Those of you who have followed along here for awhile know that I’m active with a TNR group in my town. The group got started in December 2012 and now, not quite two years later, we have TNR’d (trapped/neutered/returned) more than 550 cats. With the weather turning cold, and the fact that the cats we care for are kept in a garage, our season is ending. It is getting too cold at nights for cats who have just had surgery.
But we’re not quite done yet. We’ve been busting our you-know-whats the last few weeks, with three TNR weeks in a row (versus one a month normally) to get everyone in who asked for our help by the start of October. Two weeks ago I had 18 cats in my garage. This last week just five guests, but next week (our last) we are expecting 16-18 visiting cats again. You can probably imagine what morning cleaning is like since cats generally do most of their elimination overnight. Let’s just say that we go through a lot of gloves.
The weather has already gotten a bit colder at night than I am comfortable with. Post-surgery cats need some warmth for a good recovery. So we’ve moved the cats, following surgery, into our unfinished basement for their recovery days. They can’t come down before surgery and de-fleaing, but after that they are welcome in the house. So far my own cats have not figured out that they are downstairs, but with so many coming through next week, it is only a matter of time.
It is actually a little easier to care for them in the basement. Not so cold for the human caring for the cats who get to stay warm. Good deal all around. Everyone has been eating up a storm, and the deal in these TNR weeks is they get to eat as much as they want. I can’t tell you how much kitten chow we have gone through these last weeks! (And how grateful we have been to all the folks who have brought us bags of it each time we’ve asked…we have the best volunteers and donors.)
We have the cutest mama and two of her baby girls this week. (We had her third baby last week.) It looks like they are going to get to be indoor cats when they go home, and I sure hope that works well for everyone. They are quite lovely creatures, and it always does my heart good when the cats are able to come in, and amenable to that as well. Most community cats are quite unhappy in homes unless they are captured and socialized early, so here’s hoping the bond these three have with their colony caretaker is good and strong and they make the transition to being indoor kitties!
Now, back to tending cats. One more week and it is time to rest a bit. And keep our fingers crossed that the winter isn’t as cold and snowy as the last one. Winter is such a tough time for these guys.