520-850-0001 Please call rather than using email.



Facts About Fact

**********UPDATE: February 12, 2015: A FEW PEOPLE HAVE CALLED RECENTLY LOOKING FOR YOUNG KITTENS. IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA THE EARLIEST LITTERS OF KITTENS BORN OUTSIDE WILL JUST START BEING BORN NOW. THAT MEANS THAT IT WILL BE 8 OR 10 WEEKS BEFORE THE FIRST AVAILABLE KITTENS OF 2015 WILL BE BIG ENOUGH TO SPAY OR NEUTER AND THEN MAKE AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION. THE FIRST PLACES TO CALL ARE THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA AND PIMA ANIMAL CARE CENTER AS THEY MIGHT HAVE KITTENS BROUGHT IN BEFORE ANY OF THE REST OF US WILL. GOOD LUCK! ********** Hello, Everybody, Hello! Thank you for entering the FACT web site. Friends of Alley Cats of Tucson (FACT) is a small program which works with the feral and stray cat population in Tucson, AZ. We advise people who are feeding feral or stray cats and teach them how to Trap/Neuter and Return (TNR) the cats to their territory to prevent further breeding. We accept, bottle feed, socialize, vaccinate, test and alter a limited number of litters of unweaned infant feral and stray kittens and make them available for adoption. FACT has NO FUNDING WHATSOEVER and is dependent up on the generosity of the people who ask us to advise about TNR, the people who ask to relinquish kittens to us, the people who want to adopt the kittens, Dr. Kayomee Daroowalla, Dr. Kayla Boyer, and the late Dr. Holly R. Keppel for making this program possible. For further information about feral cats and why Trap, Neuter and Return is the best way to work with them please see ALLEY CAT ALLIES' HOME PAGE AND FERAL CAT COALITION'S HOME PAGE. Both sites have some wonderful articles you can read and download. The founder and director of FACT is Margo Elson. For more information after reading our page please call 520-850-0001 or email. FACT is a proud charter member of the Animal Welfare Alliance of Southern Arizona. Learn about AWASA .


Friends Of Alley Cats Of Tucson (FACT) exists in part to advise people who want to help stray and feral cats. This website has been published for the purpose of disseminating information. Sometimes people visit here ONLY to get the phone number or email address so they can call and ask the questions that would be answered if they would read through this page first. Please read the page before you call. It will give a clear idea of what FACT does, what FACT does not do and how to handle certain common feral cat issues. If you do not have time to read through the entire page, please use the CONTROL F function to search for different topics within the page. After you have "done your homework" :) then please feel welcome to call if you would like.

The telephone number at the top of the page is the number of a private residence. Please do not call late in the evening. I am neither a veterinarian nor do I have the ability to rescue a cat or kitten from an attic, a well, or any other predicament it might have gotten itself into. Rule of thumb: If you can't get to it, I can't get to it. If there is a "situation" emergency with an animal, that is if there is an animal that is injured or inaccessable and stuck, please call Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) 243-5900, Animal Experts 531-1020, or 911. They will have the equipment necessary to safely apprehend the animal. For animals that are injured or ill that you have already safely in custody, the after hours emergency veterinarian is Dr. Judith Parker at Pima Pet Clinic, 4832 E. Speedway, 327-5624. They are open 24/7/365.

The Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics are: The Humane Society of Southern Arizona (On N. Kelvin) , Animal Birth Control (22nd and Craycroft), Arizona Spay Neuter (Grant and Stone) and East Side Spay and Neuter Pet Clinic (Broadway and Kolb). They are all listed in the telephone book

Thank You for caring about the animals.

How about if I just say, "Please, we need some donations"? And then I shall say, "Thanks, Friends".

What We Won't Do (So Don't Ask)

1) We will not knowingly trap a cat that belongs to someone.
2) We will not trap ferals or strays in order to relocate them; this does not work.
3)We will not trap ferals or strays for the purpose of relinquishing them to Animal Control or some other shelter nor will we aid and abet your doing so. These agencies are full to the bursting point with tame cats who have no homes. You can imagine what would happen to our ferals if we did that.
4)We will not take custody of your cat or your cat's kittens. The definition of "yours" includes ferals or strays that you have been feeding. These cats are your responsibility. If you find that you can no longer keep your own cat you must find a home for it. If your female cat "surprises" you with a litter of kittens you must find homes for them AND THEN HAVE YOUR FEMALE SPAYED. We will advertise your kittens for you on this site if you ask but they will have to stay in your custody until they are placed. If we advertise your kittens you MUST make arrangements to have your female spayed as soon as her kittens are weaned, no exceptions. It is highly recommended that you have the kittens spayed or neutered and vaccinated before they are adopted.

FACT Has No "Shelter"

Friends of Alley Cats of Tucson is a very small rescue organization that has no shelter facility. Most of the adoptable kitties live at the home of the founder. A very few are fostered by others and some stay at the veterinarian's hospital temporarily. Please do NOT call expecting us to take custody of your own cat, the cat a neighbor moved away and left, the stray that had kittens in your yard or the kittens your cat had because she isn't spayed. Please DO call us about strays or ferals that you are interested in learning how to care for and take the responsibility upon yourself. Please also DO call us about infant kittens that you find that do not appear to have their mother with them and that appear too young to eat on their own.

I Am Not a Veterinarian

Every once in a while I get calls from individuals who want to know if I can vaccinate their pets (no). Some have asked whether I do the spays and neuters myself (of course not). One lady called to find out if I could come tranquilize a cat she was transporting . For medical issues you must take your pets to a veterinarian. I am a Real Estate Broker. I would be happy to help people who need to buy or sell a home or ranch.

Those Who Live in Other Parts of the Country

I have received more than a few calls from people in other parts of the State of Arizona and other parts of the country. Many want advice on how to handle the cats in their neighborhood. Some are inquiring if there are programs similar to FACT in their area. I enjoy receiving these calls so feel free. If you want to know about programs in your area, go to the main page at PETFINDER.COM. Petfinder.com hosts this web site and the sites of many other shelters and rescue organizations. Follow the instructions about finding your local programs. You may also call your local Humane Society, Animal Control or look under Animal Shelters in the yellow pages. Most larger cities have at least one PetSmart and/or Petco. These businesses may also have the information you seek. Good for you! Call me any time!

Back to Top


Feral or Stray?

In general, the term "feral" is used to describe a domestic animal of any species that is unsocialized either because it was born to an unowned animal or because it was abandoned and has become wild. A "stray" domestic animal is generally one that was once owned or, if never owned is nevertheless socialized and friendly. While the definitions are loose, we refer to an unowned cat as "feral" if it is unsocialized and afraid of people and "stray" if it is friendly. YOUR cat refers to any cat that you have taken care of whether it is one that actually lives in your house with you or it is a stray or feral that you feed outside and look after. This is actually written into a section of the Tucson City Code.

Spay, Neuter, Alter, Sterile, Intact, TNR

To SPAY (verb) means to surgically remove the uterus and ovaries of a female animal. Another name for SPAY (noun) is OVARIOHYSTERECTOMY (literally, removal of ovaries and uterus). To NEUTER means to surgically remove the testicles of a male animal. Another name for neuter (noun) is ORCHIECTOMY and yet another is CASTRATION. Both of these surgeries ALTER (change) the reproductive system of the animal and render that animal reproductively STERILE, that is, unable to impregnate or become pregnant. There is absolutely no psychological harm to the animal whatsoever since the surgery also removes the main source of male and female hormones, which are the "drivers" that initiate mating behavior. Interpreted, this means that spayed and neutered animals do not want to mate. Ever. INTACT refers to an animal that has not been reproductively altered and is capable of reproduction. The term Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR), when referring to programs whose goal is the eventual reduction of the number of homeless cats by taking existing intact cats to a veterinarian to be surgically sterilized and then returning them to their home territory, includes both neutering male cats and spaying female cats.

