Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
This is a sweet looking colony most that have eyes that look like they're lined with black crayon. Not all are pictured. This caregiver and I connected the day these photos were taken. As luck would have it, our first attempt at pre-baiting was successful. At times there were 3 on one side and 2 on the other side of the trap. Pre-baiting is a technique used to assure cats will easily enter the trap, so that when it's 'set' to trap, cats are accustomed to entering, usually at a fixed feeding time. It eliminates the need to wait hours for the cats to mosey in to the set trap. It's unusual to pre-bait with one trap and numerous cats but TNR methods, while static are also flexible and 'you do what you can with what you have'.... Fortunately, these cats were hungry so dove into the traps first time they saw it. These lucky cats have a feeder who cares for them and who understands that few can turn into many in a short period of time. The cat in the upper right of the blog, with the grey crown and white face, is pregnant. She's also the mom of the 3, approximately 6 months old kittens in this colony. These are all feral cats. Secure enough to come close but not enough to be petted. Their at home with the caregiver and use to her and even secure enough to eat while I'm there. These pictures are taken from inside the porch through a window. We're only 3-4 feet from them.
For the next few days, their caregiver will be putting their food in the traps (they'll have 7 traps over there by the end of the weekend). Sunday morning will be their last meal until Monday afternoon, when we'll begin trapping. It works best if they're hungry. On Tuesday and maybe Wednesday morning, they'll be going to Animal Care League's, Feral S/N Clinic. They'll all be sterilized and vetted (see TNR sidebar). The mom will be aborted (I know, it's a horrible thing to take a life, but it's humane when you think of the thousands of kittens born with no place to go), then they'll be back home by next Thursday or Friday. Between that time, they will remain in their traps, covered to make them comfortable (it soothes them), monitored for any after effects of their surgeries. Rule of thumb is if they are urinating and moving their bowels, they're ready to go home, unless there's infection or other complications - usually isn't. Generally speaking males are kept 24 and females 48 hours during aftercare. In this area, all the immediate neighbors will receive info on TNRing, free roaming cats, and cat deterrent info.
We don't get to publish all our TNRing projects, but this one, you'll get to follow from start to finish. It will be an interesting journey into TNR. Each colony and situation is different but similar enough to get the gist of things. This one is different because the cats were hungry the minute the first trap was put out. Many times, we pre-bait for a week to assure comfort and ease with going into them before we set them. We'll just see how things go next week! and........... we'll keep you posted!