Honor Earth Day By Cleaning Up A Neighborhood Hosting a Northside Cat Colony

My dear cat folx, the time is here – Earth Day is almost upon us and the clean-up events are rolling out across social media.

I didn’t want to be left out in the shade, so I proposed to Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities (PLC) that we organize a little event to clean up the Fort Faulsey colony and the nearby properties to be good neighbors to the kind people who have helped our community cats thrive this past year.

We’ll also be continuing the month long birthday pet food drive for the Dr. John P Ruffing Memorial Pet Food Projects.

We will gather at the colony in the 1400 block of Page St around 8 AM and start working. You can join in at any time.

Tasks include

  • Cleaning out the shelters and preparing them either to be stored or “summerized”
  • Cleaning the feeding stations thoroughly with a bucket and a rag (no water service at the colony) and some kennel sanitizer
  • Tearing down the actual “fort” of straw that we used as a windbreak during the winter months and spreading it across the colony and nearby properties as mulch. (Kill the knotweed!)
  • Picking up debris and litter, bagging it, and hauling it to the City designated drop-off spot from whence they will whisk it away to a landfill.
  • Moving some concrete pieces that were dumped on the property. I’m thinking we can use the “rule of three” approach to stylishly move the concrete and stones around the property. Bonus points if we deter “lawn parkers” from using the property.
  • Deconstructing the Xmas tree (yep, it’s still there and still thriving) of its ornaments and lights to be packed away for next year. We are likely going to plant the tree itself on the farm property Laura’s mom owns in Mercer County.
  • Supervising
  • Sorting out recyclables and compostables from the trash.
  • Moving outward to the perimeter properties to clean, detrash, and say hello to the folx in Manchester.

I am so happy to say that Bistro-to-Go is donating coffee, iced tea, lemonade and a fruit/cheese platter for us to nibble on – that’s an appealing draw (see what I did there with “a peel”?) They are good folx and good neighbors to the Northside. So I guess “monitoring the refreshment table” will be a task.

The cats will most likely hide or observe from a distance. We are not going to promise any cat sightings and we discourage attempting to touch them lest we have “call 911” as another task on our list along with “use windbreaker to stop the flow of blood.”

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This is a series of basically empty lots. No electricity, no water, no bathroom. People can use our bathroom, but it requires climbing a somewhat steep set of steps and being a house with a lot of cats because of the foster adoption backup situation. And someone being around to let you in. If you live nearby and will donate use of your bathroom – great! There is a nearby McDonalds often used as a restroom spot.

Here’s the tools and items we need you to bring:

  • Gloves – garden gloves, work gloves, etc. I have a million synthetic food grade gloves for the cleaning.
  • Garden tools – rakes, wire cutters (for the straw bales), a hoe or two, some spades, etc. A hand tiller would be great.
  • Leaf and lawn bags
  • Picker upper thingies
  • A sturdy stiff old fashioned broom and dustpan to sweep up glass debris
  • Clippers to cut back the existing knotweed already growing.
  • And we’ll be collecting donations of pet food to share with neighbors. I will have bins in our parking pad to deposit that.
  • Do not bring cats. We’ve got that covered. We are also well supplied with raccoons, groundhogs, opossum, and birds. And squirrels.
Digital Camera

Cleaning is the main thing. If we are ambitious, we may run a lawn mower across the fields. We’ll have to all report the dumped items to the City 311 (tv’s mostly) and there will be a competition for the most interesting find. I’m not saying where, but there’s a sealed and preserved chunk of ham in these here grounds. I’m suspicious about the authenticity of ham that has not been consumed by animals for all these months, myself.

This is the URA lot next to the colony.

On a serious note, this is a nice way for the cat folx of the Northside to get to know one another face-to-face and to do something positive for our neighbors. There are tasks ranging from light to heavy duty. It is fine if you can just stay for a little bit. We’ll have some lawn chairs. We’ll have masks if you want them. There are two other Manchester sites that are officially recognized by the City so we’ll liaise with them to drop off our bagged trash and maybe steal some doughnuts.

The weather will be nice – dry and a high of 69. Partly sunny. There’s parking nearby in the PPS lot that is not used on the weekends.

Weather forecast for April 23, 2022

More details on our Facebook event. We’d appreciate some RSVP’s for planning purposes. We’d love to meet you in real time.

Digital Camera

See you then!


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