A Well-fed Cat is a Fertile Cat

It is a sad FACT in Tucson and elsewhere that there is a huge population of homeless or unowned cats. This is NOT the cats' fault, it's people's fault. Cat overpopulation is caused by people who do not spay and neuter their pets and who allow them to run free and/or dump them to fend for themselves. Other people are then moved by pity for these homeless cats and they begin to nurture them by giving them food and water. Ostensibly this is the "kind" thing to do. Problem is, the people who do this do not seem to understand that the more they feed the cats the more fertile the cats become. Breeding is a luxury. The more people feed the cats the more kittens the cats produce. The solution? "IF YOU'RE GOING TO FEED 'EM, FIX 'EM". If you have no intention of doing this then just leave the cats alone, they are very good at fending for themselves. In the long run you do the cats no service if you feed them without also taking them in for spay/neuter. Absolutely provide water when it is hot but let them handle their own feeding.

Why Not Just Get Rid of 'Em All? Or the "Crack House" Metaphor

Many people still call wanting to have feral cats removed. "Why can't we just take them to Animal Care (dump them in the desert, move them to a shelter)?" Here's the reason: If you do that, all you will get is more cats. The new cats won't be vaccinated or neutered either and the cycle will begin all over again. We see the same thing with human beings and abandoned houses. Sooner or later every abandoned building is occupied by someone. Sometimes it's by "kids", sometimes it's by adults. Most often these houses are used for less than G-rated purposes, frequently promiscuous sex, often illegal drug use. Raiding the house and removing the offenders works for a while but sooner or later someone else will find the property and start to use it in an unacceptable way. How is the cycle broken? The owner or the city takes responsibiltiy for the house. It is cleaned up, fixed up and made attractive for habitation by "good citizens". Sometimes the residents can be cleaned up, too, and encourgaged to stay in the house, get a job and become acceptable tenants. Then we don't have a revolving door of unacceptables constantly in and out of the house. It's the same thing with the cats. If we keep removing cats from an area sooner or later that area will be found by other cats and the cycle of constant breeding with all of its associated behaviors continues. If, however, we take responsibility for the cats by taking them in for spay/neuter and vaccination and then putting them right back where they were they become "good citizens", no longer breeding or fighting. An added bonus is that they help keep down the population of rodents and bugs. Plus, and a big plus, they tend to keep newcomers away. The one or two new cats that might show up every year and be accepted can be taken in for TNR also. Can you imagine: If we were able to "checkerboard" Tucson with pockets of properly vetted cats and then keep up with each colony, sooner or later the "TNRed" areas would grow so large that they would merge and we would have the homeless cat situation under control.

A Word on What to Do if You Find Tiny Kittens

Please "police" your area from time to time.Mother cats can leave their little nesting babies for up to 8 hours at a time to go search for food for themselves. Usually they have their kittens so well-sequestered, snug and secure that you won't see them. If you do find kittens and they look "safe" leave them alone and call us. If you find kittens that look distressed or abandoned (Sometimes mother cats get hit by cars or killed by coyotes; they seldom abandon their babies on purpose.) and you want to remove them yourself you must keep them at an appropriate body temperature. We suggest that you take a cardboard carton and line it with plenty of soft fabric. Old towels work nicely as long as they are clean. Make a little nest, put the kittens in and loosely cover them with more of the same. If the kittens seem chilled and you have a heating pad you can put it under the towels and turn it on LOW. Make sure there is a way for the kittens to crawl off the heating pad onto a cooler spot in case they get too warm. In Tucson in the summer kittens can also be over heated. An over heated and/or dehydrated kitten has bright red mucous membranes, lips and tongue. Their mouths feel dry. They pant. When I find a kitten like this I soak a wash cloth in cold water, wring it out, put it inside a small baggie and place it near but not on the kitten. Ice cubes in a baggie work fine, too. Be careful: If we warm a chilled kitten or cool off a hot kitten too rapidly we can do more harm than good. Call a vet if the kitten seems to be in great distress. DO NOT FEED LITTLE KITTENS COW'S MILK. If they are too cold, too warm and/or dehydrated they cannot digest anything and can get very sick if you try to feed them. If you have some Pedialyte, a product for children, you can put one or two drops of that on their tongue or on their gums. If they seem to take that easily, offer them a little bit more but no more than 1 ml (1 standard eye dropper is 1 ml) every 1/2 hour or so until their body temperature is normal. If the fluid bubbles out their nostrils stop immediately. Call us and we will either take them or help you make other arrangements. Older kittens are less fragile but still need to be handled with care. You can usually estimate age by: Eyes: are they all the way opened and bright? Kittens are at least two weeks old. Ears: Newborns' ears are tiny and folded tightly against the side of the head. As the kitten gets older the ears grow in size and seem to get closer to the top of the head. Teeth: Newborns have no teeth. At about 3 weeks the front teeth start to come in. At 4 weeks the canine teeth begin to erupt. At 5 weeks the back teeth should be starting to come in. Fur: Newborns have just a thin coat of silky fur. As the kittens age the fur develops and becomes thicker and longer. Tail: Newborns tails are teeny tiny. By the time they start to toddle around at 3 1/2-4 weeks their tail is thick but still fairly short. It is carried straight up for balance. At 6 weeks the tail resembles an adult cat's tail in relative length and is carried in the "down" position when kitty walks. When their tail becomes long enough that they can bend around and see it, it becomes a favorite toy.

Back to Top


Adopting A Rainbow Wildcat

IF YOU OWN OTHER CATS OR DOGS PLEASE DO NOT ASK TO ADOPT ONE OF OUR KITTENS UNLESS YOUR OTHER PETS HAVE BEEN SPAYED OR NEUTERED. YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THEM FIRST BEFORE YOU ADOPT ANY MORE. NO EXCEPTIONS. The kittens are advertised on this web site and in the local paper as RAINBOW WILDCATS (TM) or RAINBOW KITTENS (TM) ("Every color but green, every pattern but plaid"). The adoption donation ($85 minimum, additional contribution much appreciated!) helps to defray the expense of spay or neuter, leukemia testing, first "distemper" vaccination, rabies vaccination for kittens 16 weeks and older and maintaining the kittens prior to placement. After your kitten selects you he or she will be delivered by FACT to your home at which time a routine home inspection will be performed. We are looking for the presence of kitten food and bowls, kitty litter, toys and other cat care products which indicate that adopters are prepared to take care of their new pet. We are also looking for the absence of hazards and a reasonably healthy environment. If you are a heavy smoker, for instance, and there are ashtrays full of butts everywhere, you and your home are not going to be approved. If we get ANY INKLING AT ALL that there is activity in the home that would be harmful to pets then you and your home are not going to be approved. If you are a renter and not an owner of the home you live in we must also see your rental agreement or lease or speak to your property manager in order to determine that a cat can live in your home with you and that the one you want to adopt from us will not put you "over the limit". No home check, no kitten, no exceptions. Kittens must be adopted by person(s) intending to own them. You may not adopt one of our kittens for someone else unless that person is your child who lives with you; the ultimate owner must deal with us directly. We do this to make sure each kitten goes to someone who will want, love and care for him. If you would like to give one of our kittens as a gift we will give you a gift certificate that you can put inside a nice card telling your giftee that they may come let a nice kitty pick them. The homecheck still applies to gift kitties. RAINBOW WILDCATS ARE INDOOR ONLY CATS. WHAT KITTIES ARE AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW?

How To Meet the Rainbow Wildcats

Friendly Little Pets

The kittens and cats that we offer for adoption are all "friendly little pets". They are well socialized and playful and indistinguishable from kittens born to an "owned" cat. They are "indoor only" pets. We advertise some cats and kittens that look like certain purebred cats by "breed" names (i.e. "siamese"). This is for descriptive purposes only, to tell you what they look like. All of our cats and kittens are "found" kitties therefore they are no breed at all, just "friendly little pets".WHERE ARE THOSE FRIENDLY LITTLE PETS?

