Barn Cats Get Second Chance At Life

Two recently relocated felines,

by Beverly Amsler

Many cat people like to have their favorite feline lie on their lap as they watch television at night or sleep next to them in bed.  Feral cats don’t do that and many have been euthanized because no one wants to adopt an “unfriendly” animal.  But a Roanoke Valley rescue group is coming to the aid of these feral felines.

Barn Cat Buddies is “a program dedicated to helping those cats that have no real option for an inside home but that are suited to go to non-traditional homes such as barns, marinas, warehouses or garden centers.  “Anywhere that an animal could earn his or her keep as a rodent control technician,” says director Diane Novak.

Barn Cat Buddies started about 5 years ago.  Novak took over the program, then named “Barn Cat Babies,” from Tammy Javier.  According to Novak, there were no options for the cats caught behind restaurants, etc. In Franklin County they were routinely euthanized.

Novak moved here from New York where she was involved in animal rescue work.  There she would place friendly cats mostly in homes but occasionally on farms.  Her comment on moving here was, “I’ve never seen so many feral cats in one area.  It’s rural; they had no chance at life.  I loved the idea of them getting out of the pound.  It just seemed like a win-win situation.”

She combined her background in marketing, advertising and social work to take over the program and change the name. She works with the Franklin County pound, the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection in Roanoke, the Roanoke Valley SPCA and Angels of Assisi (“Because Angels often gets cats through hording situations that are unfriendly and don’t make it in a regular home”).

“This year alone, (from January through October) we’ve placed about 145 cats, both friendly and not so friendly, and we’ve done about 180 spays and neuters.”

Reba Dillon has 17 Barn Cat Buddies.  She owns a farm on Burnt Chimney Road in Wirtz with alpacas, goats, and cattle.  “We have a lot of feed. . . But I don’t have any mice at all in my greenhouse or in my barns.”  She’s terrified of rats but says they don’t go near the feed with the cats around.  “You never see the cats.  I mean, we know they’re there because occasionally you’ll see one sitting under a bush or you’ll see one, maybe walking through the field.  So we know they’re there and they do their job, but they never come near the house because they’re feral.” She also manages a marina on Smith Mountain Lake and there’s one Barn Cat Buddy there.

About three years ago, Dillon started taking feral cats that would otherwise have been euthanized.  “I only take the ones that are really ready to be put to sleep. Diane called me one day and she said, ‘We have this beautiful black cat and its time’s up and nobody wants it because it’s black.’  So I said, ‘Bring it to me,’ and that is the most wonderful cat in the whole world.”  She calls it Lucky.

It doesn’t bother her that they don’t cuddle.  She says her husband isn’t really fond of cats in or near the house, so that’s why she takes the feral cats.

“I’ve got plenty of room and they do a great service for me.  Because if I didn’t have those cats, having that much feed and grain, we would have tons of rats.”

Barn Cat Buddies will hold a fundraiser, Saturday, December 3rd from 1-4pm at AMC Hilltop Bowling Alley on Williamson Road in Roanoke.  A $20 donation gets the person three games of bowling and rental bowling shoes. “We’re also going to be having a silent auction, door prizes and raffle prizes.”

Novak hopes to raise several thousand dollars to keep the program going until spring when the cat population will rise once again.

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  1. Dear MORON Cat-Lady,

    It is because of IGNORANT IDIOTS LIKE *YOU* who insist on dumping your disease-infested INVASIVE-SPECIES cats on neighboring farmers, that I had to SHOOT HUNDREDS OF THEM ON MY LAND THAT LEFT THOSE FARMS THAT YOU DECEPTIVELY DUMP YOUR PIECE-OF-SHIT CATS ON.


    I suggest you educate your idiot self on the roaming range of YOUR stray and feral INVASIVE-SPECIES cats.

  2. Poor poor mentally deficient Chelsea. You already lost your own challenge. Because if the subject is about your invasive-species cats then you’re going to have to discuss the threat of harm to all the native animals that your invasive-species pets cruelly torture to death for their play-toys, and all the animals that are killed (“murdered”, to use a term that cat-c*nt-lickers like to use) to feed your cats, and all the animals and humans that are harmed by the dozen or so deadly and lifelong diseases that your cats are spreading everywhere they step foot.

    Why do you insist on displaying your ignorance and stupidity to the world, time and time and time and time again? Oh, wait, that’s right. Look up the definition of the word “moron”. Someone who is too stupid to even know they are that stupid. If ONLY there was a legal cure for “stupid”.

