You Will Love It Here, For the Rest of Your Life

The black and white mom
The black and white mom

You will be so happy here, no more cars and angry neighbors, huddling in an abandoned house in winter or trying to find a cool spot in the summer. No more kittens for you, after all the litters and all the losses, you are spayed, and all the cats here are spayed and neutered too. No more kittens to gestate and give birth to, to feed yourself and them and keep them safe and healthy until they are grown.

All of your kittens are safe, and many of them as adults will be here with you. There is no other cat left to worry about but yourself.

There is quiet and lots of open space, barns with straw and other animals who are warm and welcome a cat who will rub against their legs and keep rodents from their meals. You will find other cats who all share the space, and there is space aplenty for all of you here. Even the dogs are the cat-friendliest dogs and will leave you alone unless you decide you want to nap with them.

You have a home to live in if you want to, with piles of yarns and fabrics, lots of soft places to sleep and be safe, and the human won’t bother you unless you welcome it. There is food all the time and clean water and fresh goat’s milk once a day, and you can even go outdoors for part of the day if you want to, or spend your days snoozing and eating if that suits your fancy. In winter you can cuddle indoors by the wood furnace or upstairs in the kitchen while the human works on her weaving and spinning and knitting, or find a soft pile of fabric scraps to dig yourself into, or you can find a pile of straw near the warm herd of goats and know you are safe from intruders or predators.

You will find food in many places, indoors and out, for whenever you feel hungry. Food and fresh water, enough for everyone, and if you let the human know you like something she will give it to you in particular. You will never be hungry or thirsty.

You have so much of the outdoors to explore and hunt within, more land than you can see, more than an overgrown back yard, it goes on and on, with other barns full of animals to visit and critters to hunt. The neighbors all welcome cats into their barns, and sometimes into their homes. No humans will threaten or harass you.

Or you can just lie in the sun, every day, wherever you want, for as long as you want. You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. You have done it all already. You have worked hard just to stay alive, to create and nurture kittens, to keep a safe place for all of you. We want this to be like heaven for you, we want you to be happy, as happy as humans can make you, to make up for the humans who failed you years ago. I’m sorry you had to be trapped and leave probably the only home you ever knew, even if we knew it wasn’t safe for you anymore. We love you, and we will never forget what you endured.

Room to roam.
Room to roam.


I don’t know if this was what I was babbling last Sunday, but it’s what I meant, anyway. When I put the original tux mom cat into her crate and she went obediently into her carrier and settled down looking out the door of the carrier, she looked very peaceful. I remember how she had looked tired and sad from the day we had trapped her. I also remembered that though she had reliably produced two litters of kittens for years, she had none with her this year, and when spayed there was no trace of recent pregnancy, and wondered if her body was finally letting go. She was mother to most, if not all, the cats we trapped, and grandparent to all the kittens. Of all the cats, I desperately wanted her to feel safe, and to live to have happy years just being a self-centered cat in a quiet and protected place. I started telling her about some of the things I thought she’d enjoy and started to cry as I continued.

TNR can be a very emotional process because of the way it affects the cats, and the urgency: often the cats are in danger, there are kittens, bad weather is coming, the place they live isn’t the best for them, many more factors. Removing cats like this is not typical, but that added an extra layer of emotion to this situation because many of the cats were born there, had never known any other place, and by necessity had been trapped then shuffled around from the back of my car to strangers’ basements to the clinic and back and now a long ride in a car to a place that was entirely foreign to them.

So it all came out as I told this little tux cat how much I loved her and how much we all cared, and how I desperately hoped she could have many happy years of enjoying sunshine and food and safety. I know she knows. She’s an old soul, and a very wise one. She will be in my heart forever.

Same list as last time

The feeder has been feeding in the same spot all along, and has only seen Big Daddy and the young black cat, no kittens or other stragglers, and no new cats.

Betsy, the long-haired tabby and white who was so pretty, is doing well with socializing—she will be adoptable.

The four kittens born to Penelope are socializing in the order they were trapped—funny how that works! Domino was doing well, and Teddy, the solid black kitten, just decided the other day that he was socialized and completely changed his personality. Sometimes they do that: cats hide pain and illness, but they also hide other changes and it’s a total surprise. The gray and white kitten is getting curious about the human, the black and white kittens wants nothing to do with her. She is shuffling them around her house as need be to keep their socialization moving forward.