Why Are They Called "Rainbow Wildcats"?

I wanted a catchy name for our kittens to show how special they are. In the course of a summer we are blessed with "Every Color But Green and Every Pattern But Plaid". Most of our kittens are born to "unowned" cats, that is, they are born wild, even though that is certainly not their temperament. So FACT's kittens are lovingly called Rainbow Kittens and Rainbow Wildcats. NOTE: I have been asked more than once if these kitties can "revert". Revert means to turn back to former behavior. Please remember, our cats and kittens are domestic animals that, due to no fault of their own, were homeless. The kittens FACT takes are so little when they come here that they imprint to me, my resident cats and my house. They know nothing else. The only thing they could possibly "revert" to is being domestic pets.

Why Do You Say That They Are "Better Than Free"?

The donation that you give us for the kitten(s) that you adopt ($85 minimum, $100 average) helps to defray the expenses that we have in caring for and properly preparing them for adoption. Most are bottle fed because they came to us as orphaned infants. Every kitten receives a distemper vaccination, a rabies shot, at least one leukemia test per litter OR a leukemia/FIV test to the mother if we found her also. ALL kittens are spayed or neutered, either before you take them home or shortly thereafter. If you do not believe that $85-100 in donation is "better than free", take the time to call a veterinarian or two and ask what all of these services would cost if you were to bring in the kitten that you actually got "for free" and which had none of these procedures already performed. You will be very surprised.

Who Names the Kittens of FACT?

YOU do. We give them names while they are in our care so that we can talk to them and they can learn to respond to social cues. The cats usually tell us what their names are. When they go to live with you they will probably let you know what their name is at your house. About half the people that adopt our kittens rename them, the other half find that the names they have fit their purrsonalities so well that they just leave them alone. It makes no difference to me or the cat as long as the name you give them doesn't indicate any negative regard.

Kitty Health

Rainbow Kittens will have their first "distemper" vaccination onboard and at least one kitten in the litter will have been tested for the Feline Leukemia Virus. If we have the kittens' mother SHE will have been tested for both the Feline Leukemia and the FIV virus. Your kitten will be free of parasites as far as we are able to tell. We treat for fleas, ear mites and a variety of intestinal parasites as the symptoms occur. We cannot predict what they may develop at a later date if they are asymptomatic while in our custody. They will be as healthy as we can get them. If your kitten has already been spayed or neutered when you adopt, he or she will also have been given a rabies vaccination. If your kitten goes home younger, he or she will have the rabies vaccination when you bring them in for spay or neuter (required). Keeping your new pet indoors will prevent a world of problems.

Good News About Pet Health Expenses

BENARDA VETERINARY HOSPITAL has set up their own program with Wells Fargo Bank for people who face large and unexpected medical bills for their pets. Wells Fargo has agreed to provide on the spot emergency financing for people so that they can care for their pets and so that the vets are able to be paid for their services and keep their hospitals running. This financing is provided at ZERO percent interest for 90 days. WOW! Thanks, Wells Fargo. There must be some awesome animal lovers that work there!

Transporting a Rainbow Wildcat to Another State

Before you inquire about adopting one of our kittens PLEASE try to find a kitty to love close to home. Transporting animals is very stressful for them. It's also very stressful for us: we "guarantee" all of our kittens and will take them back, no questions asked, if adopters or kittens aren't happy. Doing this long distance is very difficult. If you absolutely cannot find a kitty that meets your needs, there are several ways to accomplish transportation: 1) You drive or fly to Tucson and either drive or fly the kitty back with you. If you fly the kitty MUST go onboard with you in an underseat carrier and NOT in baggage. My beloved "Circle Tummy" was adopted by my friend Catherine, who lives in Pasadena, CA in February of '03. He flew "under the seat"; his ticket was $80 on United. Six months later Catherine visited again and adopted Tummy's best friend, Dudley and he got his wings, too. 2) We also have a very good business relationship with FEATHERS AND FUR VAN-LINES . Feathers and Fur is a ground transport business in Oregon which sends air conditioned vans and professional "animal people" drivers all over the country to distribute companion animals to their new homes. They do an excellent, compassionate job. Please see their website for more information. Anyone adopting one of our cats or kittens from another state must sign an agreement to return it to us immediately and at their own expense if for some reason the adoption is not satisfactory.

Back to Top


Please Help Us.

"Kitten Season" has hit and once again FACT is being called upon to take in little bitty kittens, some accompanied by their mothers, some orphaned and needing to be hand raised. These kittens need to be fed, housed, vaccinated, tested and spayed or neutered before they can be offered for adoption. FACT, as you know, has no funding whatsoever other than that which flows from the generous hearts of people like you, who care about the cats. To date this web page has been viewed over 80,000 times. I know that many people are frequent visitors and some only hit once and never return. Can you imagine how much it would help if everyone who hit this site would send in a dollar? One Dollar! If everyone who'd ever visited here had sent us a dollar every time they visited it would have generated $80,000 for the support of the kitties. Can you imagine! Now I figure that there's at least a dollar's worth of information on this page and maybe a dollar's worth of entertainment, too. Can you send us a dollar or two for the kitties? Don't even bother to write a check. Just stick two bucks in an envelope and mail to FACT,5647 E. Grant Rd. Tucson, AZ 85712 for bigger donations you may now use PayPal:

Material items that we need are listed in a later paragraph. I can come pick these up locally if you'll call me at 850-0001.Thank you so much.

Chickies, Duckies and Bunnies

UPDATE:Feb. 9, 2015: Easter Sunday is April 5 this year. Here is a reminder: Many people are tempted to purchase baby chicks, ducklings and bunnies as Easter gifts for their kids. They do not think ahead to the time when these little creatures are grown chickens, ducks and rabbits and their kids lose interest in playing with and caring for them. Every year many of these poor "former decorations" are dumped in the desert to starve or be eaten by a predator. PLEASE, if you have no interest in providing a home for a chicken, duck or rabbit, do not buy live animals for Easter. Buy stuffed or chocolate instead. If you do succumb to the temptation, please do not unload the animals in the desert when you no longer want them, they have no way of taking care of themselves. Give us a call at 850-0001 and we will help out if we can.

Pet, Horse, House Sitting

Having pets sometimes causes concern at vacation or business trip time and often people ask if I will care for their critters while they are away. Here are the boundaries, Tucson only: South of Sunrise Drive, East of First Avenue, North of Golf Links and to the base of the Rincon, Tanque Verde and Catalina Mountains to the East/North East. Preference will be given to people who have adopted kitties from FACT and people that I already know. I will be happy to take care of horses and other barnyard critters as long as the horses have been recently de-wormed and trimmed or shod.

Message Board

Notice the big transformation to this web page?

I was contacted recently by a local business called Madden Media. They were sponsoring a U of A summer intern named Alex S. They gave Alex the task of finding a small organization whose web page could stand a makeover and offering his services. Alex chose FACT and I'm so pleased that he did. Alex has given a new "face" to the information on this page and has made it much easier to navigate. The basics are the same and it is still set up so that I can go in and edit any time I want. Best of all, Alex and Maddenmedia offered this service completely free of charge so that the fragile little resources of FACT will still go 100% to taking care of the kitties. Thanks to Alex and Madden Media and Alex' supervisor, Karen. FYI: I had been pondering a logo for FACT for a long time. I can't draw at all so I described to Alex what I had in mind and he drew it perfectly. I think it's way too cute and, in honor of Alex and his kindness to me and the kitties, FACT's new logo has been named ALEX ALLEY CAT. Thanks again, Alex.