  3. To : Woodsman looking forward to your response. You have spent

    time finding reasons why Barn Cat Buddies is bad news. My

    question : How does BCB or what they do directly affect YOU ? Here

    is my opinion YOU SHOULD BACK OFF !!! YOU ARE A BULLY !!!

    a MAN on a mission against CATS you should pick on someone your

    own size. Let God be the judge of right and wrong . LONG LIVE BARN



  4. John, if you ever type anything relevant, true, or valid concerning the topic at hand; I’ll be the first to see if there’s any way to correct your desperate attention-seeking imbecility. Otherwise everything you type is completely irrelevant (as I suspect is your whole life). Until then, perhaps your “wife” should have some concerns over you using the internet to project your childhood traumas onto others, and psychotically net-stalking other men to desperately get their attention, while also using other women to do so. There is something inherently incongruent between your behavior and what you claim and what you want all others to believe through your words. “Words may give weight, but actions give luster. And many more people see than weigh.”

  5. Crystal, tsk tsk. In your insatiable need to back-peddle and retain that immense bliss of self-inflicted ignorance upon which you base all your life, you need to correct yourself again. Cats can and DO directly pass their T. gondii parasite to humans through their oocysts. Any contact with contaminated soils or cat-feces will pass these directly to humans. And not even washing your hands and garden vegetables in bleach will destroy them. Not even temperatures as low as -11 F. (-12 C.) over winter will destroy them outdoors. Do you or your neighbors have a sandbox for your children to play in ? Check it for cat-feces as well. If you had bothered to read any of the links I had provided you’d know all of this. Your reluctance in reading the provided material means you flunked the test when you decided to educate others on your level of stupidity. If you’re going to remain blissfully ignorant, the very least you could do is refrain from making others just as ignorant as yourself in your wake of attempting to remain a fool. How unthoughtful of you.

  6. And actually I need to correct myself:

    “What Woodsman is not telling you, is that cats don’t directly pass the parasite onto humans, rather, when a cat catches a mouse and gets infected, the feces left by the cat often get mixed in with livestock feed. At that point in time, it is ingested by livestock, which eventually makes its way to our table.”

    After thoroughly reading Woodsman’s posts, he did in fact give correct information. My apology for making an assumption.

    We all know, without a doubt, that Woodsman doesn’t like cats, and he has a viable reason to not like them. Calling names will not change his mind, so why don’t we drop it, and move on.

    Now let’s all be big kids, don’t make any more negative posts, and be grateful to this organization for getting these cats spayed/neutered and healthy. It is much better than leaving the cats to breed and over populate.

  7. Crystal, now address the invasive-species portion of our program. If even ONE native animal is killed by even ONE invasive-species cat, the cat species needs to be destroyed whenever it is found away from supervised confinement.

    May you too enjoy your bliss of self-inflicted ignorance. It is, after all, the only thing you have left in life. Hang onto it tightly. As you must. It’s all you’ve got.

  8. You know Woodsman is getting his rocks off every time someone responds to him. He is probably sitting in his recliner with cats climbing all over him, reveling in the attention he’s getting. Or, he is a sadistic idiot. Either way, he’s getting way too much attention here with his inane drivel. I agree, stop feeding the troll.

  9. Chelsea, nice to see you tighten those blinders even tighter. How’s that bliss of self-inflicted ignorance working out for you? Enjoyable, yes? Not much more than this to be expected from your IQ level. As they say, there’s just no legal cure for “stupid”.

  10. Don’t feed the troll.

    After researching Toxoplasma gondii, Woodsman is correct. Cats are unfortunately the only place where the parasite can breed. However, this does not justify eliminating cats as a species. What Woodsman is not telling you, is that cats don’t directly pass the parasite onto humans, rather, when a cat catches a mouse and gets infected, the feces left by the cat often get mixed in with livestock feed. At that point in time, it is ingested by livestock, which eventually makes its way to our table. According to my research, approximately 30% of the World population has the parasite. Why is it not a big deal? Because it is relatively harmless. Yes, it can cause miscarriage, birth defects, etc., however, so does canned fruit, vegetables, soda, prescription drugs, gasoline fumes, cleaning agents, the list goes on and on.

    TLDR; there are multiple environmental hazards to pregnant women. Take precautions and you will be fine.

    Also, cats are awesome!

  11. Oh, I see your logic. Any man who stands up for a woman being verbally attacked by an internet stalker must be gay. Any woman who can produce facts must be flawed. Gotcha.
    While the average person understands that when a man calls another man out on his behavior against women, it has nothing to do with their sexual orientation, YOU apparently take it as a sexual advance. Interesting. Let me guess… you are a tiny little weakling who was bullied brutally throughout school by more dominant males and by your father (who owned a cat?). Therefore, you hate men, are afraid of them, and seek to insult them by doing what many preteens do: calling them gay. And let me guess… you have been rejected and laughed at by women your entire life (including your mother, who liked kittens), so you seek out forums that tend to be dominanted by females, and go there to try to be top gorilla, hurling insults at them, insulting their intelligence, and otherwise flinging your feces around.
    I think that’s just sad. Sorry if you thought I was coming onto you, but um… not into toddlers. Way too into my wife.

