Dr. Cats Knoke: The Feral Cat Herder~

Jim speaks CAT big time. Cats are naturally attracted to him. They must know how much he likes them. For some people, herding feral cats might be problematic, not Jim, and the old city of San Juan is loaded with feral cats.

Check out Jim herding San Juan’s feral cats! There was no food of any sort involved here. Just Jim, AKA, Dr. Cats Knoke~~

He meows at them and they come running, even the wild Fishing Cat at The San Diego Zoo does this.
Sweethearts aren’t they?

Jim’s pretty sweet too, at least the cats, and I think so.

Before you become profoundly depressed at the prospect of all these cats without homes, take heart. You know I couldn’t leave you (or Jim for that matter) hanging. I had to find out. What is the story about all of these homeless kitty-cats? They are being cared for by a marvelous group of volunteers who call themselves appropriately enough, “Save a Gato!” http://www.saveagato.org or email at SAVEAGATOPR@gmail.com
We visited them at their center in Old San Juan.

Check it out.


Save a Gato’s Mission Statement is, “Save a Gato is dedicated to giving the street cats of Old San Juan a chance at a better life. Using TNR (trap, neuter, return) methods, ‘Save a Gato’ manages a feral cat colony. Cats in the colony are trapped, neutered, and then returned to their territory where volunteers provide them with regular food, medical care and shelter. Young kittens who can be socialized, as well as friendly adults, can be adopted to good homes.”
So if you wanted to adopt a cat, think of “Save A Gato.” They will ship your kitty to you. They accept donations as well. All neutering is paid for by Save a Gato.

Besides this colony, there are other feral cat colonies in Old San Juan, about every block, some homeowner has cat food and water on their doorstep.
There are cat lovers in Old San Juan.
Our hotel has two feral cats in residence. Still there is no way around it, a street kitty is a very sad sight!
My thanks and gratitude go to “Save A Gato” and all the cat lovers in Old San Juan. Cheers to you from the beautiful, friendly, feral-cats of Old San Juan.

185 thoughts on “Dr. Cats Knoke: The Feral Cat Herder~

  1. Fantastic post!!!
    You know, I wonder if this is the same guy from when I went down there?
    I heard about and went to see these feral cats. I found them and fell in love. The second time I went I took a sack of crunchies.
    As I was about to feed the pussies, he emerged from the cliff and said “I’ll take those!”.
    I only hoped he wasn’t eating them.
    Oh, Cindy, I love Puerto Rico! I could live there!


    • What a synchronisity! You went twice just like Jim & I did. I didn’t see anyman there outside of Jim (my hubby), but I did go to the center and meet one of the woman volunteers. She was wonderful!


  2. What a beautiful tribute to the safe haven for cats in San Juan! Your special guy, Jim, certainly is a ‘cat whisperer!’ I enjoyed this immensely. I particularly liked the baby kitties, caramel tabbies and the calico cat reminded me of my “Phoebe” who resides with my guy friend, Bill.


    • Great to hear from you tina. I am no expert, believe me, but I think feral can just mean without a home and caretaker. These are street or feral cats, but the colony is being cared for, so they are half way I guess. Some of the cats are social and others not at all. The ones out of the group shots tended to be sicker, less cared for, more aloof, and were not in the colony that was receiving more intense care.


  3. The photos are great! Here in Mérida, Mexico the same problem with feral cats exists. It breaks my heart. Luckily, there are so many organizations assisting to help those cats, along with dogs. Public awareness is also growing. Great post!


    • I was in Merida in around 1972 as a kid. Will never forget it. Back then only the people who always lived there, were there, (Yucatecans). There were no tourists that December. I was the only one in my family who spoke Spanish. But I couldn’s master the directions, confused between derecho and izquierda. I would just wing it and choose one.
      We would get lost.
      1/2 the time.
      My daughter was there awhile ago, alone. After studying abroad in Mexico for a year.
      Merida is the entrance to remarkable places. You are so lucky to live there.
      I am so glad people are caring for strays.
      I want to hear more about your life in Merida.
      Thanks for visiting~


  4. I have heard of similar capture-neuter/spay-release programs for feral cats in our region. According to these groups, releasing the feral cats maintains their territories and prevents new cats from moving in. Neighborhood cats (aka feral) used to be the nonrm until post-WWII. I have a post drafted about our barns cats. I’ll explain how cats become domesticated (not ours of course).


  5. We have similar colonies by our Parliament buildings (and I am sure a couple of dozen other places too). None of them look unhappy and the nice weather is a plus.


  6. I love cats! If i wasn’t married, I’d probably be “that old cat lady”…LOL. Mine have such different personalities, but both seem to be so intuitive…. Jim really does seem to be a cat guru! 😀


    • Cats definitely do think on a different plane! I can see how the old cat lady thing happens. Once you start adopting strays, it might be hard to stop! I can’t go to animal shelters for the same reason!


  7. What beautiful eyes that tabby cat has! I find the eyes of cats so mesmerizing sometimes, they really do have some of the prettiest and most striking eyes in the animal world – and lions too! 🙂


    • There is no way I could have these many cats!!! I would be sneezing constantly! These are homeless cats we made friends with on a trip! Cheers to you and thanks for stopping by!


  8. I met some of these cats last year when I was there. I purchased a gorgeous coffee table book whose proceeds went to their care. Thought it an appropriate thank you gift to my neighbor who was catsitting my 3 former ferals


    • Oh I wish I had known about the book! I would have bought it. I emailed them and sent this post, telling them we would like to donate more than we did at the time of the visit, but never heard back. The book sounds ideal! Maybe a present for my hubby…….


  9. You really captured some very expressive cats : ) I wonder what those expressions meant, what were they trying to tell you? Excellent photos!


  10. The man is a magnet! So many pretty kitties. I never like seeing an animal sleep on something hard. Happy you shared the knowledge of these organizations. It’s good there are people leaving the world better than they found it.


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