Here is where we stand with all the cats involved in this project:

BW mom (Penelope) (farm)
Tabby mom (kittens)(foster)
Braveheart (farm)
Braveheart look alike (Betsy) (foster)
longhaired black mom (Koshka) (farm)
Sammy (kitten)(foster)
original black and white mom (farm)

10-week white with black spots (Domino, caught by feeder before we started) (Penelope)(foster)
10-week black (Penelope)(foster)
10-week tux (Penelope)(foster)
10-week gray/white (Penelope)(foster)
2-week tabby (Tabby)(foster)
2-week tabby (Tabby)(foster)
2-week tabby (Tabby)(foster)
2-week tabby (Tabby)(foster)
newborn black (deceased) (Koshka)
newborn black (deceased) (Koshka)
newborn tabby (deceased) (Koshka)
newborn tabby (deceased) (Koshka)
newborn gray/white (deceased) (Koshka)
newborn tux (deceased) (Koshka)
newborn black (Sammy)(foster)
newborn gray and white (deceased) (Sammy)

Big Daddy
young adult black male

Help with costs for these cats and others

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far! Gas money, kitten food, adult food and litter to set up the four cats at the farm. I couldn’t do this without your help, and without HCMT and Pittsburgh CAT. If you have donated, please let me know so I can thank you!

Homeless Cat Management Team

You can make a donation to the Homeless Cat Management Team (HCMT) and let them know it’s for these cats and send me the receipt—I will send you a gift certificate.

HCMT is a 501c3 and all donations are tax-deductible. Visit the website at


Send directly to Paypal:

Mail your donation

Send a check to:
Homeless Cat Management Team
P. O. Box 100203
Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Pittsburgh C.A.T.

Pittsburgh C.A.T. is not a 501c3 but all donations go directly into cat care. Raising the litter of five kittens including surgeries for all and mother, vaccinations, any illnesses that come up, all adds up to hundreds of dollars. You can use Paypal: If you’d like to send a check, please ask and I’ll give you the address. Send me a receipt.

Donate for a Discount

To donate to me, visit this article on Portraits of Animals which explains how to donate to me for a purpose. I will send you a gift certificate in an amount as described in the article: from $5.00 for donating $25.00 to $20.00 for donating $100.00.


Read other articles about this project

Help With a TNR Project

Update on the TNR Project: Kittens! and Almost Done

TNR Update: Kitten Family Reunited, and Clinic Day

Update on the TNR Project: Trapped in Another House, and Two Boys Left

The TNR Project: The Next Exciting Installment

The TNR Project: Off to the Farm

Also read about last year’s Farm Field Trip

I may continue to be a little scattered with posting as long as I’m working on this, and other rescues. Thanks for your understanding!

Read other Essays and other stories under TNR and TNR Series

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

Subscribe to my e-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat Preview E-newsletter.

© 2021 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters Tuesday: Rescue Stories Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork Thursday: New Merchandise Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

7 thoughts on “You Will Love It Here, For the Rest of Your Life

  • June 25, 2018 at 12:32 am

    Bernadette, your post reminds me of my own elderly retired feral cat, Effie. She was truly wild, even though I did manage to have her spayed, for 12 years before deciding she would retire as a feral and become domesticated. I had 4 wonderful years with her after that. Knowing my conversations with her all those years, I identify with all you’ve written here.

    • June 25, 2018 at 1:24 am

      I love how she decided. They all do that in time, I always tell caretakers to be prepared because by that time they love their ferals more than life. I’m glad she survived 12 years as a feral, and then had four happy years with you.

  • June 24, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Oh, Bernadette. I’m crying, too. What wonderful wishes for this poor cat who has needed somewhere safe to live and someone to love her and care for her. I hope she has a long and happy new life, and I thank you for having done so much to help her and all the other cats from that sad and awful place.

    • June 24, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      Thank you, Lynda. The more good wishes she has, the better it will be.

  • June 24, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Bernadette, you almost did the impossible and reduced me to tears. What beautiful wishes for the mom cat. Blessings upon you both.

    • June 24, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      That’s because I was honestly in tears when I wrote it. We all need a good happy cry now and then. 🙂


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: