Smith is the boy on the left with the wonderful expression. Curley, of course, is on the right. Both are from a corner feed spot of 5 cats (one's missing). This is a before TNR photo, with Smith, pre-neuter, taking advantage of the moment to sniff rather than eat, even tho the one he's enjoying has already been spayed. Curley and Smith were the only unaltered cats left in this area, which is how we know that Smith was probably the papa of Curley's kittens. She was already nursing, which is why she was released earlier than most females after spay - she was let go the next morning. Both cats were taken to Feral Day Clinic at ACL for their sterilization package. (see note below*) Thanks to BETH JOHNSON & CRAIG BOLT, Smith will no longer father kittens. STEPHANIE SKRINE's donation saved Curley from having more unwanted kittens. Kittens have not been located nor spotted. SPONSOR'S NEEDED FOR THIS COLONY!
These cats come from various places in about a 1 block radius. They are from an area of about 60 cats in about an 8 block area. All but about 4 of the cats in this area have been TNR'd and fed daily (via the streets) since early 2005. This is our most successful area to date. In the last 3 years, I've seen 3 litters out of this area. Considering the number of cats, that proves the efficacy of TNR. The area has gone from 60 to 35-40 cats in that same period, including the new kittens. It's our hope that by the end of the year, all will have adequate shelter. At this point only a small amount have warm winter homes. We're looking for volunteers and youth groups to build and maintain shelters. Currently, the cats in this area go through almost a 20# bag of kibble a day.
TNR is done many ways, these cats were trapped on the streets, which is a whole other story for another time. Others are 'yard' cats and can be trapped in their yard, which is another whole story for another time.
Next: Joanna, our newest wonderful trapper, who went from sharing the feeding of alley cats with a neighbor to, after a note from the other feeder, successfully TNR'ing the entire colony. She's fabulous!
*Animal Care League in Oak Park has a low cost spay neuter clinic for ferals and house cats. They also provide low cost vaccinations. see http://animalcareleague.org for more info