From October 2002 to April 2006, my husband and I helped to shelter and feed a feral cat colony in our backyard. One other neighbor also helped with the feeding. We attempted to create a TNR colony, but no one in our neighborhood was willing to help us foot the bill for the spay/neuters needed and we could not afford to do it ourselves. None of the cats were there by our hand or neglect. At its height, there were over 20 family members in the colony.
At some point in late 2005, a man who lived down the street from us and worked for animal control deviously talked our one well meaning but ignorant neighbor into allowing him to place baited traps in her yard rather than her feeding them. He promised her that he was finding homes for the cats he trapped. We all know that was a lie. ALL of the cats he trapped were feral adults, not capable of being rehomed. They were no doubt all euthanized.
By the time we figured out where all the cats were disappearing to, it was too late to save the colony. We were able to save four of that spring’s kittens and they live with us to this day. Piggy, Gus, Meeko, and Oats are the last surviving members of the once thriving colony.
I am posting photos of the colony today to show you where my babies came from and to put a face to feral cat colonies for those of you who may be unaware of their existence or of the fact that, if neighborhoods work together, the animals can live a healthy, long life without the need for killing any cats. This colony, had it become the TNR colony we dreamed of, would have already, statistically speaking, died off of natural causes, because outdoor feral cats tend to live only 4-5 years. The amount of time and money this one man spent trapping and killing all of these cats could have been used to form the TNR colony with no deaths needed, but he did not have the foresight to see another way to control the issue other than extermination.
I apologize for the photo quality, but these are very old photos taken with the first digital camera I ever owned from 2002! I hope that you are able to enjoy them and that they also make you stop, think, and, perhaps, even research the TNR movement.
A new litter feeding. TNR would have prevented this litter from existing.
We have reason to believe that the cat in the photo above is Oat’s daddy.
The last two kittens we were unable to save.
A dark towel in the winter sun was a magnet to them!
The baby who is sitting in the doorway of the red bed box is the mother of our four babies.
Another shot of our babies’ mother. She is the one NOT eating that is facing the camera. Piggy is her twin, isn’t she?
Feeding time for the colony was always intense. Aren’t they just gorgeous cats? You can definitely see the familial resemblance in our babies. These kitties would be their siblings from previous litters and their mother.
If you would like more information on how you can help the feral cat situation and TNR movement, please check out one or both of the following links:
Managing a Feral Cat Colony: Basic steps
***Please note that I am not, in any way/shape/form, promoting the allowance of irresponsible feral cat breeding. I was not in the financial position to do anything for this particular colony other than what I did. I did reach out for help from my local shelters but, at that time, they were unable to do anything for me financially. Had the means been present and had people in the community stepped up and helped us all take responsibility for this colony, the TNR would have happened. I am posting this as a personal experience and in the hopes that it will encourage others to help control the pet overpopulation issue in any humane way that they can afford.***
Copyright © 2014 Poetic Pussy Cats
- All Rights Reserved