Coming home from work, on time for once, I thought I would stop by the court yard colony I had worked with last summer . . . just to see what they were up to. The weather was beautiful, rather warm, and I was enjoying the day. I turned the corner to get a full view of the courtyard and was met with the sight of a very pregnant cat I had never before seen.
Last summer I TNRed seven cats from this colony sight, found two cats that had already been TNRed, and rescued two kittens for socialization and adoption. I couldn’t believe I had missed someone! I went home with my stomach in my throat and pulse racing. After a few moments of thought I decided to go for it, I would catch the pregnant cat and figure out the rest later. I grabbed two box traps, my backpack full of trapping supplies, didn’t even bother with my trolly system, and headed over to the courtyard. Getting set up I decided to keep it simple. I put a box trap in the “hot spot” where I had trapped most of the cats last summer, put the bait directly on the trip plate, sprinkled tempting bits of the bait leading into the tap, and stepped back to wait. Sitting by the front door of the apartment complex I thought it might keep me calmer if I played a game on my phone. Not long after I sat down to get comfortable at tap went off. I ran to put the over over the cat, checked it hadn’t been ear tipped and set another trap. A very short time later I had another cat that also had no ear tip. I was a bit disappointed I hadn’t caught the pregnant cat, but knew it was a long shot. I went home and refreshed the scheduling service until I was lucky enough to get five appointments on the system.
I barely slept that night thinking about the pregnant cat and waking up in time to trap before work. When the alarm when off at 5:30am I was ready to go. I made some coffee grabbed two more box traps and off I went. Again I decided to keep it simple, but this time I put one trap in the hot spot and one just a bit further down. Sitting down to another game of Candy Crush I waited. It wasn’t a long wait, a trap went off soon after I sat down. A sweet little black boy shook the trap wanting out. Quickly I covered him up hoping the noise hadn’t scared everyone else away. I moved him out of the courtyard near where I had been sitting and sat down to wait for the trap to go off again.
I wasn’t there long again before the second trap went off. It wasn’t sure, but I though it was the pregnant cat . . . or another lady who was pregnant!
Packing up I rolled my two treasures home, up four flights of stairs and into my sewing/recover cat room. Getting them set up is always a bit of a process, I actually made a video about it for other people who do TNR:
After getting everyone set, fed, and watered I headed off to work. That evening I went out with two more traps thinking I would check to see if there were any more cats waiting for me. While I waited for the traps Money Cat, a cat I had trapped, but who had already been fixed, came to visit.
In quick succession I trapped two more cats making me very nervous. I only had five spots and six cats.
Back at home I hit the refresh button a million times hoping to get another appointment. I was pretty sure I would, if not I would have to take the cat to a normal clinic and pay for it. Luckily two spots opened up and I grabbed them. I also grabbed my final trap and headed back to the site to try my luck one final time. And my luck paid off!
With seven cats in seven taps I had to call it a night. I couldn’t do any more if I wanted to, it felt rather good to say that.
I filled out the paperwork for the next day and worn out went to bed. The next morning I woke up at 5:30am, changed everyone’s diapers, loaded the traps and cats into the car and off I went to Glendale, Queens.
When I picked up the cats that night I was shocked to find out how old some of them where. There was an age range from 1 year to 10+ years! Honestly the paperwork is fascinating to me, finding out the sex, the age, and any health quirks they might have is one of my favorite things.
After all of the cats had recovered for the right amount of time I brought them back to their courtyard and released them.
From there it was another round of sterilizing traps for the next group!