Saving Cats Since 1998
In the late 1980s, Chico resident Jim Nakamura began feeding the homeless cats of Bidwell Park, cooking up pounds of hamburger, eggs, oats, and cat food for up to 70 cats. A decade later, the Chico City Council declared this feeding illegal in effort to save birds and discourage disease and littering. Nakamura was fined, and suddenly the growing problem of cats being abandoned in the lower Bidwell Park area of Chico came to the forefront of public awareness.
Most of these cats had initially been dumped there by people who no longer wanted to care for them. The fact that many of these felines were not spayed or neutered before being left to fend for themselves made the problem significantly worse when the cats began reproducing. Cats who had been on their own for a long time or born in the park and had not had any human contact became feral, so there was no way to simply pick them up and take them out of the park. No one wanted the cats there.
Fortunately, a group of concerned citizens stepped forward to take on the issue, and the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission, as well as the City of Chico, accepted the help. In early 1998, Chico Cat Coalition (or CCC for short) was formed!
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In the nearly 24 years that have followed since the Chico Cat Coalition was formed, over 925 cats have been rescued from the park thus far – imagine how many cats would be there today if it weren’t for the CCC!
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