    At this point, do you really think anyone here is taking anything you say seriously? We are all just having fun watching you tantrum. I mean, you can’t help but be amused! Poor Woody, and his war against the world. All those kitten-lovers getting in the way! Waaah….Waaah… Oooo! Look everyone! He’s posting again!

    Woody: “You terminally ignorant and perpetually ineducable moron! You gay person! You freakishly stupid MORON!! You have the kitty cat disease!! You moronic gay person!”

    Everyone else: BWAH hahahahahahaha!!!!

  12. 1) your sites are laughable, again something you probably created yourself
    2) where are all your supporters? Your comments have all of these high ratings and thumbs up yet nobody is stepping in to defend you. Hmmmm?
    3) you have resorted to poking fun at someone’s sexual orientation which means one thing:
    Congratulations Barn Cat Buddy supporters!! He is done–he has officially run out of (invalid) arguments so he’s hitting below the belt. So sad

  13. Chuck (& your closet-lover John), when you can refute all the facts that I have provided, please feel free do to so. Until then, your insatiable need to get attention from another man is falling on the wrong sexual-orientation.

  14. You really do have your work cut out for you, especially given that you make it so much harder on yourself. The gist of your argument is as follows: childish slur , ridiculous unscientific blah, blah, blah, followed by more childish slurs, throw in a link that no one will click because the previously mentioned childish slurs have immediately eliminated you as a reasonable member of the human race, rinse & repeat. That sounds about right. We’re not the first collection of Woody-proclaimed morons to point out the utter hopelessness of your insanity and I’m sure we won’t be the last. Your current tactic of keying on Chelsea only provides further evidence of your weakness. You see, she’s citing legitimate sources. You are not. All anyone really has to do is point out just a few of the problems with your argument, as has been done here & on a multitude of other sites. Once that is done, the fun is in watching you spiral into little girl fits. Nothing that you say is factual. Yours are the rantings of sad excuse for a man. You must realize this yourself and/or you have far too much free time on your hands to continuously bolster yourself by rating yourself so highly with your various logins. At this point, your ridiculousness is yawn inducing, as you are no where near as clever as you believe yourself to be. You have been helpful, though. A good many people have been appalled by your ramblings & have reached out to support the cause. Thank you for the PR help. You see, when sane individuals read your nonsense, they feel compelled to support the organizations that protect animals from people like you. Isn’t that great? My wife & I will be adding another cat to our barn in support & we have the name picked out already. “Woody”.

  15. To address yet another of Chelsea’s amazingly inane and insipid comments about T. gondii having anything to do with the mythical “vacuum effect”. (i.e. Holy crap, I cannot believe anyone is as stupid as this Chelsea.)

    TNR-Advocates “Vacuum Effect” is an absolute 100% LIE, or The Deadly Cat-Attractor Equation

    There’s an interesting study done by the Texas A&M University on TNR practices. They started out with about 12 sterilized cats. At the end of 9 months they had over 30. An increase of more than 200%, all moved in of their own volition. This isn’t due to any mythical “vacuum effect” that cat-advocates spread and lie about so often. For that to have happened you would have had to remove cats to create a vacuum for others to replace them. The exact opposite happened in this study.

    Simple reason being: CATS ATTRACT CATS

    Cat scents attract cats. This is why they spray everything, to attract mates and rivals and mark territory. Cat sounds attract cats. Mewing kittens will even attract stray toms who will kill the kittens if they are not their own (basic feline behavior of any cat species).

    If you want more cats, keep some around. More will find you. Get rid of them all and there’s no reason for other cats to come to that area. I proved this myself by getting rid of every last cat on my own land. ZERO cats moved in to replace them.

    Another interesting finding, sterilized cats do not defend their territory. Any new cats see this as easy-pickings and move in to take over. If that cat-colony is being fed then non-sterilized cats will actually overtake the sterilized colony’s food-source because the non-sterilized cats are not as docile and complacent.

    The DEADLY Cat-Attractor Equation

    Another fun kicker. Cats’ Toxoplasma gondii parasite they spread through their feces is meant to infect rodents. This cat-parasite alters the mind of any animal it infests (even humans). Any rodents infected lose their fear of cats and are attracted to cat urine. Not only do cats attract more cats, but they also attract more rodents to the area with their slew of flea-borne and other rodent diseases. If cats eat rodents then they contract those rodent diseases to spread those diseases to humans. The attractor-equation is not just CATS = CATS + CATS, it’s actually CATS = CATS + CATS + RODENTS + DISEASES.

    TNR IS 100% FAILURE — no matter which way you try to spin that sorry hole-filled story.

