I wrote a book about my life and how my animals
during times of stress.
The book is "Ellevie"(pron.
I wrote the book because I
felt I had no voice and I needed to
tell others about my life story.
I had an important message to tell but
no one had the time to hear.
For a while I really thought I was
invisible. But my dogs could
hear me. The cats heard
With my book I want to educate some
and perhaps inspire
Author: Marcelle Guy
Co-Author: G S Payne
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble
and other book stores.
Candy, the last of my feral cat project.
Candy died in 2012, at approximately 18 years old.
|Welcome to Petaluma
Feral Cat Site
Why I care
by Marcelle Guy
June 30, 2010
They say if
you don't succeed the first time - try and
try again . . .
Feral" is my try and try again
and again and again - project. When
this project began, I had no idea that
this would take me to the steps of
Petaluma City Hall. It became an
issue so important that the mayor of
Petaluma, Mayor Pamela Torliatt, most
members of city council, City Manager John
Brown, and Petaluma Police Department
(present) Chief Dan Fish, and Lieutenant
Mike Cook (the department has jurisdiction
over the animal shelter) met with me,
often at my home, to speak about - feral
began more than twenty years ago when I
came upon a colony of feral cats and I
began to care for them. Unfortunately,
the cats were shot one weekend for
population control. Approximately
thirty cats were shot that one
It was a
very traumatic experience. I began
looking for justice for these cats but I
could not find anyone who cared. Our
local media did not want to publish
it. Legal and animal agencies did
not want to investigate, and I, I
could not leave it alone. I
tried everything until I had nowhere to
turn any longer.
journal I wrote about the little tabby and
how she came to my door - critically
wounded - three days after being
shot. I wanted justice for her and
for the other cats. I promised to
her. (You can
read the little tabby story here.)
One day, my
niece from South Africa introduced me to
the Internet. In my mind, I could
see the dream come true. I
will tell the story of the little tabby
and people will care. They will
I went to junior college to learn about
this World Wide Web and how to use
it. I learned to design web
pages. This new power fascinated me
and I could see the potentials of the
In 1995 the
Little Tabby's story went on the Internet
for the first time and e-mails began to
pour in. Hundreds and finally
thousands of people from all over the
world were crying for the Little
Tabby. The world heard.
Petaluma remained silent.
In 2007 I
learned that Petaluma had banned all
homeless and feral cats from most areas of
the city and they trapped and killed cats
by the hundreds each year.
a friend introduced me to Petaluma
Community Access (PCA) the Petaluma
television station around that time.
I will forever be grateful to my friend,
Diane, PCA Director, John Bertucci
and the staff at PCA. Helder
Rodriguez taught me the basic of Final Cut
Pro video editing and my first video, "A
Little Tabby speaks for the feral cats of
the world," began showing on our local
television and went on to win the Western
States Region 2008 W.A.V.E Award.
2008 Petaluma City Council decided to
review our laws concerning homeless and
feral cats. Then, the media
became interested in the politics of feral
cats, if for no other reason than to
criticize city councils for wasting time
County and particularly in Petaluma, it is
extremely difficult to change what's been
instilled in people's mind for generation
after generation. Animals are still
commodities. At one of our
meetings, Mayor Torliatt revealed that her
grandmother had feral cats on her
property. I did not ask how
she controlled the population. If we
were to kill dogs like we kill cats . .
. They are such innocent
creatures. Spay/neuter can control
overpopulation and only human can provide
2009 Petaluma City Council signed in a new
feral/homeless cat ordinance.
