My friend Melissa did TNR on her block and cared for a colony for years. Her colony was the next block over from the Cell Phones Colony, and she even adopted out a cat from there.
Recently, however, Melissa moved a few miles away. She still checks up on and feeds the original colony. She has now been trying to re-trap two bonded cats from there, one of which is very friendly to her. She managed to re-trap the very friendly cat, and is acclimating her inside for permanent adoption. The cat’s bonded buddy is still outside at the old location, despite her best efforts. Melissa has spent several nights setting a trap and watching for hours from her car. So far no luck on getting the second cat.
I really admire Melissa’s patience and diligence in caring for this colony. This is a unique situation, and acclimating cats to be re-trapped is not the easiest thing. I usually only re-trap a cat because they require some sort of medical care, and it can be a very long, frustrating wait game. I zip-tie the traps open, and feed regularly from them until the cats are acclimated to them.
Another TNR friend, Heather, is now helping Melissa re-trap the cat, and of course they will also TNR any new cats should they show up in the traps. I met with Melissa and Heather yesterday to see their set-up, and bring supplies. Heather’s acclimation system pulled up all of the tricks: multiple trap sizes, zip-tied open, filled with yummy food that will be changed often, with a small cloth that was rubbed on the other colony cat for scent, and since it was so cold and snowing, the traps were lined with straw and covered with a tarp weighted down by bricks.
The plan is that Melissa will refresh the food regularly for the next few days, until she’s sure the cats are comfortable eating from them, and then set the traps to see if they can at least get the cat she is looking for. Fingers crossed that this will work this week.