Now is a Wonderful Time to Begin a TNR Project

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona and Animal Birth Control Clinic (ABC) have special rates for feral cats-- $28 for a male and $48 for a female. Humane can also loan a trap. Individuals who want to register their colony with Humane are invited to do so. This feature would be especially useful in the event that there is ever violence against these cats by neighbors. Call for more information, 327-6088. FYI, for those who haven't heard it: Humane will no longer allow ANYONE to relinquish a feral cat in a trap to be euthanized. The staff and management of Humane have declared that Trap, Neuter and Return is the correct way to deal with feral cats.

Sleazy Puppy Mill Outlet Stores

FYI: Two national chains which are commonly known to sell puppy mill puppies to the public are adding stores into the Tucson market. Petland will be lurking in the Walmart shopping center at Oracle and Wetmore. Woof and Co., doing business as Rufus, will likely squat in La Encantada in the Catalina Foothills. UPDATE: Feb. 9, 2015: You will note that for some time, the Petland store on Broadway has been morphed into Jason's Deli. They're gone! Thanks, Tucson!

The Good Guys

A good rule of thumb to use when patronizing a pet store is: if they "sell" dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, don't patronize them. The national chains, Petco and PetSmart, as well as responsible local businesses such as Tropics of Tucson, Desert Pet Center and others do NOT sell companion animals but instead either allow the different shelters and rescues to adopt from their premises or direct people who want animals to the appropriate organizations. My advice, do NOT patronize any pet store that sells dogs and cats, puppies and kittens. NOTE: 2 BAR O Feed Store on Tanque Verde often takes kittens that individuals bring in rather than taking them to PACC or Humane. These are cared for and sold to new owners for a nominal charge without any vaccinations or services. They also occasionally help owners sell an occasional litter of pups that their own dogs have borne. 2 BAR O does this as a community service and they are NOT making a profit from it.


Foster Care

We always need foster homes for litters of little ones. Some come to us so young they need to be bottle fed. This is time-consuming but they are cute beyond belief. The bigger "little ones", from 5-8 weeks need good care and playing. From time to time we need people to work one-on-one with "teenagers", kittens 2-4 months old, that need help with socialization before they are ready to be adopted. Rarely we also need a foster home for a TAME mother cat who is nursing little ones. These family groups need homes where they can be loved and cared for until the babies are weaned, Mom can be spayed and they all get adopted. People who foster for us ALWAYS get first "dibbs" on any cat or kitten.

Trap, Neuter and Return

It is a good idea to spay or neuter any "unowned" cats. Stray kittens can also be "fixed" as long as they weigh at least 2 pounds. It is recommended to spay/neuter and release the kittens that are not "rubby-bumpy" and "purry" rather than try to adopt them out. I have some ideas for less expensive ways to accomplish TNR. Please be aware that FACT does NOT pay for this, we have no funding. We can loan you a trap as long as you are willing to replace it if it is lost or stolen.UPDATE MARCH 20, 2006: THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE NEED FOR A "TNR PERSON" AND A CARETAKER FOR A SMALL COLONY OF CATS LIVING AT THE STARPASS HOWARD JOHNSON MOTEL. The TNR person would be responsible to trap and transport the kitties to Animal Birth Control for surgery and return them. The caretaker would be responsible for daily feeding and watering. There is already a donation in place to start paying for all this and I am in contact with Howard Johnson's encouraging them to take this on as a community service project. Anyone interested should live in the vicinity and should be prepared for a more or less permanent commitment.

Immediate Needs

Here is a paragraph in which I list items on which we are running low. That way, if anyone is going to COSTCO, PetSmart, Petco or a grocery store and would like to purchase an extra item and donate it, you can. I will remove each item when it is donated until we need it again: Nutro Max Cat Adult or Kitten OR Iams Lamb and Rice or Kitten dry cat food; "Underpads" from Walgreens; a few cans of Chicken Broth, any brand that has no onion or onion powder; Gerber Baby Food; Small dog houses or similar little shelters (see later paragraph). Please call 850-0001 if you would like to donate any of these items. The kitties and I thank you very much.

"Wish List"

A few people have called to ask me what's on our "wish list". Primarily, I wish that everyone would spay or neuter all of their pets and adopt the ones that are homeless. That isn't what they mean, however. What follows is a list of some of the "staples" that we use all the time. Contributions may be dropped off at Margo's office (Tucson Arizona Real Estate Co.) at 5647 E. Grant Rd. Tucson, AZ 85712. Thank you.


FACT has no funding whatsoever. Everything we do is paid by gifts from concerned people, the astounding generosity of the veterinarians, adoption donations and donations from individuals who ask to relinquish litters of "found" kittens to us. The address for mailing or dropping off donations is FACT 5647 E. Grant Rd. Tucson, AZ 85712. This is Margo's "work location", Tucson Arizona Real Estate Co. No cats or kittens are kept at this address and Tucson Arizona Real Estate Co. has no interest in nor involvement with FACT whatsoever. (This is a legal disclaimer and protects Tucson Arizona Real Estate Co. from liability. In FACT, everyone at the office is very supportive-- they just do not participate in raising and adopting kitties.) If you would like to send a check it may be made out to "Margo Elson" with "FACT DONATION" in the note or simply to "Friends of Alley Cats of Tucson". If you would like to make a donation using a major credit card please go here:

I appreciate every donation so very much and I PREFER to receive small donations from many people rather than huge donations from anyone because the cats are everyone's responsibility, BUT, if you feel moved to make a large donation, well, we would love that, too. If you live in Tucson and want to help, please consider donating actual "stuff". This will give me the chance to meet you and say "Thank you" in person.


As of February 2015, a 5 lb package of powdered KMR Milk Replacer or one of its equivalents costs about $60. A litter or 5 newborns will consume at least this much between the time they are born and the time they are weaned if they come in without their Mom. Here is a link to Revival Animal Health, the online company that provides KMR products at very low rates, even lower than the wholesale rates the vets can obtain REVIVAL. Now you can order KMR inexpensively to use yourself or donate to FACT. Thanks.


Lamb and gravy, Chicken or Turkey flavor. About $.90 per jar, Fry's usually has the best price. The bottle babies will usually start licking this from a tiny dish or off a popsicle stick at about 4 weeks of age, a time when they won't even give canned kitten food a second sniff! Kitties that are ill will eat this when they won't touch anything else.

We use both plain clay and scoopable or "clumping" kitty litter. Walmart usually has the best prices. .

UPDATE 5-23-04: If I were doing as well with monetary donations as I am with towels I could "do" FACT full time and save more kitties. I have enough towels for my house for the forseeable future. However, if you have old towels that you no longer want, please call anyway. I will pass them on to the vets or some of the other organizations. Ditto blankets in good condition. The towels and blankets are used as crate liners and as bedding for litters of little kittens. Their bedding has to be changed 2-3 times a day when they are little because they get them wet even though we use

In the size that fits the seat of a chair. These go on top of the towels and absorb moisture much like a diaper. Walgreens usually carries these.

Are used for cribs. The newborns, their towels and "diapers" go inside the carriers when the kittens are sleeping. In cold weather they also have a heating pad. I currently have three of the "Cabin Kennels", which open "up" and have a metal cage top with a smaller door. They make the best cribs for the tiniest kittens and I could always use a few more of those. Small and medium crates that open to the front are also useful. Please do NOT go buy crates. I am more interested in recycling the ones that are in good condition and are not being used.
UPDATE: June 29: See comment about towels two paragraphs previous! Thanks.

We use a trivalent nasal/occular vaccine to protect the kittens from various upper respiratory infections.


Since the advent of low cost spay/neuter clinics FACT has been using Animal Birth Control Tucson for most of the sterilizations. If you would like to subsidize a spay/neuter or contribute to the testing and vaccines that these kitties receive that would be a very good way to help also. Please use the PayPal donation buttons for that. In 2015 the cost of a spay is about $56 and a neuter $30. Each vaccine is $12 and the test is around $30. Thank you.

