Arlington, VA

Weekend Morning Notes

About This Post — Due to lots of coronavirus-related news, we have a number of non-disease-related local links that we haven’t been able to get to over the past two weeks. We’re running a one-time Weekend Morning Notes post to clear our queue. This will replace the usual weekend discussion post.

Arlington Cherry Blossom Walk — “Cherry blossom season in the D.C. area is a wonderful time of year, and taking in the blossoms is a beloved tradition. WalkArlington has created a walk featuring a few of our favorite locations in Arlington where you can appreciate the blooms and enjoy all that springtime in Arlington has to offer.” [WalkArlington]

Median Signs Promote Census — “What is good for the goose apparently is not good for the gander – if, that is, the gander is the Arlington County government. Those driving the roadways of Arlington in recent weeks no doubt have seen a flurry of median signage calling attention to, and promoting participation in, the federal census.” [InsideNova]

Local Cat Makes Headlines –“An adorable cat with a jaw deformity can’t help but always stick her tongue out – and her owner has insisted she wouldn’t have her pet any other way. Pretty Kitty, five, from Arlington, Virginia, can only open her mouth a ‘small amount’, and has her tongue always sticking out thanks to the way her jaw formed.” [Daily Mail]

Instant Runoff Voting for Arlington? — “Voters in future Arlington County Board elections could find themselves using the ‘instant-runoff’ method rather than the current ‘winner-takes-it-all’ manner. Both houses of the General Assembly have approved and sent to Gov. Northam a measure allowing Arlington to conduct its County Board races using instant-runoff voting, also known as ‘ranked-choice’ voting.” [InsideNova]

Arlington-Based Textile Brand Profiled — “From a plant-filled studio in Arlington, Diana Johnson translates ideas in her head to paper by lettering, illustrating and painting. Using her background in graphic design, Johnson is able to transform her artwork digitally into handcrafted products like pillows, clutches, greeting cards and, most often, prints to add a little color to any space.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Green Valley Looks Forward — “Low-level sales of marijuana and other substances in the Green Valley community in the 1960s grew into a full-fledged, open-air ‘drug supermarket’ by the early 1980s, with the intersection of 24th Road South and Shirlington Road ground zero for the illegal operations. On March 7, leaders of the community looked back at those days, and committed themselves to ensuring a better future for their community.” [InsideNova]

Chamber Acquires ‘Awesome Women’ –“Awesome Women (AWE), the professional networking group founded in Arlington in 2014 that now has six chapters throughout the DC area, announced today that it will become a program of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce later this year. The Arlington Chamber will offer women-only networking events beginning in the fall, and will call the new program the Arlington Chamber Chapter of AWE.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Victim of Pentagon Stabbing Identified — “The man who was fatally stabbed Monday morning on the platform of the Pentagon Metro station has been identified as a 25-year-old from Northwest Washington, a spokesman for the transit agency said. Sean Ronaldo Golden, who lived near the District’s Brightwood Park neighborhood, died shortly after arriving at George Washington University Hospital, a report provided by Metro says.” [Washington Post]

New Pho Restaurant Opens on Columbia Pike — Pho Harmony, a carry-out Vietnamese noodle restaurant, has opened on the 3200 block of Columbia Pike. [Twitter]

And now here it is, your moment of zen…

https://twitter.com/wamu885/status/1241206140475768832

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Morning Notes

It’s Primary Day — Today is Super Tuesday, the presidential primary day in Virginia and 13 other states across the U.S. In Arlington, polls are open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Arlington public schools are closed to students today. [Arlington County, Twitter]

Beyer, Lopez Endorse Biden — Following his decisive victory in the South Carolina primary, former Vice President Joe Biden has picked up endorsements locally from Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Del. Alfonso Lopez (D). Lopez and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe were stuck in an elevator in Richmond for a half hour yesterday while heading to a Biden event. [Press Release, Twitter]

County OKs Five Scooter Companies — “The lone applicant seeking to provide electric-bicycle service in Arlington has been rejected by county officials, but five operators of electric-scooter devices did make the grade, County Manager Mark Schwartz told County Board members on Feb. 25. The five e-scooter firms – Bird, Jump, Lime, Razor and Skip – were among eight that had sought permission to operate in the county. The other three were rejected for various reasons, including having no speedometers on their devices.” [InsideNova]

