Chriss Pagani has spent close to 10 years feeding and caring for the feral cats that come to her home in the rural farmland of Oregon which is owned by her sister.
As a cat lover with a childhood that mimics much the same as a feral cat's life, she feels a kind of kinship with these felines that are looking for a safe place to live out their existence in the wild. She accepts the fact that they are wild cats. She tries to find homes for the kittens who have been socialized, but she also tries to provide a kind of protected atmosphere around her home where those who will always be wild can abide without being caught and killed by humans who deem them a useless nuisance.
The Feral Cat Rescue Project's blog is an attempt to document the lives of these feral cats and their plight. She decided that poor kitties deserved to be seen by the world, to give their lives meaning to a broader audience, so she started photographing and documenting them, giving faces to their stories and putting their lives into words.
"My mission is to share the story of the cats - I want you to know their faces and their hearts. If it looks like I am hogging too much bandwidth with my stories and pictures, just remember: It isn't for me, it's for THEM. I want to share their lives - in part because in a funny way, it turns out that it is NOT really all about them after all; truly, it is about us - and about life. They are the teachers... Thank you for allowing me to share the story of these cats."
Chriss also seems to be the recipient of new discarded cats that arrive regularly and mix among the ferals. Not all discarded cats are so fortunate, though. Most starve to death or are killed by predators or people... long before they reach the safe haven of her sister's farm and other surrounding farms.
As one time house pets or well fed barn cats, they do not thrive in the wild like ferals do (when given the opportunity). After two or three litters, these formerly tame cats become feral-like as well. Constant effort is given to trapping, neutering, and releasing. It is a thankless job, oftentimes looked upon with scorn, and can be downright overwhelming and depressing at times.
"While I once had a great job as a web programmer and graphic designer for books and magazines, today I live pretty much like the feral cats I care for. It's kind of like going back to my childhood. We're all in this together."