Pam's TNR Blog - 27 Aug. - 5 Sept. 2010
Friday: 27 August
It was a busy week with several trapping jobs. Although weeks normally end on Friday, we had good news - a new vet would be open on Saturdays. We would now at last be a seven day a week operation. Not to allow vet slots to go unused, I set up a job in Cordes Junction. Cordes Junction is about an hour N. of Phoenix off I-17. Storms were looming when Bill and I set off.to trap late in the day. I often go out of town to trap looking for a new adventure. Over the years I've been to Gila Bend, Coolidge, Salome, Prescott Valley, Wickenburg and Aquila, to mention a few. We are so lucky in the Phoenix area to have so many low-cost S/N options that many in outlying areas do not.
The job was at an RV park and was for initially seven cats. A deluge occurred as we approached passed the Blood Basin turnoff. We arrived inCordes Junction in a downpour. Still, we managed to set some traps set under the RV. We found a nice place to eat in view of the RV and the traps. Within an hour or so we had the mother and all six kittens. There was at least one male left. Traps would be set overnight and we set off for Phoenix. It cleared out later in the evening in time to see a double rainbow as cool raindrops fell - what a relief from the 100+ temperatures in the valley.
Saturday 28 August
I took the seven cats to the new vet in the AM. I was surprised when the vet came out and actually helped me unload the cats from my car! Four other caregivers brought cats that morning. I picked the cats up early in the afternoon for aftercare. The caregiver did not catch the remaining male cat overnight but would try for the next day and I'd pick him up when the seven were returned on Sunday AM. The problem would be I was trapping for 15-20 cats for Sunday's MCACC clinic the next day. This would get tricky...
I set off with a full arsenal of traps that night. Barbara was trapping with me in a rough neighborhood. It was slow going and I was hoping for 20 cats to fill the clinic. After checking traps after dinner it was clear we'd need to look elsewhere for more cats. Cats were not cooperating. A mile or so away I knew of a trailer park with LOTs of cats needing help. We call this "low-hanging fruit". I called the caregiver and we set five traps overnight which were all filled in the morning. The caregiver had fed the cats but I knew we'd catch at least a couple of cats. We also set traps overnight at the first location. I'd be worried as usual, sleeping little, wondering if the traps would be there in the AM...and if they'd be filled. I still had to do aftercare on the cats in from Codes Junction. Sunday would be a very busy day...
Sunday 29 August
I'd be setting off before 5:00 AM to check traps at both locations. Good news was I had cats at both locations for a total of 16 cats for the clinic. I got there at 6:15 AM to unload. From there I'd go home to pick up the seven cats to return to Cordes Junction. I called the caregiver on the way (after stopping at the gas station of course) and he had not just one cat (the male) but two cats trapped! Since I did not want to hold them in the traps until Monday, I called to see if I could get them in late to the Tempe clinic. Good news! The vet agreed to do a couple extra cats - what a relief. Still I'd have to release the seven, pick up the two, and head to Tempe (and stop for gas)I was able to make it in time (by 10:00 AM) and was able to wait at the clinic until they were fixed. I call this "drive by S/N". One was a female the caregiver had not seen before. From there I headed over to the other clinic to pick up the sixteen cats and then home with all 18 cats to be after cared.
I set off early to released the 16 cats in town. the first caregiver had trappedagain that night and caught one big male. After releasing at both locations, I headed to the vet with the one cat. From there I went home to meet SJ. She went with me to release the two cats in Cordes Juntion and pick u the remaining traps. We could do scheduling and calls in the car with her wireless internet connection. I'd have LOTs of traps to wash for the remainder of the week's trapping...this was only the beginning. I'd only have one cat in the garage that night. It seemed empty.
Tuesday 1 September
I released the one cat that morning. I had planned to pick up two more cats in the area at another MHP across the street where I'd trapped before. There was still one left which I'd try for that night. Fortunately this caregiver could trap on her own. Then, I got a call from someone with a cat in a trap which had to be picked up as well for a total of three cats to take to the vet. I'd have three in today.