Cristol Encourages Volunteering for Erik — “As you may have seen in the news, our colleague and friend, Erik, is facing a tough health challenge…  here’s what we can do for him: Go to a civic association or commission meeting. Volunteer. Embody Erik’s example & make this place better by showing up. And take a picture, and tag it #HereForErik so we can share.” [Twitter]

I-66 Tolling Deemed a Success — “About 700 more people each day total are commuting along the Interstate 66 corridor inside the Capital Beltway now compared to before tolls for solo drivers and an expanded rush-hour period began, and there are also fewer car trips each morning… Virginia state officials have said the goal of the tolls has been to move more people in the corridor, and see the higher count of commuters as a sign the system is working.” [WTOP]

Coworking Space Coming to Courthouse — “Flexible workspace provider Venture X is making its first foray into the Washington, D.C., market, after reaching a deal to take the top floor of the Navy League Building in Arlington, Virginia.” [CoStar]

Cupid the Cat Now Up for Adoption — “Two weeks after undergoing emergency surgery to remove an arrow from his head, Cupid is ready to find a new home. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s veterinary director cleared Cupid on Monday, March 2, for adoption.” [Patch]

ACFD Assists With McLean FireUpdated at 8:25 a.m. — Arlington County firefighters helped Fairfax County’s fire department battle a massive house fire in McLean last night. [Twitter]

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It’s time for another Cupid update! As you know, we had a goal to raise $6,500 for Cupid’s care. Now after two days, multiple interviews and Cupid’s story reaching across the country, we just found out our current fundraising total – but you’ll have watch the video below to see how much money we have raised so far because of Cupid! Cupid continues to do well today and is switching between naps, snacks, and snuggles. He now has his own Instagram account, @savingcupid, where we will post daily updates. From now on we’ll just post weekly updates here on Facebook. We are so, so, SO grateful to everyone out there who has supported and/or donated because of Cupid…we are completely overwhelmed by your generosity and could not be happier to be a part of this community. THANK YOU!

Posted by Animal Welfare League of Arlington on Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Update at 5 p.m. on 2/20/20 — AWLA now says more than $80,000 has been donated.

Earlier: People have fallen in love with Cupid, an injured kitten brought to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, and opened their wallets to help pay for his care.

The shelter near Shirlington received a call from a fellow animal rescue group in West Virginia on Friday — Valentine’s Day — that they had a seriously injured orange tabby that they were unable to care for. Cupid, as he was named, had been shot in the head with an arrow.

The Animal Welfare League brough Cupid to Arlington, paid for his expensive surgery, then asked the public for donations to help defray the costs.

AWLA set out to raise $6,500. In a Facebook post yesterday evening, above, the nonprofit’s CEO announced that it had received $65,000 from donors.

“This is fantastic… this is beyond my wildest expectations,” said AWLA CEO Samuel Wolbert, while making the dramatic reveal. “Thank you guys, Cupid is a fighter and as long as he’s fighting we’re going to do what it take to give him the care he needs.”

“Anything that we don’t use for Cupid, we’re going to be able to help so many other animals,” added AWLA spokeswoman Chelsea Jones. “We’re going to be able to say ‘yes’ when we get phone calls like this and to help when we need [to].”

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Morning Notes

For Families, $100K Doesn’t Cut it Here — “An analysis by personal finance site MagnifyMoney found that in some pricey cities it’s particularly hard to make it on $100,000. ‘The worst metro area for a family earning $100,000 includes Washington, D.C. and neighboring cities Arlington and Alexandria, Va. After factoring in monthly expenses, families would be $315 in the red.'” [MarketWatch]

AWLA Helps Kitty with Gruesome Injury — “Today we urgently need your support for a young orange tabby with a horrific injury. On Valentine’s Day, we received a call from one of our rescue partners in West Virginia who had just taken in a cat who had been shot in the head with an arrow.” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington, WJLA]

