Melissa and I trapped at night in the alley next to the retirement center because we knew there were cats also coming from the coach house. Despite a lot of human activity in this alley, cars pulling in and out, people coming out to smoke, a security car making the rounds, random rain and wind, we still managed to trap five more cats.
One of the neighbors, Juan, came outside to meet us and was very concerned about the cats. He wanted them around to take care of the rat problem. Juan was polite but kind of upset for a bit. He seemed happier once we explained that most of the cats would be returned to the alley because they are feral and not adoptable.
This is an interesting site to trap at, since there are multiple feeders who feed them sporadically, there are tons of places for the cats to go to – including huge industrial lots for metal recycling and pallet companies, and you don’t really see any cats.
That is, you don’t really see any cats….
until you set a trap.
As soon as Melissa set out the first trap, cats came to check it out.
And we started trapping them one by one.
The first night we trapped Hemingway, a male orange tabby. He is feral and was TNReturned after his TNR surgery at PAWS’ spay/neuter clinic.
We also set up traps at the retirement home and went back and forth in-between the sites to check on them.
Fulton was trapped there. He is feral and was also TNReturned.
Then we trapped a long-haired orange cat.
Orange Juice is feral and was TNReturned.
When we returned the next night we realized there were two more long-haired orange cats. Melissa and I refused to leave until we trapped both of them. They are also both feral and were TNReturned.
First we trapped Butters.
And then Vella. She’s female! Female orange cats, even tabbies, are pretty rare. She is the THIRD orange female cat we trapped at this site.
When I returned Butters and Vella, I met Ron, the man that lives in the coach house and feeds these cats. Joann met him the week before and told me about him. Ron really cares for these cats, and was totally on board with getting them spayed/neutered and any other vet care they may need. The buildings here are pretty decrepit and it’s hard to figure out what’s going on. It’s really none of my business anyways. Obviously Ron needs some help, and we are trying to be compassionate towards this colony and their feeders, including Ron. He asked me for two bucks, as he asked Joann before as well, and when I handed him a larger bill because that was all I had, he was really happy. He ran into the house to show me the wet cat food he buys for the cats. I don’t care what he does with the money as I can’t really help him for now, I just try to show compassion and understanding. These scenarios are pretty common when you’re doing TNR – it’s not just helping the animals. It’s a community service. It’s why I am so drawn to PAWS’ Comuunity Outreach program in Englewood and volunteer when I can. It encompasses everything I was trying to do in my own neighborhood doing TNR, going door to door, and working with feral cat colony caregivers and feeders.
Joann and I have plans to continue TNR there (in fact Joann was there tonight and already trapped another cat!). We’ll update more about this cat, Jeremy, and other cats soon.