By: Tramane Harris and Jessy Edwards.
On a recent East New York evening, Meena Persaud assembled cat food in the back of her white SUV, prepping meals of dry food, canned food and shredded chicken for a few of the 550 feral cats she feeds daily.
From sunset to sunrise every night for the last four years, Persaud has fed and treated the cats at her own expense, learning their individual eating and living habits. She knows every cat and its preferences: which ones like chicken and which ones don’t; which ones eat with other cats and which ones eat alone; and which ones in the colony are fixed.
While people might think she’s crazy, Persaud says she just cannot look away from the suffering of animals.
As a certified ASPCA Trap, Neuter and Return specialist, Persaud also maintains the stray cat population in East New York and parts of Queens.
Recently, the feral cat population she cares for has been on the increase. Due to the pandemic, hungry cats usually fed by restaurants have been making their way into her colonies.
Persaud normally spends $150 per day of her own savings on food for the cats. But recently, and with the increase in cats, the money had dried up. Persaud said she is coming forward now because she needs donations of cat food– wet, dry or even expiring; all of it gets eaten.