YHS Athletes Prepare for Collegiate Competition — “On Feb. 5, I watched the ceremony in the cafeteria of Yorktown High School, where 20 male and female seniors announced plans to play collegiate-level football, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, baseball, tennis and track. Only 1 in 50 high school athletes play at competitive colleges, said activities director Mike Krulfeld.” [Falls Church News-Press]

New Head of School for DJO — “After an extensive national search, and at the recommendation of the search committee, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, has named Mr. William Crittenberger the new Head of School at Bishop O’Connell High School, effective July 1, 2020.” [Press Release]

Nearby: Opening and Closing in Seven Corners — A new Food Star store has opened in Seven Corners, following the 2017 closure of the Food Star on Columbia Pike. Meanwhile, the Gold’s Gym in Seven Corners is reportedly closing on March 13. [Annandale Blog, Twitter, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Eric

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Morning Notes

VHC to Take More Trauma Patients — “Virginia Hospital Center is preparing to become a trauma center. The Arlington hospital, now amid a major campus expansion, is taking steps to secure Level 2 trauma designation — meaning it could handle more serious cases like head injuries and complex fractures with a devoted response team, led by an in-house general surgeon.” [Washington Business Journal]

APS May Be Rethinking School Swap — “As the potentially contentious redistricting of elementary-school boundaries begins to take shape, Arlington school leaders may be tiptoeing away just slightly from somewhat radical suggestions they offered just weeks ago.” [InsideNova]

AWLA Rescues Kitten Near Pentagon –“We received a call about a car parked near the Pentagon, with a note under the windshield stating that there was a kitten up inside the engine. Using a mix of patience and really yummy cat food, our officers were able to safely remove the kitten and bring her back to the shelter.” [Facebook]

Arlington-Made App Highlighted by Apple — “In honor of Veterans Day, Arlington, Virginia-based Sandboxx, creator of a platform that keeps military families connected, is being featured in Apple’s app store as its App of the Day.” [Technically DC]

Arlington Co. Makes Best-for-Vets List — Ballston-based contractor CACI is on a new list of the Best Companies for Veterans. [Tysons Reporter, Monster]

Sullivan Selected as Caucus Chair — “Virginia Democrats on Saturday chose Eileen Filler-Corn to become speaker of the House of Delegates, a pick that managed to be both historic and conventional for a party that flipped both chambers of the General Assembly in elections Tuesday… Del. Charniele L. Herring (Alexandria) will be the new majority leader, becoming the first woman and the first African American to serve in that post. Del. Richard C. ‘Rip’ Sullivan Jr… will be caucus chairman.” [Washington Post, Blue Virginia]

First Flakes Today? — Some light “conversational” snow may fall today as a cold front passes through. Meanwhile, NBC 4’s Doug Kammerer expects this winter to be colder and snowier than usual. [Capital Weather Gang, NBC 4]

New Korean Chicken Eatery Near Fairlington — “Korean chicken restaurant Choong Man Chicken is coming to… Shoppes at Summit Centre (4700 King Street).” [ALXnow]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

By Chelsea Pennington, Bark + Boarding Writer and Animal Enthusiast

Nothing says summer like enjoying a sweet frozen treat like ice cream or a snow cone.

While you might be inclined to let your dog have a lick, many desserts are artificially sweetened with Xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. So instead of sharing your summer dessert, try one of these easy pet-friendly treats to beat the heat.

Frozen Fresh Breath Treats 

  • 1 cup of plain or Greek yogurt
  • Small handful of fresh parsley leaves
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves

Blend all the ingredients until the herbs are evenly disbursed. If you’d like the consistency to be a little thinner, add a splash of water. Pour into an ice tray and freeze. The parsley and mint will help freshen your dog’s breath, while also providing other health benefits.

Parsley can reduce inflammation and aid digestion, while mint is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral to help prevent bacteria growing in your dog’s mouth.

Doggie S’mores

  • Dog biscuits
  • 1 cup of carob chips or 1 tablespoon of carob powder
  • 1 cup of plain or Greek yoghurt

Put carob chips in a bowl and melt over boiled water. Once melted, mix with the yogurt. For carob powder, mix it directly into the yogurt. Dip the top of the dog biscuit into the mixture, then place another biscuit on top to create a sandwich. Line a tray with as many s’mores as you want, then freeze.

