks to all Savannah’s readers for supporting her current Paw It Forward Project.

Mom Linda

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31 thoughts on “Official Feline Express™ Driver!

  1. Pingback: People Are the Solution™ | Savannah's Paw Tracks

  2. Pingback: UPDATE: Feline Express™ Driver | Savannah's Paw Tracks

  3. Oh my mouses, Savvy’s mum. You’re doing SUPER GREAT things!!! Purrs, Seville.

  4. What a wonderful thing you are doing!

  5. Flynn on said:

    Congratulations on graduating to an official Feline Express Driver. That is great work you and OCH are doing.

  6. Marty the Manx on said:

    Congratulation!!!! Love the videos. Thank you so much for sharing and being so informative. We are so excited for you and will donate when we can!
    Marty and Mom

  7. That is such great work! well done on graduating! I had never heard of RTF before! We have a kind of TNR over here that various animal/cat charities do, but there is nothing official as far as I know! Must check that out!!

  8. Congratulations on the official feline driver express. We loved it so much, that we had to shed a tear. Paws up for your mom! Double Pawkiss 🙂 ❤

  9. pilch92 on said:

    Congratulations! You are doing great work.

  10. Yay for Mom L!! Wish we had something like that. I dunno what happens if someone not in TNR bring the cats in besides the obvious PTS. Thanks for explaining the difference. It’s amazing how you bring them right to their front door. TW had a bad experience once feeding a feral colony where she was threatened and abused. She never went back there altho others have.

    • Humans are not the nicest of species, just sayin’. Mom L frets a bit about someone being aggressive but her trainer, Ms Julie, modeled how to handle question as all of Mom L’s training rides had ‘situations’…na’mean!!??

  11. Oh, we knew you would graduate and we’re so proud of you participating in this wonderful program. I know TNR is different but when our ferals came back they knew they were home…and they are still here. Bravo Mom Linda!!!

    • awwww…Brian and Dad Terry, thank you. Mom L is proud to help. We, thankfully, do not have ferals where we rent, but at least Mom L can help these cats get back to the place where they have clearly been getting two squares a day!

  12. What a cool program, and it’s so exciting that you get to be part of it!

    • I thought they might have this running in your area?? Someone in Florida may be doing this under grant from Maddie’s and Best Friends. Here in my area, no grant, no funds, just one all volunteer rescue, OCH, doing it all. Wish I could raise more funds to help us buy Revolution and other treatments the shelter will not pay for.

  13. What a great program! And congratulations, Mom L, for being an official driver now. Whoohoo!

  14. S & S…conga ratz two yur mom…..herz oh fish ull now & we say high paws two her !!! theeze kittehz due knot like ta wait round due they !!!!! faster N lightnin they were 🙂 we troo lee hope thiz program iz a mega mega HUGE success ….all de best ♥♥♥

  15. Two French Bulldogs on said:

    Keep an eye on those nosey neighbors BOL
    Lily & Edward

  16. Mom Linda our mom may need your help someday, is that okay?

    Emma and Buster

  17. Great job!! We are so excited that you are helping out to save these kitties!

  18. Hi Linda, Mom has a question, which she doesn’t remember if you addressed. When the public brings these cats to the shelter, they are obviously asked where the cats came from. But do they know the cat is going to be released back to their neighborhood? We know how great you must feel to be helping these kitties have a better life with less chance for fighting and disease and no opportunity to contribute to the kitten/cat population. Way to go Mom Linda. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

    • Very good question Janet. Has been a concern of mine all along. The public bringing in the cats is now being asked to complete a short intake form which gath RTs information such as how long the cat has been around, what bothers them about the cat, and do they have concern about the cat being returned once S/N vaccinated etc. if they say they don’t want the cat back, then right now it falls to OCH to contact them to learn the reason. Hopefully the shelter will make that call as we don’t have staff to do it. If OCH can get funds, we will be offering to give the public one of two fife rent devices to deter the cats from their property. One is motion sensor water spray and the other is also motion sensor bit emits a high pitched sound. Hope that answers the question

  19. mistletoeandhitch on said:

    Congratulations! We are sure Savanah and Sage are super proud of you and your passengers extremely gratful.

  20. Well Done, it’s no small thing you are doing, and it’s something that will save so many more lives too… purrs

  21. Congratulations on graduating to an official kitty help driver. Those kitties definitely acted like they were home sweet home. Thank you for letting us be part of this important work.

    Love and licks,

  22. Concatulations and many thanks to your mom for helping our purring friends… and what a nice neighborhood Mr. Orange has… what a warm welcome from this two nordic pups :o)

  23. Congratulations to your Mom for getting certified to do the transport for the ferals back into their environments after their “procedures” ! Awesome work……I know you are proud of her Savvy and Sage!

    Hugs, Sammy

  24. How exciting! Congratulations on being official – great job!!

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