Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pam's TNR Blog September 2015

September 2015

I have TNR'd over 1,400 cats so far this year.  This summer was exceptionally hot and did most of my trapping in the early morning. The swamp coolers ran continuously, struggling to keep the garage cool for the cats. Grant maintains my coolers so I always have a backup in case one fails. Thank you Grant! August 2015 had the highest average high on record in Phoenix.

I took a break in July to visit Costa Rica. The occasion was my Sister's birthday and a yoga retreat. The best part was the "resort cat" that found me and not only slept on my bed but came to our yoga classes nearly every day. I did check and this gorgeous calico cat was indeed spayed. However I saw several males at the resort with testicles! Below is a photo of "Carmen Julia" visiting out yoga class. The view out the window is of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. I enjoyed zip-lining, the volcanoes, hot springs and touring a coffee plantation.

"Yoga Cat" in Costa Rica

Some of the highlights of the last six months follow...

Here is one of the neatest old cats I have ever seen. He is the quintessential older male cat that needed to be fixed. He looks in bad shape but actually he was OK and got neutered and returned to a caregiver who started feeding him at her place as the neighbor did not care for him. He now has a nice place to stay, gets fed well, and has a lot of love and attention.

Neutered at Last - never too late!

The highlight of August a story on Fox News I saw early one morning and my subsequent trapping of cats at this location. Someone sent me a link to a news story and after a trapping job went South, I decided to do some sleuthing in the area. And Voila! I found the house and the cats needing help. so I started the next day and ended up fixing 11 cats. 

I caught some ear-tipped cats that the lady had TNR'd in 2008 and many of the already spayed and neutered pet cats that had been locked out when she died and the husband was placed in assisted living. Fox interviewed the frustrated neighbor who had been feeding the cats. It was a sad situation but not atypical of the TNR business. I have see much worse places with the caregiver still residing at the house. It is unclear what will happen when the house is sold. However, the neighbor is feeding the cats for now. There are still two cats being fed several houses down from here that I need to far no luck. One happy part of this story was that I recovered three of my traps that had been in the backyard of this caregiver since 2008!

We had a free TNR day in August for feral cats thanks to a grant from PetSmart Charities. I helped organize one of the clinics for 75 cats on 8/6/15 at The North Phoenix Animal Clinic. We had 72 cats in the door with two vets and three techs. Carla and Grant volunteered and it was like old for years we did high-volume S/N for ferals on Sunday's. Below is a photo of the cats in aftercare and waiting for caregivers to pick up. I might mention it was over 112 degrees that day making it even more of a challenge to get those cats trapped and to and from the clinic. I had 108 traps out meaning to success rate was 67%, lower than normal but it was HOT!

Feral Cat S/N Day - August 2015

Kitten season 2015 was one of the busiest I have endured. Spring is always the time when the most kittens are born. This year it was still going strong in August! I am seeing a slowdown now. I was able to get many in for foster and adoption, thanks to Sunday, Christina, Sheila and Peaches...Many kittens had to be fixed and returned as there is no place to go. The biggest problem is that there are simply too many cats and not enough homes for the. Most people who have cats already have too many cats - like me. The litter below I scooped up out of the bushes where I trapped over 15 cats. Mom got trapped, fixed, and is being returned this week. These guys are eating on their own and will hopefully be going to AAWL for adoption. These guys are less than three weeks old as their ears are not quite up. Two of them are Classic Tabbies with white reminding me of my beautiful Priscilla Cat.

Kittens, kittens and more kittens!

Here are more kittens I found earlier in the season. 

More Kittens

For the last two years I ave trapped at three recycling centers. Aside from leaning a lot about this fascinating business, I trapped over 50 cats total at these three locations. did you know that most of this material is shipped to China where they make "stuff" to sell to us? There are LOTs of places for cats to hide out (and have kittens). This is similar to where I trapped a couple of years ago in the defunct poultry processing plant. Below is a photo of the material waiting to be shipped to China at one of the centers on the West side.

Recycling Center Trapping

The sad part about 2015 is that I lost my trapping partner. Suzie moved away and I am all alone now trying to manage not only many large trapping jobs but strategizing for the 120 clinics held once a month at the AHS. It used to be fun planning and dealing with cats, traps, trapping, arranging transport and making sure everyone showed up. We normally schedule up to 170 cats for those clinics figuring about a 70% turnout rate. Often last minute cancellations result in scrambling to find more cats and traps to fill the spaces. This was actually an exhilarating experience! Now it seems stressful and frustrating. Still, it gives me a lot of satisfaction when 120 cats show up and all free spaces are filled! Thank you Suzie for the 13 years worked to fix 1000's of cats and help so many caregivers in need...

October is National Feral Cat Month and it is usually my busiest month. I am trapping a 50 cat colony over three days next week. Hopefully I will mee my 2,300 cat TNR goal for 2015. I was lucky to receive a $1,000.00 donation for these 50 cats from a long-time cat advocate. Having read Steve Jobs's, Elon Musk's, Jeff Bezos's and Richard Branson's biographies, I am convinced we can solve the free-roaming cat over-population problem in the Phoenix area. To quote Branson: "The seemingly impossible should be defined as something that should be a lot of fun disproving". TNR can be a challenging and a LOT of hard work but it is rewarding and it can be FUN too!

If you are interesting helping feral cats, donating $$$ to help caregivers and cats in need, or need assistance with cats you are feeding, feel free to contact me @:

Together we can make a difference in the lives of free-roaming cats!