Since chocolate is toxic for dogs, regular s’mores aren’t an option, but carob has a similar taste and texture to chocolate, and also contains healthy nutrients to help flush toxins from your dog’s body.

Bark + Boarding Ice Cream

  • Equal parts plain yogurt
  • Peanut butter, pumpkin puree or chicken stock

Blend ingredients together. Pour into ice trays, then freeze until solid. Here at Bark + Boarding, our doggie-friendly ice cream is always a hit! Using the pumpkin puree has the added benefit of aiding your dog’s digestive health. If you go with peanut butter, make sure you get a naturally sweetened brand without Xylitol.

Tennis Ball Surprise

Combine two of your dog’s favorite things: tennis balls and treats! Carefully cut a slit into a tennis ball, revealing the hollow center. Fill it with treats, then give it a toss. This is sure to liven up any game of fetch, and will also give your active dog something to keep busy as they snuff out the treats.

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The two Kriser’s stores in Arlington are being rebranded as “Loyal Companion,” with a grand opening planned to give away free pet food.

The rebranding is part of a change for all East Coast locations of Kriser’s. The new brand includes the natural pet food focus of Kriser’s with other parts of “holistic pet wellness.” From the brand’s website:

Loyal Companion is unlike any pet experience in the world. We’ve combined some of the best brands in the business including Kriser’s, Especially For Pets, Bark! Dogma – Life, With Your Pet, Pet Source, Pet Life and Whole Pet Central to form one new company dedicated to holistic pet wellness. Loyal Companion is a community of pet experts — nutritionists, behaviorists, educators and groomers — that has banded together to make life easy for pet owners by offering everything you need under one virtual and physical roof. Raw food. Healthy treats. Supplies. Grooming. Daycare. Training. Vet services. Advice.

(Though Baltimore-based Dogma is one of the stores now under the Loyal Companion umbrella, as mentioned above, Dogma Bakery in Arlington is unaffiliated with the brand.)

There are two Kriser’s locations in Arlington, one in Clarendon at 2509 Franklin Road and one at 2501 N. Harrison Street in the Lee Harrison Shopping Center.

Both locations are throwing grand opening celebrations for the new brand on Saturday (May 4) from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday (May 5) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The events will offer free gift bags for the first 100 customers in each day, with gift cards up to $100 as a doorbuster prize, according to the company.

The stores will also have raffle prizes, with potential to win free pet food for a year, gift cards and more.

Planned in-store activities include a blind taste test for pets and staff on hand to answer pet nutrition questions.

Photo via Google Maps

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The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

Exploring the outdoors is always better with a furry friend, but that doesn’t have to only include dogs.

For many cats, learning to walk on a leash and getting to spend time outside is a fun adventure, and a rewarding experience for the owner. Teaching your cat to walk on a leash may take some practice, but it can be fun for both you and your cat.

Find the Right Harness

It’s important to buy a harness to use for walking your cat. Cats are less likely to wriggle out of a harness than a collar while out and about. There are harnesses specifically designed for walking cats, but even within this category there are a variety of options.

You may need to try several before you find one that your cat likes. Make sure you find the right fit; you should be able to fit one or two fingers underneath the harness, but no more than that.

Introduce Your Cat to the Idea

Once you’ve purchased a harness, you need to give your cat time to warm up to it. Begin by letting them smell and play with the harness so it doesn’t seem so foreign. Help them make good associations with it by giving them treats as they investigate it and keep it near their food bowl when you feed them.

Unexpected noises may startle your cat, so also practice clicking and unclicking the harness. Once they seem comfortable with it, try putting it on. Continue giving them treats as they wear it so they have a positive association. When you first put it on, don’t buckle it. As they get used to wearing it loose, buckle it and resize it as necessary.

It will likely take several tries for them to adjust, but if after a few attempts they still seem to hate wearing it and any other harness you try, your cat may just not be made for leash walking.

Bring Out the Leash

Now that your cat is comfortable wearing a harness, it’s time to attach the leash. Even if you’re itching to get outside, patience is your friend when teaching your cat to walk on a leash. Attach the leash to the harness and stay inside as you let them explore.