    ANY cat — stray, feral, sterilized, or fertile — is just a magnetic “seed cat”. No matter how they are there or in what state of reproductive-viability that they are in, you’ll attract and grow more of them. Even worse — then you attract cat-advocates that want to turn your life into a living hell too. They’re all part of the same life-destroying equation.

    The FULL cat-attractor equation is actually: CATS = CATS + CATS + RODENTS + DISEASES + LIFE-DESTROYING CAT-ADVOCATES.

    This is why you MUST destroy all cats on your land. So cat-advocates will never be able to control or rule your life ever again. It’s THAT simple.

    I did it on my land. Now it’s YOUR turn.

  16. good effing grief. I like a challenge as much as the next, but trying to educate the ineducable is why the more wise instructors go on to pursue more productive activities.

    Since you won’t bother to go educate yourself (I presume because for someone like you this is impossible) let’s see if I can explain this in a way that can be comprehended by someone with an intellect as diminutive as a “Chelsea-IQ”:

    There are TWO phases to T. gondii’s life-cycle. The sexually reproductive phase that occurs ONLY IN THE CAT SPECIES, and the asexual phase that occurs in all other animals that cats infect with this cat-parasite.

    When the cat is infected this parasite sexually reproduces to create oocysts which are dropped into the environment through cats’ feces. Think of oocysts as this parasites’ “seed” phase. Any animal infected with the asexual phase of this parasite cannot create this parasite’s “seeds” (oocysts).

    ALL OTHER ANIMALS contract it from consuming these “seeds” that cats leave everywhere they crap. They can ALSO contract it from consuming another animal that has been infected with the asexual phase from these parasites’ “seeds”.

    Pray tell everyone now, how does an herbivore animal … oh sorry, that word it too big for someone like you … how does a PLANT EATER contract this parasite from another animal by eating another asexually-infected ANIMAL? It doesn’t. They don’t eat animals. The ONLY way that any herbivore; ooops, sorry, I mean PLANT EATER; like mice, birds, etc., can contract this parasite are from the parasites’ “seeds” that cats have crapped everywhere.

    The cat, being a carnivore, then goes around lapping up all animals it can find, thereby RE-INFECTING themselves with the very parasites that came out of their very own asses. To complete this parasite’s two-phase life-cycle. This is why this parasite hijacks the minds of rodents (and humans) to increase the frequency of their reproduction cycle — by making rodents attracted to cat-urine and losing all fear of cats.

    The way it gets to your dinner plates in the meats that you eat are from cats that crap their “seeds” around stockyards and farms. You know, the very place that you criminally-irresponsible fools want to put all these disease-bag cats. The PLANT EATER livestock; like goats, sheep, cattle, etc.; pick up these “seeds” from the soils that all their plants and grains grow in. They do not get it from eating other animals that have been infected with the asexual phase of this parasite. They don’t eat animals. This is the very same way that humans can get it from their gardens by eating any vegetables that have touched soil containing these cat-parasite “seeds”.

    If an animal eats both animals and plants (omnivores, for those of you with an IQ higher than Chelsea’s), then it can contract this parasite from other animals too. Just like from the infected meats that humans eat.


    How much do you want to bet that none of these morons can still comprehend this disease-vector mechanism. The T. gondii parasites in their minds won’t allow them to.

  17. Oh dear. Seems I’ve gone and done it again. I assumed an imbecile could use common sense to understand the point I was making. But I forgot, you lack common sense. So I’ll go slow. Ready??
    If kitty doesn’t eat the infected rodent then kitty doesn’t ingest the parasite it later passes. So therefore, no infected mice/birds=no infected kitties. Yes? So until you eliminate the SOURCE of the parasite, again your argument=no good. And your argument of using cats as rodent control attracting MORE rodents sounds vaguely familiar to the vacuum effect no?

  18. Chelsea, you terminally ignorant and perpetually ineducable moron, the information I posted does not “argue” with the information from the CDC, it merely clarifies what you are far too stupid to comprehend from the meager information that you retrieved from the CDC. Their information is written so as to be understood by the most stupid people in the world. It doesn’t go into detail in the life-cycle of T. gondii which clearly shows that cats are T. gondii’s one and only primary host animal. So ignoramus cat-lover morons like you read into their information, walking away an even bigger dunce than you were before.

    “Words are a mirror. If a moron peers into them you can’t expect a genius to peer back out.”

    And as for John and Chuck, perhaps if you spent more time trying to get attention from women instead of men online, you wouldn’t have turned into psychotic closeted net-stalkers. Your kind are all over the net, wall to wall. Why do you think I haven’t bothered to give you the attention you so desperately crave from men? You’re not my type. Perhaps you should go reflect on why you try so hard to get attention from other men by using any excuse possible. You two need to go and get a room.

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