I know folks who seem to be able to do rescue and animal welfare work day after day, month after month, with no break. But I’m not one of them, and neither are my cats. We all needed a bit of a break and a return to normal after Blackie went off to her furever home. I was very happy to care for Blackie for seven weeks, but I am also happy to have a little breathing space before the next TNR session starts in a week or so.
My cats, especially needed the break.
Cats are territorial creatures, and while Blackie was with us, their access to the upstairs cat room was severely limited. It would have been cruel to keep Blackie in a crate 24/7, so she had the run of the upstairs cat room for significant portions of the day. That meant, however, that the door was shut so Blackie wasn’t free-roaming in the house. She was far too feral for that! But our seven cats, stuck with only half of their usual space (the downstairs cat room) were rather stressed in the process. Fights were becoming a little too common close to the end of Blackie’s time with us, and it didn’t take much to set some of the cats off. Blood was shed a time or two, and all claws got clipped.
With Blackie settled in her new home, it was time to put things back the way the cats like them. Blackie’s crate is folded up, and will be washed and returned to the kind soul who lent it to me. Ferals are not always reliable about the litter box (though Blackie was pretty good) so the carpet got steam-cleaned with Nature’s Miracle (rather than shampoo) and now the cats can work on putting their own scent back on it. Litter boxes and other items in the upstairs cat room were cleaned, and everything put back in the usual arrangement.
It didn’t take terribly long for some of the cats to return. The regulars upstairs have been back to eat, sleep, and enjoy the day in their beloved cat room, and the house is a lot calmer.
Will we nurse the next feral kitty who needs some care for awhile? Absolutely. But just for now, we’re all enjoying a little rest, a little quiet, and a little normal. Feels good.