Feeding outdoor cats in most area of the
city is still illegal. Cats are
still considered a nuisance. There
were some changes but not very
significant. Only one person on the
council voted against this inhumane
ordinance. Council member Mike
Harris, thank you so much. I know I
will remember at election time.
video, "Born Feral" won the Western States
Region 2009 W.A.V.E. Award and my
hope is for "Born Feral" to play all
over the country to help homeless and
feral cats all over. Then, I think
my promise to the Little Tabby will be
I must say
that I have done everything humanely
possible to help homeless and feral cats
and to bring their plight to the people of
Petaluma. I am very sorry to have
failed. My heart cries out for these
innocent animals that this society
very small group in Sonoma County became
involved at changing Petaluma's ordinance
and we were all very disappointed with
this city council. Many people all
around the country wrote letters to
Petaluma City Council asking for a humane
ordinance. That did not work
believe the City of Petaluma is a city out
of control with many issues detrimental to
its citizens. We need drastic
changes in our city government.
feral cat ordinance is only one of many
issues this city is stuck with because of
this council's bad decisions and long term
effect for these bad decisions hurts
Petaluma economy and reputation.
Something we were able to change in
Petaluma: Sonoma Marin Fair now have
a vererinarian on duty and they no longer
accept sick dogs in competition for the
World Ugliest Dog Contest. See the 2008
Ugliest dog contest
Petaluma animal shelter manager
Although Petaluma has been unsympathetic
to the suffering of homeless and feral
cats, the rest of the world responded to
the Little Tabby's story and because of it
thousands more cats have a better life
today. For that I am very thankful.
I want to thank everyone who became
involved and protested the inhumane
ordinance in Petaluma. I cannot
thank everyone by name for worry of
forgetting someone but a friend who has
been there since 2007 and never gave up,
Diane Reilly Torres, a very special thank
to you. Also, San Francisco Attorney and specialist in
animal laws, Christine
Garcia who spoke so eloquently to our city
council before they passed the
ordinance. Thank you Christine and I
apologize for Petaluma. And my
sincere thanks to Santa Rosa
Attorney, Julie Roseman who also attended
the council meeting and spoke passionately
about the injustice to Petaluma
Finally, to Director of Forgotten
Felines of Sonoma County, Jennifer
Kirchner, and the staff at Forgotten
Felines, my sincere thanks to you
all. Special thanks to Jennifer for
your courageous decision to try and help
Petaluma feral cats - to be turned down
one more time. Again, I
apologize for Petaluma.
Feral" is all about
Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County and the
wonderful work they do. It is now
available to the public: Born
web site will go blank one day when my
subscription becomes due. I will not
renew it, but you can always find me on
the Internet and if we have anything new
about the Petaluma feral cats, I will let
October 2011 Update:
Looking back at Petaluma and the changes
during the past few years, I think the
most significant change for animals was
when the animal shelter manager
resigned. This past year we have
seen many improvements at the shelter
under the new management. It is
refreshing to know that Forgotten Felines
is finally a welcome addition and working
with the animal shelter to improve the
lives of our feral population.
Also important to mention is that City of
Petaluma residents were unhappy with the
former City Council majority and we have
shown our disappointments by voting
accordingly. The majority of
the previous council is no longer, but how
significant is that for our animals is not
clear at this writing.
We have come a long way Petaluma:
Petaluma Animal Services is a non-profit
organization that is now in charge of our
animals in Petaluma. Executive
Director Jeff Chandler has turned the
management around to a point where we are
almost a no-kill shelter.
Did I say that I believe in
The mayor of Petaluma, Dave Glass, now
produces a monthly television show
promoting pet adoption.
Fair continues to have a veterinarian on
duty to screen the health of dogs that
participate in the "Ugliest Dog
Contest." In 2008, the winner of
the contest was Gus, a small dog dying
from cancer. He had lost one leg
to cancer and one eye to an
attack. The owner told an
interviewer that she was afraid the dog
would not live long enough to make it to
the contest. After we protested
they began having a veterinarian on duty
each year to examine the dogs and look
for health issues before being entered
into the contest.
underestimate the power of the
believe in miracles . . .
Candy was born feral and these
are different stages of her life.
On the left is Candy before being trapped.
She is the last of my feral cat project
that began in 1988.
She was a beautiful, gentle and very sweet
creature with such a unique character.
She was approximately 18
when she died in 2012.
She is dearly missed.