At first, don’t try to lead them at all — just follow them as they walk around the house. As they adjust to this, you can start giving them gentle guidance. You should never be yanking on the leash or pulling them along.

Head Outside

If your cat doesn’t show any resistance or discomfort walking around inside with the harness and leash attached, you can bring them outdoors. Put on the harness and leash indoors, then carry them out the door to a safe, fenced-in area.

It’s important to always carry your cat outside rather than letting them walk out on their own. If they get used to the idea of walking outside on their own, they’re more likely to do it when they don’t have their leash on.

For your cat’s first outdoor experience, go to an enclosed area away from loud noises or other animals. This removes stress for both you and your cat, so you both have a positive first outdoor adventure. Be sure to keep treats on hand so your cat continues to have good associations with the walk.

You’ll need to be prepared in case your cat becomes extremely frightened. Carry a heavy towel with you so if they get startled or become panicked, you can wrap them up in the towel and bring them inside without being scratched or bitten. To help prevent this, keep your first several walks near an open door so that your cat will feel more secure knowing they have the option to return inside.

Slowly Increase Your Walks

As your cat gets more comfortable outside, gradually increase the time and distance you go outdoors. They won’t be able to handle long distances like a dog, but if they’re enjoying their adventure then you might be surprised at how long they’ll be willing to stay outside. Follow your cat’s lead and enjoy a more leisurely stroll as your cat explores new smells and chases bugs.

Teaching your cat to walk on a leash takes time, but with a little bit of patience (and lots of treats!) you could be having outdoor adventures with your cat before you know it.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website.

Click here to check out our short video about this article

Mention this article for a free evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in or email [email protected] any time.

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(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) It’s the eve of the big NCAA basketball tournament and the Ballston Business Improvement District is planning to mark the occasion with puppies.

The BID is hosting an event dubbed “Bark Madness” from 5-7 p.m. tonight (Wednesday), with pizza and drinks — and puppies looking for a home. The event is being held at the BID’s office at 4600 N. Fairfax Drive.

“The BID office will be filled with pups and dogs of all shapes and sizes ready to be drafted into a permanent home,” said a spokeswoman for the BID.

Proceeds from the event will go to Arlington’s Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, which teams up with other rescues to help home animals from kill shelters. Homeward Trails is also where many of our Pet of the Week stars come from.

Attendees are asked to make a $25 donation to Homeward Trails to attend.

As for the cat lovers, don’t despair: Homeward Trails Animal Rescue is hosting a cat adoption event at noon this coming Saturday, March 23 at the Ballston Unleashed by Petco (3902 Wilson Blvd).

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Morning Notes

Wind Chill Advisory in Effect — A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect this morning due to a combination of gusty winds and bitterly cold temperatures. [Weather.gov]

MLK Day of Service — As of Friday, more than 850 people were signed up to volunteer for Arlington County’s MLK Day of Service today.

Rosslyn Building Sold — “Rosslyn’s Oakwood Arlington extended-stay apartments has changed hands for $70 million. Mapletree Investments, a Singapore real estate investment firm, has acquired the 184-unit property at 1550 Clarendon Blvd. from AvalonBay Communities Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]

Local Nonprofit Gets TV Donation — “Patricia Funegra founded La Cocina VA in Arlington as a way to create change through feeding, educating and empowering the community… FOX 5 and Easterns Automotive Group teamed up to help Funegra… with a $1,000 donation and all her students received new cast-ironed pots, recipe books and $50 gift cards.” [Fox 5]

Local Nonprofit Helping Puerto Rico — Wheels to Africa, which was founded by a 10-year-old Arlington boy in 2005 to send used bikes to Africa, is now sending used bikes to Puerto Rico to help residents still recovering from Hurricane Maria. The nonprofit’s founder has since gone to graduate from college and is now working in Arlington. [Washington Post]

County: Get a Flu Shot — “Flu season is officially underway. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that flu activity is ‘elevated’ as flu viruses circulate nationwide. Arlington healthcare officials are urging residents to take precautions and get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of flu.” [Arlington County]

Nearby: Kitten Lounge Coming to Georgetown — “What’s being called the first-in-America kitten-only place to rest, relax and interact with kittens between the ages of three-to-six months will open in early March, at 3109 M(eow) Street NW.” [WTOP]

Reduced Publishing Schedule Today — Due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day federal holiday, ARLnow will be publishing on a limited schedule today. We’ll return with a full slate of local coverage tomorrow.

