We trapped more cats at the Kitchen Colony this week.
The colony is currently a mix of at least six or more ear tipped cats, and we pulled three more for adoption last month. Patrice, the colony caregiver, feeds regularly in a commercial parking lot, and keeps an eye out for non-eartipped cats. However, this is not so easy since this is a public area, and different cats are on different schedules. So far Patrice knew of three more cats to be trapped: a young black cat, a big scruffy cat that she will take to a full service vet first, and a siamese cat that came from the KFC Colony.
We set up traps at their feeding station, and locked them to the fence with bike locks to prevent them from being stolen. Beforehand, Patrice tried to only feed the cats that were already TNR’d so that they would not go in the traps. Patrice has been feeding there for years, but we took every precaution we could. It’s surrounded by bushes and dumpsters and for the most part, it seems like no one knows about it besides the restaurant in front. You can see the garage being built across the alley – that’s where the tabby cats from this colony live. It’s a bit spooky at night, but no one seems to bother the cats.
Despite the new construction, we are hoping the cats will then continue to use the feral cat shelters that Patrice set up by the restaurant and in neighbors’ yards. No one bothers these shelters either, they are concealed. The restaurant does not have a problem with it – one of the tarps is covering their motorcycle! This is perfect for a non-secure area. You can hardly see the cats even – can you see Sally hanging out by the shelters in back?
We trapped the young black cat the first night. I took him to PAWS Chicago for his TNR surgery the next day. The process was seamless – I was in and out for drop-off and pick-up within minutes, and there was parking right in front. The TNR package costs only $26 per cat, which includes spay/neuter surgery, ear tipping, parasite treatments for fleas and dewormer, an antibiotic, and wound cleaning if needed. Your donations helps us help them!
Meet Cranberry, who turned out to be a healthy male cat, and acted completely feral the entire time.
Usually there are also other cats that you may never see, and that’s what I was thinking about. Sure enough, the next night we trapped this long-haired brown tabby cat that none of us saw before.
Meet Alfie, who also went to PAWS Chicago for his TNR surgery.
He also turned out to be a healthy male cat, with some matting because of his long fur. There is nothing to be done about his matting now since he needs his fur for the cold winter. We can try to trap him in the spring to shave the mats off if still needed. I once had a clinic almost completely shave a cat bald I brought in for surgery in January. Needless to say that cat could not and did not go back outside – he was adopted instead – so it worked out in the long run, but it won’t work if a cat is completely feral. It just adds to their stress. In this case Alfie was pretty terrified, with open-mouthed breathing, so Patrice recovered and returned him a day later once he ate well and went to the bathroom. Confinement can be very stressful for some cats. You just have to keep a close eye on them.
We will continue trapping. We would love to get that siamese cat. There’s a good possibility s/he is friendly, and we may already have a home for her. And we would love to get the scruffy black cat because it appears he may need extra vetting. And of course, we would love to get any new cats we have not seen yet. Five kittens came from this colony within the last few months and we want to stop the breeding cycle here.