Real Caregivers of New Jersey: Phyllis


Phyllis from Cedar Grove



Were you always a cat lover?

I always loved animals but never thought about even going near cats being I was extremely allergic.

How did you get started being a colony caregiver?

When I was living in Clifton, a feral cat, Cali, befriended me.

She insisted on moving her two kittens into my closet, and that’s how it all began. Thirty years, several series of allergy shots, and 13-ish cats later, here I am. Only one of them was adopted from a shelter, the rest adopted me.

Have you ever trapped a cat?

No. More like the cats trapped me!


Tell us about your cats! Especially Bootsie.


Where I live isn’t exactly a large feral cat area. It’s more like cats that were once owned by someone or have gotten lost. I now have seven cats, two of them stay outside most of the time. Our latest addition, Bootsie arrived at the beginning of the pandemic. He had a collar, so I thought he was just a new cat in the neighborhood and would go home. I was wrong; he never left. I called around and had him checked for a microchip, but no luck. He must have been an indoor cat because he insisted on coming inside and making himself comfortable.

How did you hear about CPAW? How has CPAW helped you?

A volunteer from CPAW was walking by my house one day and saw my outside cats. She left a brochure, and I called her because I wanted to have Bootsie neutered. I was really happy to see that there are organizations that do this and care about the cat population. Ergo, I am now a volunteer at CPAW.

Volunteers Nicole & Phyllis at the spay/neuter clinic!

Please help us Spay it Forward and neuter community cats like Phyllis’ by donating now.

If you or someone you know is a Community Cat Caregiver in New Jersey and would like to be featured on our site, please email