Spay and Neuter Your Own Pets

And tell everyone you know to do the same! There is just no excuse for owning an unaltered pet-- none at all!

Accounting and Legal Service

People frequently ask me if FACT is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt corporation. I have to tell them, sadly, "Not yet." When I look at the cost of such incorporation and how many cats and kittens the same amount of money will spay or neuter, test, feed, vaccinate and place, how can I possibly justify the expense? If you are a tax lawyer that loves animals and would like to donate your services to incorporate FACT as a "501 (c) (3)" I would absolutely accept.

"Dogloo Houses"

A co-worker gave me a used plastic dog house, Beagle size, that is made of a similar plastic as the travel crates. Since then I have had donated a Dogloo big enough for a Great Dane (!) and one for a dog about the size of a GSD. I have set these out in the back yard for the neighborhood cats to use. They love them. If anyone has one of these that is not being used I would love to have some more. DO NOT go buy these as I suspect that they are rather expensive new. I am absolutely positive that there are many which are not being used in people's back yards and storage sheds. Ditto crates, humane traps and other materials that FACT could put to good use. If you happen to see any of these items at a yard sale that you would like to purchase and donate to FACT I would bless you forever. Please call 520-850-0001 if you would like to donate a dog house, trap, crate or other durable material. Thanks so much.


UPDATE: Feb. 2015: "Nimbus", Margo's elderly (1992) Chevy S10 pick-em-up truck, now has more than 290,000 miles on it. It runs like a champ and is just what FACT needs to transport all of the kitties. The air conditioner on said truck went to Rainbow Bridge in August 2004 and STILL needs to be completely replaced. Until it has been replaced it is difficult to transport cats except at night. Price tag between $600 and $700. Anybody want to help the kitties' transportation? Thanks.

Back to Top



Those of you who live in Arizona have surely seen the cute "Pets Enrich Our Lives" license plates. The plates have a stylized dog and cat.... Those plates are available to anyone who wants one for an additional $25 per year. Most of that $25 goes into an account that provides funding for spay and neuter of dogs and cats. We just learned that the available money for spay/neuter in 2007 generated by these license plates is $176,797. Imagine how much this is going to help. You can order the license plates next time you renew OR, if you want them right now you can go to SERVICEARIZONA and follow the instructions.


Every time you order 1800 PETMEDS donates to us. Please click here: 1800 Pet Meds today! Support our shelter! Buy Frontline Plus today!

Saving Animals from Euthanasia

SAFE is a program run by Jacque Thompson and Dr. Roger Penwick. The sole purpose of SAFE is to prevent the euthanasia (putting to sleep) of companion or potential companion animals. They have a program called "Lifeline" which will help people with the expenses of severe injury or illness to a beloved pet so that it doesn't have to "go to sleep" just for lack of funds. They will also help with injured strays as long as it appears that the animal is capable of being adopted and living happily ever after. SAFE is going to help with the little injured kitty mentioned in the previous paragraph. Here is a link to SAFE. Click in and have a look, then save their address in your browser for future reference. SAFE

Lost Pet; Found Pet

Here is a link to a very good website dedicated to reuniting lost pets and their loved ones. They have a handbook to sell plus nice flyers that you can download and use in case, Heaven forbid, one of your little ones goes missing. Click here to visit LostPetFoundPet

Home Again Micro-Chipping

As you know, we strongly advocate keeping your cats and dogs inside unless they are with you and on a leash. Even indoor pets can become lost if someone carelessly leaves a door open. Pets on vacation with their owners are especially vulnerable. With a microchip your dog or cat is immediately identifiable as yours and can be returned to you if it becomes lost. Most vets and shelters now have a scanner and use it as part of their protocol when strays are brought in to them. If you like, we can also register your pet's chip with the Petfinder.com data base. Home Again will make a small donation to FACT for every chip sold using this link: HOME AGAIN

Back to Top


Shame, Shame, Shame: Doing the Wrong Thing

To the SHPOS OR SHPOSES who put 17 living kittens in a trash bag and left them to suffocate in the heat at the Tangerine Road Landfill: May you live a very long life and every day remember what you did and may you be wearing your shoes when, one day, you die.

Doing the Right Thing, Helping a Tiny Orphan

On September 20, 2002 I received a call from Karl P., who is just about the nicest man there is. Karl was putting a mobile home on a trailer prior to hauling it when a tiny 5 day old orange kitten fell out from the floor boards. A search of the area turned up no mother and no more kittens. Instead of just leaving her there to die, Karl called his vet, who in turn, gave him my number. Karl left the job site to come all the way into town to deliver this sweet and defenseless little baby to me wrapped up in his spare flannel shirt. He also gave us a nice donation. Thank you, Karl. You inconvenienced yourself to ensure that "Jelly Belly Bean" could grow up safe and warm. Jelly is a happy, healthy and beautiful kitten. She has medium length hair and copper/orange colored eyes. She is a special girl and she has won my heart. Karl did the right thing. Thank you, Karl.
UPDATE: 1-12-04: Jelly is 15 months old now. She is clearly her mommy's girl. She licks my neck and face as if she were a pet dog and not a kitty, all the while purring like a jet engine. Jelly's favorite "toy" is a piece of frozen green bean (!). She discovered this one night when I accidentally dropped one little piece when preparing my dinner. Now, every time I open the freezer she comes running, sits down and stares until I give her one. She bats it around the house and stalks it until it thaws, then she eats it. With as many kitties as go through here in a year, all of whom I love dearly, it is just amazing that I got so very attached to Jelly, but I did. UPDATE: Feb 2015. Jelly is 12 1/2 years old now. I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world!

Back to Top


It has come to my attention that this page has attracted a following of people who visit from time to time. Thank you. TIPS AND TRICKS is a section in which I will try to give you some ideas on cat care and maybe give you a good web site to look at from time to time. The most recent postings will always be first. Please remember, I am not a veterinarian and I am not a professional animal trainer. The information included herein is shared as a public service. Any use of the information contained herein shall be by your own judgment and at your own risk. Margo Elson and Friends of Alley Cats of Tucson (FACT) shall bear no liability whatsoever for any negative use or negative results from the use of the information included herein.


It had to happen, sooner or later. Petfinder.com has partnered with PetVideo.com and now you can post videos of your favorite cat, dog, horse, ferret, gerbil online for others to enjoy. You can also view videos about animal care and training. Check it out! VISIT PETVIDEO.COM

Taking Care Of Your Refrigerator

What does this have to do with cat care? Plenty. Your fridge has a compressor and motor similar to the one on your air conditioner but much smaller. The motor has a fan, also just like the AC.. The whole unit sits very close to the floor. When the compressor is on and the fan is running it sucks dust, animal hair and all sorts of debris into the unit where it builds up on the compressor, the fan, the motor and all the wiring. This can cause overheating and eventual early burnout of your compressor and/or motor. I had a nice man named Norbert come over LAST year to service my fridge. He showed me how to take the cover off and vacuum very carefully. You should see how much cat hair and gunk was wadded in there after years of neglect EVEN THOUGH I sweep the kitchen every day. Norbert told me to do this once a year. I recently serviced the unit myself, it's easy once someone has shown you how. Happily it wasn't anywhere near as dirty as it was last year. Anyone who has pets should have their refrigerator serviced and be taught how to do it in subsequent years. As an aside, did you know that your fridge will use much less electricity if you keep it FULL? Stands to reason: cold or frozen food is its own insulator and the more it fills a space the less frequently that space has a rise in temperature necessitating the compressor to kick on in order to cool it back down.

Bottle Feeding Infant Kittens

This is so much fun. If you would like some tips from someone who has honed her skill by trial and error, feel free to call 520-850-0001.

