FAIRFIELD — Some of Solano County’s feral cats will get a decent meal and a place to stay out of the cold this winter thanks to the efforts of Cordelia Boy Scout Matthew Patchen.
The 15-year-old is planning to deliver more than 600 pounds of cat food he collected and six cat shelters to the Solano County Feral Cat Group when it holds one of its spay and neuter clinics at the Solano County Animal Shelter this Sunday.
“I own six cats and have always liked cats,” Patchen said when asked why he took on the project as his Eagle Scout project.
The member of Boy Scout Troop 482 got the idea after hearing about a friend who did a similar project for the feral cat group, but did not include going around the community and getting friends and merchants to chip in to provide the cat food. Donors included Cub Scout Pack 474 chipped in a lot of the cat food.
He talked to businesses such as Costco and Home Depot to get the cat food and wood donated for the shelters, and passed fliers around his neighborhood to get support.
“It was not that hard,” Patchen said. “Everyone was willing to donate.”
Patchen designed the cat shelters with a roof that can open and close as well as handles so it can easily be carried to wherever the feral cat colonies are located.
“While working on the project, I heard a lot from people who said they had a problem with feral cats and were trying to get them removed,” Patchen said. “I figure if we could help (the Solano County Feral Cat) Group lower the population without killing them, it would really help.”
Michelle Bartlett, a member of the Solano County Feral Cat Group, praised Patchen for his help.
“What he did was really amazing and he exceeded our expectations,” Bartlett said. ”You could tell he did this not just for the Eagle Scout project, but because he has a passion for cats.”
Bartlett heard from Patchen earlier this year after the group had posted on its Facebook page that they could really use cat food.
“The shelters will go out to our feral cat colonies in areas where the cats basically have no shelter to keep themselves dry and their food dry,” Bartlett said. “This will keep some kitties warm this winter.”
For more information or to help out the Solano County Feral Cat Group, go to http:/www.solanoferals.org or call 421-5515.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org.