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Helping a teacher care for cats

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Kiara Anderson, Stony Brook

We met with Ms. Christine Carrion, who is a teacher at Unity Drive Elementary School in Centereach. She is currently rescuing, trapping and caring for cats that she found behind her Mathnasium Center in Sayville.

She has been receiving support from North Fork Country Kids: Rescue and Preservation Through Pedagogy. Our class plans on helping her Cool Cats Colony by making shelters for them since winter is now here.     

When Ms. Carrion was asked what you should do if you find a cat, she said, “Put up signs and post it on the internet before you keep the cat or give it away.”

She has organized a schoolwide, monthly fundraiser for their Cool Cats Colony. They are collecting dry food, wet food, large totes, Styrofoam coolers and straw. Ms. Carrion said the most important thing you can do for your pet is to care for them properly with food, water and shelter but you must make sure to get them spayed or neutered as well. This is important so they don’t continue to have babies. 

The cats that Ms. Carrion finds, she takes to the veterinarian for them to get shots and to be fixed. She is taking care of seven to 10 kittens, and she said that one is blind in one eye. This is so sad, but our class said they would build shelters for the cats because of the harsh winter that is here, so now the cats won’t freeze. We loved to meet her and are happy we can help her cats by building a few shelters.

If you would like to build a shelter for a feral cat, it is pretty easy to do. All you need is a plastic tote, a Styrofoam cooler and some straw. Put the cooler in the tote and stuff it with straw and tape the lid down. Place the tote on a board to raise it slightly off the ground. Cut a circle hole on one side of the tote and cooler and you have a warm, insulated shelter for a cat in need during the winter!

April Mindlin’s fifth-grade class, Jericho Elementary School, Centereach

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