Wonderful Site for Veterinary Information

The ASPCA has a site called Ani-Med. Ani-Med is a wellspring for all sorts of good information about your pets' health. Here is a link to the page about Dogs and Cats. There are other pages available for all sorts of other domestic companions. Please remember, no web site is intended to replace good hands-on care from your veterinarian. CHECK OUT ANI-MED.

Vaccinate Your Pets

It is becoming clear to me that there is a certain percentage of people out there who do not vaccinate their pets. Whether or not you want your pet to come down with distemper, parvo (dogs), feline leukemia, FIV or some other pesky, usually fatal disease, is up to you. These diseases are not transmissible to human beings. Rabies, however, IS transmissible to human beings and it is 100% fatal once contracted. To own a dog and not vaccinate it against rabies is illegal in most jursidictions. To own a dog or cat and not vaccinate it for rabies, whether illegal or not, is just plain STUPID. Make that appointment today.

Flea Sprays, Flea Collars and Similar Products

If your kitty lives indoors and doesn't have fleas he or she does not need to wear a flea collar. Depending on where you live, if your kitty goes outside it may be useful to put a flea collar on him or her during certain times of the year. If you find it necessary to use a flea collar make sure you read the package instructions and ONLY use a flea collar intended for cats. Do NOT use a flea collar that is labelled for a dog no matter how well it may FIT. In the same vein do NOT buy a flea collar intended for a large sized dog and cut it down to fit your smaller dog. The collars are species and size specific. Believe it or not, you can overdose your dog or cat by using the wrong flea collar. These collars time release a very powerful insecticide. This insecticide is absorbed by the skin and has to be filtered out by the kidneys and the liver. A friend of mine lost a small dog because another individual put the wrong dose flea collar on it. The insecticide caused liver damage and the dog was lost. In the same vein, do not use a spot-on product or spray that is labeled for dogs on your cat. Don't do it.

Litter Box Violations

Cats have an innate tendency to bury their waste. 4 week old little kittens "understand" that when you put them in the litter box you want them to drop their little tushies and "go". I start putting a small litter box (actually a Ziplock sandwich size container) in the crate of little kittens starting at about 3 1/2 weeks of age. They are often dry all day and then, just like children, they dribble at night when they are asleep and their bladder doesn't wake them up. That isn't to say that young kittens will never make a mistake. They are like little children, who will often keep playing, ignoring the signals from their bladder until it is too late and they wet their pants. For a little kitten, going outside the litter box is akin to a child wetting his pants. I have watched an entire litter of babies try to jump into the box at once. The last kitten, finding no room, peed right next to the box. For a baby, close enough. Not so for an adult cat. If your cat stops using the litter box it is a SYMPTOM and, as the owner, it is your responsibility to find out what it is a symptom of. See below for information on feline urinary problems and cat food. Cats who are developing a urinary tract infection often let you know that their bladders hurt by going outside the box. Take kitty to the vet. Often a simple course of antibiotics will put kitty back on target. Speaking of targets: How big has kitty gotten and how big is the litter box? At my house I use the big, deep Rubbermaid storage hampers, 12" or higher and 18" long for kitty litter. 6 week old kittens seem to enjoy climbing in there, even though there are smaller boxes available for their use. A large cat trying to use a small, shallow pan assumes that his hiney is over the box because all 4 of his feet are inside. With a small litter box that is not always the case. With a taller, bigger box, kitty can't miss and, even if he stands up a little bit before he is done urinating, the pee hits the side of the box and doesn't spray outside. Does kitty "go" in really inappropriate places like on your bed? Is he mad at you? Is there a new cat or human in the house and is the established cat marking territory? You may need to do some "social work". At my house, where many cats have lived for many years, even though I have and use a carpet shampooer I am certain that there are spots on my now well-worn carpet where cats can identify "former mess". If I notice "mistakes" being repeatedly made in the same place, I clean the area very well and when it is dry, I place a small bowl of dry cat food on the spot. Message? "This is a place to eat, not a place to go to the bathroom." I would rather have little bowls of catfood in different places than repeated cat mistakes. Several years ago I noticed that little kittens liked to pee in my laundry basket. It occurred to me that they were "over generalizing". WHAT? The litter boxes are open on the top and made of plastic. The laundry basket I was using was made of a similar material. When the kittens were playing in my bedroom the laundry basket was closer than a litter box when someone had to "go" and so that's where they "went". What I did was to switch to a big plastic hamper with a top. Over the top I put a blanket. Now my laundry basket is a place to cuddle and relax and there is no more confusion about whether it is a litter box or not.

Premium vs. "Cheap" Cat Food

Remember the old FRAM Oil Filter commercial, "Pay me now or pay me later"? It's the same with cat food. There are scads of inexpensive cat foods out there that cats just LOVE and will choose over the "premium" brands in a taste test, just as your kids will choose McFood over meatloaf, broccoli and mashed potatoes. So feed them what they like, it's cheaper and both you and your cat are happy, right? WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Premium cat foods are formulated to give your cat all of the nutrition that he or she needs PLUS, and an important plus, they are correctly balanced as to pH and "ash". PH is the balance of acid/base. Cats need a slightly acidic urine to help prevent urinary tract disease. ASH is the part of any product that is not consumed by burning, like ashes in the fireplace. Too much ash in catfood also contributes to feline urinary problems. Male cats are more succeptible to such problems than females although any cat can become "blocked". A "blocked" cat cannot urinate and is a medical emergency. The treatment for FUS, or FLUTD, is extremely expensive if the cat can be saved at all. Yes, premium cat foods are more expensive. The "upside" is that they provide more dense nutrition and do not contain cheap carbohydrate "bulk" such as ground yellow corn. The cats actually eat LESS. An added benefit is that they produce much less stool and the stool they produce is dryer, smaller and less offensive than "cheap cat food poop".


Cats have a social language just like people and many other creatures do. Next time you look a cat in the eyes notice that he or she blinks at you. This is a symbolic gesture, much like tipping a hat. It says, "I'm a carnivore but I have no intention of hurting you. Please don't hurt me." Blink back, it's very good cat manners. Blink first and see kitty respond in kind. Most animals don't like to be stared in the face. They take it as a threat. Be polite and avoid prolonged eye contact. Giving "first blinkies" to a cat in a trap or in some other upsetting situation tells them that they are safe and in good hands.


Unlike dogs, which need to be bathed from time to time, your cat is perfectly capable of keeping him or herself clean. They are fastidious and, if kept indoors, should nearly never need to be bathed. In the event that they do (One of my sister's cats once knocked over some perfume, making himself smell not unlike a house of ill repute. He appreciated a bath.) MAKE IT BRIEF. Cats do not like to be wet. Ask your vet for a tube of plain ophthalmic ointment, the kind they use during surgery to keep the eyes moist. Put a little into each eye to avoid irritation. Cut Kitty's nails. Here's how I bathe Kitty: I have a bottle of BABY SHAMPOO and another empty shampoo bottle. I fill the empty bottle with about 1 inch of shampoo and the rest warm water and then shake it to mix. I stand Kitty in the kitchen sink on the side with the hose and GENTLY wet him with warm water. Kitty doesn't like this and it would be a very convenient thing if you had a second person to help you. I never do. After Kitty is wet, I pour some of the shampoo/water mixture onto his back, starting at the base of the neck and down to the base of the tail. Then I gently wash Kitty all over, avoiding the head and face. I tell him what a good boy he is while I am washing him. It is really a silent prayer that he not shred my life. You will find that the diluted shampoo/water mixture cleans up Kitty just fine and takes much less effort to rinse out, shortening the time Kitty needs to be inconvenienced. (If you do this with your own shampoo you will use less shampoo and less water.) After I have washed and rinsed Kitty, I wrap him in a nice thick bath towel and hold him in my lap while I dry him off. I use the moist part of the towel to wipe off his face and head. FYI: One place kitties seem to have trouble keeping clean is their chinny-chin-chin. From time to time some of mine get little patches of feline acne. This is dirt/allergy based the vets tell me, not hormonal as human acne. It looks like a cluster of little blackheads or a greasy, dirty chin. You can help kitty keep the chin clean by wiping from time to time with a damp paper towel or washcloth. When the acne happens my vets have suggested that I clean it with a little of the herbal astringent "Witch Hazel".