That night I met SJ and BG for trapping a big job in Glendale. I had two other trapping jobs in the area to do before meeting them. The was a last minute attempt to TNR cats at an old motel being torn down for a bypass over Grand Ave. and new cats next door at a business where we'd trapped before. It was very spooky seeing the old rooms/apartments and the original adobe building thinking of the history of those who had rented there for probably over 50 years. Pictures still hung on the walls. These cats would be coming back in two days to demolished buildings as they were to be torn down the next day - this was truly a last ditch effort to fix these cats. Still, we had to stop the breeding. There were torties and calicoseverywhere when we arrived.
One of my first two jobs was for three cats. The later was just for two males. The former was one of my "high-end" jobs where the caregiver was donating a lot for me to help her. This would help pay for the other job in Glendale. I caught two out of three at this one and caught both males right away at the other job.
Wednesday 2 September
We caught at total of 17 at the motel and adjacent business. I'd have one more from the previous night for a total of 22 cats to go to the vet on Wednesday. Besides delivery there would be pickup and aftercare. I'd have to re-bait traps for the last cat at the "high-end" job that night.. When I am promised a big donation I go the extra distance to make sure ALL cats are caught, even using the drop-trap when desperate. We were using the new vet so we had lots of help loading and unloading cats. What a welcome relief. Even if one lifting step can be avoided, it helps. SJ would trap again that night and caught a total of 10 more cats for Thursday for a total of 27 cats from the motel and adjacent business.
Thursday 3 September
I did catch the one last cat at the high end job overnight and got an even bigger donation than expected. SJ released the last 17 motel cats very early in the morning. I'd be delivering five traps to a caregiver in central Phoenix and setting traps for a lady Grant trapped for the night before. Little did I know that Friday morning would turn in to a lot more than just six cats going to the vet. f course there were the two males and 2 females to release at the two locations that were fixed on Wednesday.
Friday 4 September
I checked traps at Grant's location where he'd already released the two cats from the previous night. I had one cat. I had my drop-trap in the car and tried for one more to no avail. Then I headed downtown to pickup the 5 cats in traps...then set off to Glendale to released the last "high-end" cat and pick up my big donation. It had been a lot of work including several traps to the gas station - but well worth it! Then I got a call from a caregiver that was high-maintenance. They had not caught the mother cat (they hardly tried) they were after. I had been offered a bigger donation for pick up and aftercare of this cat. Well, I found out the 5 kittens were way old enough toTNR as well. I agreed to go by with my drop-trap and caught one kitten. (thinking of the big donation!). I asked the caregiver to try again with my drop-trap that night. Instead, as I was almost to the vet he caught one more kitten. I had to go back there and help him transfer the cat to the trap. I then headed to the vet with 8 cats. Of course there would be the usual aftercare and release the next day.
However, taking advantage of the Saturday clinic once again, I had a 20 cat job that night. I'd trapped there before but there were more there an 10+ at the neighbor on the other side of the alley. Fortunately they were able to do a lot of the trapping. I'd be transporting as they had no vehicle (or $$).
Saturday 4 September
In the early AM I released at the first two locations then headed to the third where I'd asked the caregiver to use my drop-trap to catch the last 4 cats (including the mother cat). He had done nothing! I swung into action. When I got there I helped him trap the mother cat and one kitten. I headed to the other job to pick up 20 cats (they caught them ALL) when he trapped the last two kittens. I headed back down there (again). I dropped off the 22 cats at the vet (20 from the big job and four from the other for a total of 24 cats). Both colonies were done!
There would be aftercare and released of all 24 cats the next morning (Sunday). There was no Tempe clinic that day due to the Labor Day holiday. We would be trapping on Labor Day evening but that will be in another blog if it ever gets written...
New estimates put the number of free-roaming cats at over 700,000 inMaricopa County. We can make a difference. Remember, "it starts with you". If everyone does one small thing each week help feral cats in their area reduce this number substantially.
Consider a $25.00 donation to the Spay Neuter Hotline to help one feral cat. Or, put TNR cards out at you vet or a local business. Talk to co-workers about TNR and how they can help. Donate items to our BIG yard sale in November. Little things make a big difference - they all add up.
To help please call the Hotline at: 602-265-7729 (SPAY).
Or visit our website at: http://www.spayneuterhotline.org/