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Milwaukee feral cat inspires a children's book that helps other animals in Wisconsin

Posted at 5:25 AM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 11:42:37-04

Click here to buy the 'Cupola Kitty' book

Animals and humans often form very unique, very strong bonds.

That’s certainly the case for a Milwaukee family and some neighborhood feral cats. Around ten years ago, just one appeared in Terri and Jeffrey Gingold’s Neighborhood.

The cat was spayed and vaccinated through the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Trap-Neuter-Return program and the Gingolds have been taking care of her ever since.

“So we feed her on the porch and she comes,” says Terri. “Through ten years that she’s been with us, she has become very friendly with us.”

The Gingolds call her Mama Kitty because her kitten – named Fluffy – lived with her in the neighborhood for many years.

“One winter we noticed that Fluffy hadn’t been coming to eat,” says Terri.

After a couple days, a neighbor told Terri he’d heard something on a garage roof nearby.

“And so, the neighbors kind of got together and it was Fluffy stuck in this Cupola meowing!”

A cupola is a little dome-like structure on the top of a roof. Neighbors threw cans of cat food up to it hoping to coax Fluffy out of hiding.

“Eventually Fluffy did come down,” Terri says. “We’re not exactly sure how he got down, but he did!”

Terri is a retired school teacher and for years she had wanted to write a children’s story about Fluffy’s rescue.

“I really wanted them to understand cooperation and friendship and just a whole lot of family,” she says.

So, Terri found a watercolorist and started replacing her neighbors with animals – like possums and raccoons!

“We don’t tell the neighbors who is who,” Terri told us, with a laugh.

The best part of the story is that the royalties all go back to the Wisconsin Humane Society and the Trap-Neuter-Release program that brought Mama Kitty to the Gingolds.

“Terri and her husband’s generosity has absolutely floored us,” says Angela Speed with WHS. “To donate 100% of the proceeds is almost unheard of, and we are so grateful to them.”

Speed says WHS relies on donations and volunteerism to survive. WHS won’t get the royalty check til the end of the year, so Speed doesn’t know how much to expect. But she says every cent counts.

Terri and Jeffrey are more than happy to help.

“I hope that people are reading it and getting a little bit excited and informed about what the Wisconsin Humane Society does,” Terri says.

If you'd like to learn more about the Wisconsin Humane Society's Trap-Neuter-Return program, follw this link.

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