Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pam's TNR Blog - 12/27/2009

Pam's TNR Blog - Week of 12/27/09


There was no Tempe clinic on Sunday due to the Christmas holiday. I had set up a job for Sunday night but it fell through. At the last minute I called a couple in a mobile home park not far from me who I'd trapped for before. There were about 10 new cats. I'd already trapped over 40 cats thee years but there were more. I'd put this off for a while as the woman never stops talking - never. This may sound like an exaggeration, but it is not, believe me. I like to be stealth in my operation and constant chattering disrupts the process - not to mention I have already heard "who beget whom" numerous times. When this happens I tell the caregiver to go inside and only come out only infrequently to shake the dry food and call the cats. I then ask them to go back inside as the cats tend to wait to be fed rather than make an effort to go in the traps. I call this "conservation of energy". Funny how cats spend the least amount of energy possible to get by whereas humans seem to spend the more than they need to to accomplish everything. Still I did catch 10 cats there that evening and overnight despite these obstacles.


I checked traps in the AM and headed for the vet. Monday was a light day due to the holiday - well, at least the vet where I was. Wayne Begun was off work this week and was trapping every night for the Tempe clinic. He had 15 cats in on Monday - go Wayne!


I was back at the MHP that evening to set traps. I had picked up a cat that another caregiver had drop-trapped during the day. Suzie was on a drop-trapping extravaganza this week and had caught a last cat for a caregiver. We'd have a total of four cats in and I'd be picking them up for aftercare. Wayne was out on a couple more trapping jobs and had a bunch of cats in. Wayne was beginning to see what it is like to be a full-time trapper. Just keeping track of all the cats and caregivers is often challenging.

We had decided earlier in the week to ring out 2009 with a HUGE trapping job. This would mean releasing cats on New Year's day as one vet was open on New Year's Eve and was looking for business. We jumped at the chance to fill a clinic.

After picking up the four cats at the vet and loading up traps I met Barbara and Suzie at the trapping location, an older neighborhood in central Phoenix. There were a lot of foreclosed vacant homes in the neighborhood and the caregiver was feeding over 30 cats. When I arrived, there were cats everywhere! It was dinner time and tuna was on the menu tonight. They were already trapping cats as fast as they could and still there were cats, cats and more cats - cats everywhere. We caught a total of 30 including some trapped overnight. We also has a nice dinner at Pei Wei, one of our favorite restaurants.


I checked traps left out overnight before heading to the vet. It is strange that many caregivers (like this one) cannot even wake up in the early AM to check traps to see if there are cats in them. I am so anxious to check them I can hardly sleep waiting to check them in the AM. I headed off to one vet with 10 cats and then met Suzie at the 2nd vet to help check in 20 cats.

All the cats came back to my place for aftercare. Suzie was off to drop-trap that night on the far West side so I set traps at the previous night's location for stranglers. We had seen a few more cats lurking around. After setting about seven traps I headed to S. Phoenix where I had two trapping jobs. Fortunately they were neighbors. This was a pretty unsafe neighborhood. I'd been there a couple of times before and would never be alone there at night. These caregivers had lived there a long time and were just the kind I love to help - grateful and appreciative of getting first class service! They both really cared about the cats. I caught three (all) at the one neighbors and four at the other's.

I got up early to check the traps I'd set the second night at the big job and I'd caught 5 more! We were now at 35 cats - this job was finished. I headed off to S. Phoenix and she'd caught one cat overnight. Then, she caught the last one after I was half way to the vet and I had to turn back to pick him up. The good news was we had caught them ALL! I then headed off to the vet with the last five cats from second night trapping, and the seven cats from S. Phoenix. Suzie drop-trapped the last cat she was after on the W. side and was also at the vet. This make a total of 13 cats in on 12/31 at one vet. What a way to end 2009. Wayne, of course, was ringing out the year in the E. Valley bringing a load of cats to the Tempe clinic.

From there we headed to my house to load up the 30 cats in my garage for release. Seeing those beautiful eartips and knowing there would be no kittens this Spring was delightful.

Later in the day I was out and about running errands got in my car and the key would not turnin the ignition. I solicited several able bodied folks to help be to no avail. I then called Honda Roadside and they sent help. First they mistakenly sent a guy with a battery charger and it was the ignition. Then they sent a tow truck. The car was towed to the Honda dealer and the driver took me home to get my spare key as they suspected it was a bad key. No go. I needed a new ignition. By this time it was after 4:00 PM on New Year's Eve and I had 13 cats to be picked up from the vet by 5:00 PM. Bill was out of town so Suzie came to my rescue. She picked me up at the dealer, we picked up the cats, and she dropped me and the cats off at my place for aftercare. The photo shows the jacked up car being pushed to maintenance. They'd be installing the new ignition on Saturday - thankgoodness. We had the biggest job ever set for next week starting Sunday night and I needed my car.

In the late AM we returned all the cats on New Year's morning - the five to central Phoenix, the seven to S. Phoenix and the one to the far W. Valley. Suzie drove as my car was in the shop. It was indeed a Happy New Year for all! I do think the cats were the happiest of all of us...

I never would have thought 2009 would end this way. Last March I almostgave up and even cried at the vet thinking everything had fallen apart. But it didn't. This year has been a challenge in many ways but many fewer kittens will be born this Spring thanks to all of you who have supported the Spay Neuter Hotline in spirit and financially. For this I will be forever grateful.

Next week - Ringing in the New Year...trapping the biggest colony ever!

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