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Stray, feral cats need some TLC, too: Despite the fickle weather we’ve come to tolerate at the Lake of the Ozarks, spring is a time of rebirth. First, it’s daffodils, then the ponds and lake come alive with spring peepers, dogwoods bloom and we’re finally sprinkled with oak pollen dust as our trees sprout their seasonal leaves. It’s also birthing season for feral and stray cats. Yes, there are homeless cats that roam the streets. Cats wandering around are not uncommon, especially in the area of The Strip where there is a constant source of food. They can sometimes be a pest, but most often they’re looking for food and some TLC. Not to be alarmed. They have their place in the food chain. According to the website Ally Cat Allies, feral, stray and pet cats are all members of the same species; they are all domestic cats. But stray cats and feral cats are also different from each other in a very important way — in their relationship to and interactions with people. Whether you are a shelter worker, veterinarian, or feral cat advocate — or you just share your neighborhood with feral cats — knowing how to tell the difference can help inform how best to interact with a cat or what, if any, intervention would be in each cat’s best interest. A “socialized” cat is one that is friendly towards people—or cats that enjoy companionship with us in our homes.  Kittens becomes socialized by interacting with people—being held, spoken to, and played with—from an early age. If a kitten does not become accustomed to people holding her and petting her within this crucial window, she will grow up apprehensive of humans and will not be suited to or happy living in homes.  What is the difference between a stray cat and a feral cat?  Pet and stray cats are socialized to people.  Feral cats are not socialized to people. While they are socialized to their colony members and bonded to each other, they do not have that same relationship with people.  A stray cat is a cat that has been socialized to people at some point in her life, but has left or lost her domestic home, as well as most human contact and dependence. Over time, a stray cat can become feral as her contact with humans dwindles.  Under the right circumstances, however, a stray cat can also become a pet cat once again. Stray cats that are re-introduced to a home after living outdoors may require a period of time to acclimate; they may be frightened and wary after spending time outside away from people.  Again, don’t be alarmed if you see a cat or cats hanging around The Strip. They are hungry and they may want to be your friend. Ideally, cats should be neutered to help curb overpopulation. If you decide to bring a stray or feral cat into your home, or under your care, make sure you have him or her neutered. Contact any of a number of veterinarians, Dogwood Animal Shelter, Ozark Kats and K9 Shelter, Blue Moon Sanctuary or others. To learn more about feral and stray cats, click on https://bit.ly/3twDcdH.         

TEST TW WEATHER

City launches new and improved website

The City of Lake Ozark has a new, user friendly website designed to provide residents and visitors with current, accurate information about the community.

The city initiated an in-house website in December 2019 that began to give viewers better access to city government and details about on-going projects and events. In early January 2020, the city became more proactive in communicating its story to the public by posting stories and photos about life in Lake Ozark on its website and Facebook page, and by sending those stories to local media.

“For the last few years, we’ve wanted to make Lake Ozark city government more transparent and available to not only our residents but the public in general,” City Administrator Dave Van Dee said. “Lake Ozark is a fast-growing community with new residents choosing to live here and with existing businesses expanding and new businesses opening. Developing a website was a natural part of the process.”

After the in-house website was created, city officials wanted to expand the city’s presence with a municipally driven website so residents and visitors could become even better informed. In late 2020, the board of aldermen joined with TownWeb, a nationally known website developer focused on creating interactive websites for municipalities.

The new website – with same URL www.cityoflakeozark.net – was launched in March. City staff was trained and after a brief transition period the website is active with a menu of options.

“As the city continues to build on being a customer-focused organization, we saw the opportunity to rebuild our website so that it can be a user-friendly tool for folks to access information,” Assistant City Administrator and Community Development Director Harrison Fry explained. “With some of its new capabilities, we have been able to increase transparency about our operations by making more information immediately available to the public. Where we once had a website that was difficult to manage and navigate, we now have a cutting-edge platform for two-way communication with the public.”

These include:

•Easy online utility and court fee payment system.

•The ability to subscribe to current News and Notices and Emergency Alerts.

•The ability to subscribe to Agendas and Minutes for the various boards and commissions.

•An archive of board, commission and committee agendas and minutes.

•Various city reports and forms.

•A current calendar of not only city-related meetings but also events that impact the city.

•A scrolling gallery of photos of current events and scenes reflecting the City of Lake Ozark.

•A permanent gallery of photos from recent events, activities and scenery.

•A Frequently Asked Questions option.

•A How Do I… option regarding a long list of ways to connect to the city.

•Contact information for city staff.

Please check out the website, again at www.cityoflakeozark.net.

Email [email protected] or [email protected].