3. A small percentage of that population, no more than a few dozen cats, make their home in Morningside Park, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan near Columbia University.
The magnificent Cathedral of Saint John the Divine overlooks the southwest corner of the park.
19. As with any group of ferals, populations vary widely. One site estimates there may be more than 70 cats living in Morningside Park.
Via Bloomberg, “They are adept at hiding and they are adept at reproducing … TWO CATS can produce 62 CATS in just two years.”
20. Trap-Neuter-Return programs help keep feral cat populations in check — though it’s unknown how many of the cats in Morningside Park have been dealt with.
The one-eyed feral cat pictured above has its right ear tipped, to help identify it as having been spayed or neutered and vaccinated as part of a Trap-Neuter-Return program.
22. Cats aren’t the only descendants of abandoned pets in the park. There’s a thriving population of abandoned pet turtles in Morningside Park pond.
Almost all of these are red-eared sliders, a species native to the South. They’re either descendants of abandoned pets or first-generation orphans — and many of them may have been living in the park quite a while. Red-eared sliders have a lifespan between 50–100 years.
25. Feeding feral cats in New York City is perfectly legal.
It is illegal to feed feral cats in some towns and cities throughout the U.S. — though as groups like the Humane Society point out, feeding bans don’t really do much to curb feral populations anway.