Just like people, cats can contract upper respiratory infections and, just like people, they become congested, sneeze and cough. Did you know that CHICKEN BROTH is just as soothing for them as it is for you? Until you can get them in to see the vet and while they are convalescing you can give them this treat right from the can or right from the pot if you make homemade. Read the label and do NOT give them any products that contain ONION. Onion can cause anemia in cats. Mine love to lap chicken broth, cool or warm, not hot. It acts as a decongestant, so they can breathe freely and smell other food, stimulating their appetite. It keeps them hydrated and the protein is good for them. With matzo balls? Well, they might like those for toys. (Note: I'm told that kitty colds and people colds are caused by different viruses. Your chance of catching your kitty's cold or him catching yours are slim to none.)

Taking Your Pet in the Car in the Summer

If you don't absolutely have to, don't. If you have to take Tiger or Rover somewhere important, like the vet, when it is very hot outside you must keep them cool. I like to use one or two of those reusable cold packs inside the carrier under the towel or blanket. Cover them with a zip lock baggie. If you do not have any of these, use 20 oz. plastic coke bottles. Fill them 3/4 with water and put them in the freezer over night. For larger animals use the liter or 2 liter size. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER leave your pet or your child inside a vehicle in the summer. Not for one minute, not for one second. Don't do it.

My Mama Told Me, "You Better Shop Around"

It sure seems a good idea to pay attention to the prices for various cat care items. Typically Walmart and Costco seem to have the most reasonable prices on pet care items. Interestingly, the Costco labelled cat food, called Kirkland Signature, is very similar to Science Diet. I have heard that Diamond makes it for them. My cats adore it and do very well on it. It is priced much lower than SciDi.

Giving Medicine

I'm sure we've all seen the email forward about the couple that tried to give medicine to their cat and wound up scratched, bitten and frustrated but when they gave it to their dog they just "wrapped it in bacon". Cats don't like to take medicine. I don't like to take medicine. Remember the song from (I think) Mary Poppins "Just A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down"? Start training early. Teach your cat or kitten that sometimes a nice treat comes on a spoon. Once in a while say, "Fluffy, want a treat?" and let Fluffy lick about a half teaspoon of "treat" right off the spoon. I use lamb baby food, cats adore it. You can use canned cat food or even a little plain yogurt. Help your cat become accustomed to getting a treat on a spoon. When the situation arises that you need to give Fluffy a pill, you can just hide the pill in the middle of the treat on the spoon, and say, "Fluffy, want a treat?" and down it will go without Fluffy so much as noticing. (If the pill is large, crush it and mix it into the treat. If it is a capsule, empty the contents into the treat and mix.) Liquid medicine? Start training now. Buy a plastic eye dropper at the drugstore. Every once in a while say, "Oreo, want a treat?" and give Oreo something that tastes good with the eye dropper. Chicken broth is good. Juice from canned cat food is good. If it's something "people food", just don't give it to Oreo while you are eating. (Never feed your cat people food while you are eating.). Then, some day when Oreo has to have liquid medicine from a dropper, the dropper will be familiar. We probably are NOT going to mix the medicine with the treat this time, but kitty will not be resistant to the dropper.

Travel Carriers/ Crates

How many cats just HATE getting into their carriers? The reason for this is that most cats are only put into a carrier when their owner takes them to the vet or some place else that they would rather not go. Cats don't really like "go" anywhere, they are territorial and like to stay home. Dogs are pack animals and like to go where the pack (i.e. YOU) goes. If you want an animal to take with you for company, get a dog. Start carrier training early. Have at least one small crate of the $12 plastic variety from PetSmart or PetCo. These come apart for cleaning. Take the door off and put it somewhere handy so you can put it back on when you need to really take Midnight somewhere. Place the carrier somewhere comfy and put a few soft old towels or a piece of blanket inside. Let Midnight use it for a bed. Cats love boxes and crates to sleep in. I have several around the house and my cats take turns using them. When you have to take Midnight somewhere, put the door back on, leave the bedding inside and you will be happy to find that Midnight regards the the crate as "my bed" and not "the bad box". It is unlikely that he will give you any trouble "loading up" at all.


Have you ever brought a toy home and found that your cat likes the package or the bag it came in better than the toy itself?
I have. Any more, when I bring something home that has "interesting" packaging, I give the wrapper to the cats. If I see that they don't play with it, THEN I throw it out. The funniest thing they have chosen to play with recently is the green pot scrubber. They will get up on the sink to snitch it. As far as "bought" toys are concerned, my cats seem to adore the ball-in-the-track toy and what I have come to call the "gourmet mice", little fur mice with a leather thong tail. They come 6 or 12 to a pack and are about the same size as real mice. My cats seem to think that they ARE real. Some of the household items they enjoy are: the cardboard core from toilet paper, paper towels and especially gift wrap; corks; plastic bottle caps; little plastic scoops that come in different food products; paper bags, cardboard boxes both huge and small; carpet scraps. If you ask nicely in the electrical department of Home Depot they will give you an empty wire spool. I varnished the ends of mine and put carpet on the center post. They use it for a scratching post and they also sit on the end and watch Animal Planet on TV. Cats love Animal Planet

Back to Top


Thank You!

The following people have given cash or materials to the program NOT connected to the adoption of or relinquishment of a cat or kitten: Dee and Don S., Kathy R., twice, Joan H., Amy E., Dr. Mary C. and Dr. Earl C., Enna C., Brenda and Walter H., Evelyn and Lester N., Norma A., Pat S., Midori B., Phil of Diamond X Feeds, Dean of Tanque Verde Hay, Mike Z., "Petey" and "Sombra" and their very generous Daddy, Bill B., Pat and Jerry M., Rosemary B. and the student services staff of Tucson High School, Christiane O., Sue B., Margo and Roger H., Joan H. a second time, Dr. Mary C. and Dr. Earl C. a second time, and a third, Bill and Maureen M., A.J. and Paul; Andy and Joanne S., Shannon G., Julie and Bill M. and the students of Julie's classes at Sabino High School, Allison and Tim W., Pam R. (twice), Mark W. in honor of the wedding of Marni and Jerry, Dottie McL, Donna and Sperry Van L. twice, Debbie L., Susie K., Laura Y. and "Tibby", Vicki and Dean K., Betsy and Jared S. and Petfinder.com., Connie T. and Fathom Graphics; Shannon G. a second time, Michael B., Dennis S., Anonymous, Nancy C., Judy E., Beth M., Rachel and Rob, Cristie, Mike and Barry; Shannon G. a THIRD time, Dottie McL a second time; Cristie and Mike a second time; Gary and Anne B., Marti and Mel Y. at least twice: Doreen and Ray, four times; Cristie and Mike a third time; Sheila S.;Beth M. a second time; Kathleen M. and "Ellie"; Rachel and Rob a second time; Heide W.; Carol and Jerry G.; Jacque T. and "SAFE"; Katie P. and Spay Neuter Solutions; Angela and Brian, Jaclyn, our wonderful receptionist and Denise, our wonderful office manager; Doreen and Ray, an Umpteenth time; Cristie and Mike AGAIN; Margorie B.; Lori and Jon; Jack D., Phoenix W.; Maria L.; Debbie D. (twice); Linda S.; Pattie H. Gail F. and Sue G., Lynn W., Beth M (again!), Kathleen M., Christie and Mike (AGAIN!); Ruth K. twice; D. DeG from El Centro; Dr. Mary C and Dr. Earl C AGAIN; Bruce and Vicki S; "Anonymous", who dropped off three nice wicker baskets to use for beds; Michele C; Denise M; Scott K.; Vicki A (multiple gifts); Susan M.; Laurie and Dave M.; Vicki A. (again); Bruce and Vicki S. (again); Annie B. ; Vicki A. (above and beyond!); Marilyn and Doug, Patti McK., Connie T. and Fathom Graphics in Anchorage, AK (again); Heather B., Sherrida S.; Kristine H.; Ralph W. and Etta W.; Connie T. and Fathom Graphics yet again; Susan and Bryck G.; Connie, T. and Fathom Graphics one more time!, Teresa N., Connie T. and Fathom Graphics AGAIN!; Judith and James M.; Beth K.;Connie T. and Fathom Graphics another time!; Kathi F.; Pamela and John M., Deatra B., many times. Your generosity is so very much appreciated. ADD MY NAME TO YOUR LIST OF DONORS, PLEASE

