Update on That TNR Project

Three traps
Three traps

I had intended to post on this each day with what we’d done that day, actually working on it during the day as I sat and watched traps or something. But that was too tedious on my phone. I didn’t get a chance to sit at my computer down until late each day, and then I actually fell asleep at my desk and was back up early the next day. So here I am on Sunday.

After setting up Thursday night, we only got three Friday morning because all the neighbors came out with their riding mowers and cut the grass during the cats’ normal feeding time, including the overgrown lot where they hung out, and it kind of scared the crap out of them. But we waited till things calmed down and in they came and walked right into the traps. The caretaker was really concerned about seeing them in the traps, and knowing how they’d thrash around. I told him just to put the sheet over them and in about a minute they’d be quiet. The first time he did that it happened just the way I told him, and he was so surprised and relieved.

Then the rain started and they hunkered down where they were through the day. I reset the traps, the rain stopped. The caretaker watched while I was home, then left and I arrived for the evening, leaving about a half hour open time. I looked in the garage window when I arrived, and there was a cat looking at me from each trap but one.

I had one more trap and one more appointment for the clinic on Saturday. The food was gone in that one but the trap had not tripped. I had folded a sheet and placed it on top of each trap to cover the trap when a cat went into it. I thought I had put the sheet in a bad place and prevented the trap mechanism from working. I reset the trap. Done for the night. Off to the clinic on Saturday.

Because I had eight appointments and only seven cats, I could pick up Sassy from my neighborhood where Michelle had been fostering her with her kittens. She had eluded us for weeks but gave birth near Michelle’s house and she and her husband had found them and used them to trap Sassy. Now Sassy wanted out, her kittens were weaned and on their way to being the cutest kittens alive.

Seven traps
Seven traps

Cats 1 through 7 were spayed and neutered Saturday, and while they were away I had set the last trap for the three cats who were left. I dropped them off and swung by Margo’s house to pick up two more traps and set them up before returning to the clinic to pick up the eight cats I had dropped off. Again the food was gone in the last trap but the trap had not tripped. Time to take a closer look.

One of the cats had kind of checked out during surgery, then came back to life, and he remained at the clinic for observation until we left for the farm.

One more was trapped while I was at the clinic, leaving two more of the total of 10. Back from the clinic, we wait for those two to show up, then I left with Sassy to return her to Michelle.

I took cats 8 and 9 to be spayed Sunday at the shelter clinic, then swung back around and stopped at Margo’s house to pick up a trap separator so I could take care of the other seven in traps. I stopped back at the caretaker’s house to clean up those cats and check on that last trap.

Trap 10 was closed and the food was gone, but no cat! The caretaker said he been in it and after he got loose he’d even managed to pet and pick up the cat and almost got him in a carrier, but he got away. Later, I discovered the back was loose and anything could get out of the trap that way. I fixed that and reset the trap. The caretaker will continue working on getting that cat. UPDATE: We set the trap last night and that kitty is now in the trap! Yay! I really didn’t think we’d get all 10! He’ll have to wait until he gets his surgery and vaccines before he goes, but he’s one step further.

For each cat in a trap, I cornered them in one end of the trap with the trap separator, then opened up the other end and pulled out the pee pad, newspaper, and anything else that was in there, then replaced a new pee pad and added a bowl of canned food with water added. I did that with the cat in the carrier and was just lucky he was sitting in the back of the carrier acting like this wasn’t happening to him. Then I reorganized them all and laid down a layer of towels and fleece blankets on the concrete floor and covered them with their sheets and an extra layer of fleece blankets because it was chilly and damp with all the rain.

 

Below, a total of nine in traps. You only see eight cats here because at yesterday’s clinic the shorthaired tux tried to check out during surgery, but came back to life, and he is now chilling at the clinic just in case anything else happens. Also, one is in a carrier because Sassy’s trap fell apart and she got loose, so she went into another trap. The longhaired tux had gone into my kitten trap and needed to be in something bigger, so they put him in a carrier.

Eight traps
Eight traps

They are now in the caretaker’s garage. I’ll be going over there Monday morning to tend to them in their traps, using the trap separator, remove the pee pad, add a new one, give them some food with water mixed in. We’ll trap that last one as soon as we can and get him through surgery and out to the farm as well. Looks like Tuesday is the day everyone will move.

And remembering how they used to gather in the morning and evening each day, these cats and ones before them, Friday morning they no longer did that and never will again, and it’s a little difficult for the caretaker. Friendly or feral or whatever they are, they are part of your life and dependent on you for their food and shelter.

And…this clinic was sponsored by Alley Cat Rescue, Inc!

Alley Cat Rescue director Louise Holton and I follow each other on social media, and I typically publish their press releases. I had seen a new one was out and checked with Louise as I was driving around and dropping off cats and traps and such through the day, and asked if her publicity director could be sure to send it to me. She did that, and then asked what TNR organization I volunteered with and said Alley Cat Rescue would like to give us a $1000 grant. Wow! I thanked her and said that would nearly sponsor one of our free-for-ferals clinics which is $1500 to cover costs, and she said they’d do that. And in fact, Saturday’s clinic had needed a sponsor, so she agreed to sponsor the May 29 clinic. That was wonderful news! I’m so grateful it was one of the other good things to come out of a very long day of caring for cats.


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Bernadette

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.

2 thoughts on “Update on That TNR Project

  • May 31, 2021 at 8:18 am
    Permalink

    Such a good post. Good to see cats being rescued and fixed.
    Hopefully, they will have a better life while not producing any more cats.
    Purrs, Julie

    Reply
    • May 31, 2021 at 11:13 am
      Permalink

      We got that last one overnight, so now I know the whole group will be going. Yes, it’s a good thing!

      Reply

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