The Iron Works Colony is down to four TNR’d cats now. We spayed/neutered twelve cats and kittens total from here in October 2012. Obviously that’s a a two-thirds reduction in outdoor colony size in two years. TNR works.
The Iron Works Colony is one of my satellite colonies pretty far from where I live. I first heard about it from a co-worker and went there to TNR, and I keep in touch periodically.
When I visited the colony the other week Oscar, their feeder, had just gotten home. I watched two cats run down from his front steps to greet him. They were well-fed and obviously bonded to each other and him.
Oscar and his parents live in a well-kept house with a beautiful garden. The cats have heated shelter next door in their iron works business. Years ago they started feeding cats and of course the population increased. When I first met Oscar he talked a lot about how much he loved the kittens. The kittens would get hit and killed by cars frequently, or he would give them away to friends and neighbors. Even though Oscar really loved having kittens mostly, he understood that the breeding had to stop. He also asked me repeatedly if I would “take the adults to a shelter.”
The adult cats are pretty friendly, especially this one I call Biggie Smiles.
This cat is all smiles all the time.
Biggie Smiles is completely bonded to Oscar. He ran right up to him, along with his TNR’d sibling, and they both tried to climb right into his car. They came near me, but never quite let me touch them.
Biggie would just rub and roll on everything.
Including his brother.
Oscar asked me again if I would take the adults to a shelter. I’m not sure if that is the best solution for these cats. I can’t touch them easily, they have food and shelter, and are heavily bonded to each other. They’ve “adopted” Oscar, and this is the only home they know. But, of course I want the friendly cats to be adopted indoors. I hate hearing about kittens being killed on the street, or given away without being fixed. But we all know that reputable no-kill shelters are always full, and finding potential adopters takes a lot of effort. After doing the majority of the TNR work, when feeders ask me these questions, I am careful to make them understand that the responsibility is on them. If they want to find these cats home, they should try and do so. This is THEIR colony and yard, and by all means, they may be able to find another indoor solution for the cats on their own. I give them ideas and contact information on what I try to do when looking for another home for a cat. Oscar has given away a lot of kittens from his yard. Perhaps some of those people would also be interested in a fixed adult cat.