This is Derry Township Community Cat’s July TNR (trap/neuter/return) week, and kitten season is in full swing. I’ve dubbed it Cuteness Overload Week, with all the little ones coming to spend the week with us. This little one, in particular, has huge ears for such a little thing…gonna be a big cat eventually.
Depending on their age and how much socialization they were able to get from a caregiver, some of the kittens go into the local rescue adoption systems. You have to get to them pretty early and spend a good bit of time with them to make them good adoption candidates, but some make it. Many will not, and will live their lives with their colonies. I have to admire the caretakers who feed and shelter these cats year round, year after year. It is hard work – rewarding in many ways – but difficult. You have to be willing to live with the fact that the outdoor life isn’t easy, no matter how many good things you can provide for these guys. You also have to live with knowing that they don’t want to be indoor cats, so everyone does their best to work with what is.
We have one cat with us this week who is an adult, most certainly male, and as feral as they come. He’s a scraper, and he looks and acts like it. You can tell life has been tough. We can only hope that once he’s neutered things might calm down a little for him. Without the raging hormones and the constant desire to procreate, fighting behaviors decrease and life gets simpler and probably safer.
Though we are enjoying the kittens coming in – how can we not? – we are also glad that there are way fewer kittens than there were last year. We have spayed/neutered around 450 cats in the last 18 months, thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers, and we are all glad to see a small number of kittens this year, instead of roomfuls of them. Our work helps the local rescue groups as well, making life just a touch less overwhelming for them.
We expect to see some more kittens through the summer, and we’ll get these guys and gals neutered and spayed, and expect to see even fewer kittens next year. And in the meantime, we’ll enjoy visiting with this year’s crop.