Photo courtesy Tom Mockler

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Feral Cats Abound in Arlington

The following feature article was written by Buzz McClain, a writer and communications professional who lives in Arlington. It was funded by our new Patreon community. Want to see more articles like this, exploring important local topics that don’t make our usual news coverage? Join and help fund additional local journalism in Arlington. 

A feral cat is a cat that lives in the wild without human intervention, and Arlington has plenty of them.

Along with coyotes, foxes, rabbits — so many rabbitsturtles, snakes, and other fauna that share the county with humans, feral cats have established “colonies” throughout Arlington, some of which date back for generations.

At any given time there are some 200 to 250 feral cats in Arlington, with colonies ranging in size from two to three cats to more than a dozen. There seems to be a concentration of colonies around Columbia Pike and Carlin Springs Road and in the Nauck neighborhood, according to Anna Barrett, an animal services coordinator with the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, the private nonprofit organization that provides shelter and animal control services in the county.

Feral cats are easy to spot, she said. For one, they are unapproachable, so if they see you first, chances are they’ll run and hide. You can’t lure them to your hand or into a trap, not even with food. “They’re more like wildlife than a domestic cat,” she said.

They also may have a section of an ear removed. A clipped ear, Barrett said, is an indication that the cat has been trapped, neutered, inoculated for rabies and distemper, “ear-tipped” to indicate treatment, and returned to where it was found as part of the AWLA program of the same name: Trap-Neuter-Return. (See here for the feral cat program page of the AWLA website.)

AWLA personnel do not do the trapping, and they don’t accept feral cats as strays for adoption — they are not safe for the staff to handle. Feral cats cannot be domesticated, and handling them may lead to injury, to humans as well as cats.

But feral cat colony “caretakers,” and the occasional determined resident, manage to bring them in. That’s when the AWLA staff does the T-N-R and ear clip service. The feral cat colony caretaker who brought in the cat is responsible for returning them to where they were found, which is why it’s best for those unfamiliar with feral cat behavior to not even try.

In her eight years at the shelter, Barrett has seen a reduction in the feral cat population. “We feel the 200 to 250 number is greatly reduced from year’s past, in large part to the T-N-R program,” she said.

The T-N-R program, she added, “is not a perfect solution, but it goes with our humane approach to animals.”

The neutering would cost $300 to $400 per cat for a pet cat or kitten. The League pays for cats trapped in Arlington or in the City of Falls Church.

The cats, said Sandra M., choose her and not the other way around. And it’s been that way for going on eight years.

After her own cat died in 2010, an “outdoor” Siamese cat tentatively approached her at her home in South Arlington and Sandra M., a cat lover, fed it. (She would rather we did not use her full name or specify which neighborhood she lives in, for reasons that will become obvious.)

The cat was healthy but clearly did not have a home, nor did it seem to crave human companionship other than the occasional meal. Eight years later, the cat still comes for regular feeding but little else, along with some eight other cats.

They do not go into her house. Instead, they live nearby in the wild in what is known as a feral cat colony, one of many in Arlington, some of which date back for decades.

Sandra M. is a feral cat colony caretaker, an unofficial title given to a select few by the AWLA. But not everyone is enamored with having feral cats in their neighborhoods. Sandra M. reports several of her charges have been mistreated after being captured. Kittens and older cats have been poisoned.

“That’s something I just don’t understand,” she said. “I don’t understand why a human would do that.”

For Sandra M., the cat colony is a blessing. “They rescued me,” she said. “They’re like little children to me.”

If you see a cat you think is feral, Anna Barrett suggests contacting the AWLA office to report it. A feral cat colony caretaker may be able to have the cat serviced in the Trap-Neuter-Release program. Questions may be directed at [email protected] or by calling 703-931-9241, ext. 200.

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