Thank You Sheila and "Busy Paws"

There is a small company called "Busy Paws" that makes brightly colored bandanas, cat and dog toys and other accessories for you and your pet to enjoy. Sheila B., the owner, has placed some of her inventory at Benarda Veterinary Hospital and has directed that the profit from any sales that are made there be applied to FACT's vet bill. So far there has been enough to pay for lots and lots of good care for the kitties. THANK YOU, SHEILA. Go have a look at her stuff, you won't leave empty handed. Check out their company here.

Thank You Bookman's On Speedway

Every month Bookman's Used Books, Music and Software on Speedway designates three charities to receive the proceeds of the donation boxes they put out at all their registers. FACT was chosen to receive the donations last month (September 2004). We received $13 in cash and also $36.76 in "trade credit" that can be used to purchase merchandise at Bookman's. Thank you, Bookman's.

Thank You, Painted Sky Elementary School

The student council of Painted Sky Elementary School, with the help of the Faculty and Staff, held a Pet Food Drive during the 2002-2003 school year and donated all of the cat and kitten food they collected to the kitties of FACT. What nice people you are! Thank you so much. Purrs and hugs to all of you!

Thank You, Cristie, Mike and Cassidy!

Last summer I received a call from Cristie and Mike M. who live within spittin' distance from me. They had found tiny baby Cassidy and were wanting some reassurance that they were bottle feeding and helping him to eliminate correctly. I invited them over and offered to give the little guy a once over. In they walked with their perfect and perfectly cared-for little kitty-man and I was able to give them the reassurance that they wanted: they were and are wonderful cat parents. I have since received lovely snap shots of Cassidy at the office, and at home, always being loved on by a doting parent or friend. Good job! Cristie and Mike have "adopted" all of the FACT kitties, too, and have sent us several much-needed and much-appreciated donations. Thanks, Friends!

Thank You Doreen and Ray

Several months ago Doreen and Ray adopted "Kayo", now "Chloe". Since then they have taken all of the FACT kitties under their wing and have visited often, providing generous donations of food, kitty litter, crates, a Dogloo house and most of all love and moral support to the kitties and me. Thanks, Friends!

Ailurochanting: Silly Songs to Sing to Your Cat

Over the years I've made up parodies of many familiar songs and a few "originals" that I sing to and about my cats when I am at home. There are such memorable tunes as "O, Where Can My Kitty Be (I can't find her anywhere)" and "I Love Poopie, I Do". I know that I've gone seriously "around the bend" by now, but the kitties just love it. If there is enough interest I will make the lyrics available in written form so that you can sing them to your cats, too. If there is great interest we can probably burn a few CDs. Any donations would help to feed, spay and neuter the babies. Please call or send an email if you're interested.
Every donation is greatly appreciated!

Beautiful Pet Portraits

One of my friends paints beautiful pet portraits. She can work from a good photo so your baby doesn't have to sit and pose! What a wonderful gift for someone who adores their pet or who would like to memorialize a pet already at Rainbow Bridge. To view DIANE DALE's work, just click on her name.

About the Author

Margo Elson has been a resident of Tucson, Az since 1966. She holds B.A. (1970) and M.S. (1972) degrees from the University of Arizona. We thank Petfinder.com for hosting this web site. Margo is a Senior Broker Associate at A.P. Brown Company Realtors, DBA Tucson Arizona Real Estate Company, in Tucson. HERE IS MARGO'S WEB PAGE. An excellent way to support FACT is to refer residential real estate business to Margo. Her specialties are resale and new single family residences, ranches and horse properties. Margo is licensed for the entire state of Arizona (since 1985) and can make referrals to the other 49 states and many foreign countries.


Thank you so much for all you did for the animals and for setting such a wonderful example for the rest of us. Enjoy your rest. See you one day near Rainbow Bridge.

Good Night, Sweet Prince

Gone Home but not forgotten:
On Monday December 11, 2000 my much-beloved Appaloosa horse Chulo, AKA Ouray's Warfleet, went to Rainbow Bridge after suffering a catastrophic, irreversible initial episode of colic. Chulo would have turned 30 years old on January 17, 2001. We had been together since April of 1974 when he was 3 years old and I was, well, a lot younger than I am now. No one has ever had a more wonderful companion, mount and friend and I am privileged that I was his human for such a long time. I am thankful that he was a frisky, healthy and happy boy until the very end of his life and that Dr. Mike Conaway and I were able to set him free with dignity and not after prolonged suffering or a slow decline. Thank you so much, "Mr. Fleet", for giving your life to ME. When it's my turn to go to Rainbow Bridge I pray it will be you who comes to take me home. What a ride THAT will be! Until that joyous day when we meet again, "Good Night, Sweet Prince"!

Will We Really See Them Again?

After their beloved dog died my friends Charlene and Bob L. asked their priest if they would meet him again one day. Here is what the kind priest told them: "There are no tears in Heaven. If not having your dog with you in Heaven would make you cry then he will be there." Amen. You tell 'em, Father!

A Miracle From Beyond Rainbow Bridge?

In early spring of 2000 Sherman Lee's mother, ML Playboy's Mandy, and his 1/2 brother, A New Concept MAQ, were introduced and Mandy conceived a foal to be born in early 2001. As it happened, their filly was born on Chulo's 30th birthday, January 17, 2001, five weeks after his passing. Officially named "Chula Rose MAQ" and called "Chulita" (choo-LEE-tah) in honor of my beloved Chulo, she has joyfully become a part of the family. My thanks to Fred and Cheryl McLaughlin of McLaughlin Appaloosas and Quarterhorses for providing me with this lovely red rose! (The adjective "chulo-chula" in Spanish means "pretty in a cute way". "Chulita", with the dimunitive feminine ending, means "cute little girl"; Chulo's name is equivalent to "Cutie". He was definitely that.). To visit Rainbow Bridge please click below. If you aren't familiar, once you get there click on "The Poem". Have kleenex! You may set up a memorial to a beloved pet that has crossed over Rainbow Bridge.


Back to Top

For more information about Friends of Alley Cats of Tucson (FACT) please call Margo Elson 520-850-0001 or email.
When you email, please put the name of the kitty you are interested in in the subject line or, if you are making a different kind of inquiry, make it clear that you have sent "kitty mail". My email account for this website has been attracting a ton of nasty internet spam. I do not want to increase the level of security because I might miss your letters but I don't want to open disgusting porno ads either, so please help me out. Please write in coherent English, not internet gibberish. Most of the time I don't understand the latter. If you email and I don't respond within 24 hours please call me at 520-850-0001. The mailing address and drop off address for material donations is FACT 5647 E. Grant Rd. Tucson, AZ 85712. There are no cats at this location! Thanks.


[Home] [Information] [Shelters] [Search]

The "Alex Alley Cat" logo and "Friends of Alley Cats of Tucson" are the sole property of Margo Elson.
Online Flowers
Free Hit Counters