Happy New Year! Looking forward to 2013

Part of being a registered cat colony caretaker per the 2007 Cook County Managed Care of Feral Cats Ordinance 07-O-72 is submitting the information on all of the cats you have TNR’ed.

I just submitted my updated colony information to Tree House. I’ve been registered with them since 2007. This was a great way for me to get my paperwork organized.

So, here’s the cat math.
Since 2004, I have spayed/neutered 171 cats in 18 locations, most of which are within 6 blocks away from me. Most of these cats were TNR’ed.
50 of these cats were adopted out or admitted into no-kill shelters.

But the number I am most interested in is how many more cats were NOT born outside as a result of doing TNR. It’s a number I cannot prove, because I prevented it from happening. But it is why I do what I do.

The numbers don’t seem real until I am faced with a new colony. Then it’s easy to see how the numbers add up because a colony that is not being TNR’ed usually looks like this at feeding time.

From left to right: Francis, Clover, Blackie, Patches, Spokes, and Gracie

From left to right: Francis, Clover, Blackie, Patches, Spokes, and Gracie

This is some of the cats from the Eleanor Rigby Colony that PAWS Chicago told me about in 2008 before I started TNR. Since then, I have TNR’ed or adopted out 18 feral and stray cats and kittens from there. 4 years later, the colony is now down to just 4 cats being fed regularly. This is proof that TNR works. How many more cats would be there today had nothing been done? Even if the cats were just all removed, more will keep coming to take their place, which is known as the vacuum effect.

So here’s to a new year! I’m going to keep thinking about these numbers and make 2013 the best year yet.

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