That’s what we call our TNR weeks…spa week. The idea is that the cats get a warm place to be for a bit, with all the food they want, and any medical care they need. Oh, and spay and neuter surgery. Really the point of the whole thing! I’m not sure it really is a spa week for the cats, but it is a step to a better life for them, so maybe it is a spa week after all.
We have 28 cats in the house after several days of trapping. Not the 40 we were hoping for, but a good crop nonetheless. What really stuns me, however, is the quality of our volunteers. I am simply blown away by them and their commitment to what we all do together.
And to our new space. Every time I enter the building there is something new. Nightlights for the kitties, and for us when we enter after dark. Sweet smelling hand soap at the sink. Floor mats and cleaning tools. An extra trash can. Tables. A cart to take food and water around on. A microwave. And someone donated a really lovely metal bench today, a place to rest our own butts when we’re tired. A rack for drying dishes. Big things and small things just keep appearing, and the cat house is getting downright homey.
A lot of folks are working very hard this week, cleaning and feeding the cats twice a day. And the person who has been picking trapped cats up at the colonies and taking them back to the cat house has been extraordinarily busy and very cheerful about it. We have some volunteers with medical backgrounds who look like they’re going to be able to help us set some guidelines, policies, and procedures around how we manage medical issues with the cats – something we’ve needed to do for awhile. We have a couple folks who have taken on supervisory roles for the cleaning and feeding sessions, and I am not there all the time anymore. That’s kind of a shock on my system, and also kind of nice.
We are more than blessed with all these wonderful people. Last year was pretty much the year from hell in terms of the work load. With all the fabulous folks on board with us now, I think this year is going to be just the opposite. I left the cleaning and feeding crew tonight to go out and trap, and everyone was talking and working and laughing and having a good time. That’s how volunteer work should be.
And I got a nice update on one of the cats as well. I met this particular cat colony a little over two years ago, and took pictures of many of them. It is the colony that our Annie came from when she was so close to dying. Annie had a friend there, Squeaky (I think that’s the right name) and both Annie and Squeeky were kind of outcasts from the colony, but buddies to each other. Annie was days from dying when I captured her, and she was sick so long that she never went back, and I always felt badly for her bud. Well, Squeaky is in the house this week, getting updated vaccines, and he or she (not sure) looks wonderful. The caretaker tells me that she has ingratiated herself with the colony now, and is doing wonderfully. It did my heart good to hear that.
Squeaky two years ago
There was no way to get all the cats who had not been spayed and neutered except to trap everyone, so tomorrow we update the vaccines of those who have already had their surgery. That should prove to be an interesting enterprise! Our vet is coming to our building to do it, a luxury for us after carting cats around all the time. The rest of the cats went off to the surgery center this evening and will be back tomorrow.
I am – as you can tell – totally blown away by all the good things that have come with our building. Very grateful for all of it. Very blessed.