I have finished reworking my slide show about community cats and TNR in advance of National Feral Cat Day which is on Sunday, October 16th. My prior version from 2011 lacked some of the current terms of art we now use and it needed an upgrade. Thanks to Fisher for the music use. Thanks to Lisa, Chriss and others for the video clips and images.
As I blogged about recently, my experiences with TNR (trap, neuter, return) are both personal from the colony I help manage and as a result of friends and contacts across the country who do TNR and have for years. Whenever I hear someone speaking out against TNR, I wonder if they actually care about cats. I’m confident from what I’ve read and from the research by Alley Cat Allies that TNR truly is the most humane method to reduce cat populations. And I am reminded of the cats we have helped as a result of TNR who may have suffered and died without our help, many of whom were social to people and were just lost or injured. Chloe, Abby, Romey, Dot, Ford, Locke, Hollis, Channing, Holton, Wynn, Larry, Sky.
A friend of mine in California who does TNR recently helped a male cat she named T.C. It took weeks to trap him and he was put into a foster home. It was later determined that T.C. was very sick and he ultimately could not survive his ailments. His foster mom, Nan, wrote this note about his passing and I hope you will take a minute to read it. And then you will think twice when someone says that free roaming cats should just be destroyed. If your cat was lost or went missing, you would want someone doing TNR to help him or her:
It is with a heavy heart, deep sorrow, and much sadness, I bring the news that T.C. lost the fight for his life today - he passed away this morning in my arms. Though he was a fighter, "my trooper", after being neglected for so long, it was just too much for his frail body. I'm glad I was able to be here for him. I am going to miss his little smiling face, looking at me upside-down, as I would rub his full belly. Not many male cats will let you rub their belly without shredding your arm, he definitely was not a feral cat. My condolence lies in the fact that T.C. got to know what it felt like to have a full belly every day, along with a warm comfortable bed to sleep in without worrying about anything, and having someone doting on him, giving him all the love and affection he wanted. Getting to know him was priceless.
Godspeed, T.C. I'm sorry you couldn't stay. But I'm thankful you were helped and loved and you received the best possible care in your last days.
10/12/2016 01:20:19 pm
Thank you for your dedication to the welfare of animals!! Your inclusion of TC was touching, it was so upsetting that he didn't make it. He had fought so hard to live, but after all the neglect it was too much for his frail body.
10/12/2016 03:06:34 pm
Nan, I'm just thankful he was helped by both you and Shelley. We've had some cats we were sure were feral until they were trapped and we learned quickly that they were just scared. The vast majority of those we've helped were like T.C. - just lost and in need of veterinary care or a fresh start.
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I am an animal welfare advocate. My goal is to help people understand some basic issues related to companion animals in America. Awareness leads to education leads to action leads to change.
image courtesy of Terrah Johnson