Wednesday, January 25, 2012

TNR: notes from the field

6:55am - fed outside cats light breakfast. note: Mama Kitty in middle of yard watching me, something she has not done before, appears to indicate she is trusting me more, a good sign.

7:07am - play "chase the red dot" (laser pointer) with Oliver and Mama Kitty through window. note: this is the first time Mama Kitty felt comfortable enough to play with red dot.

8:30am - breakfast with friend. discuss plan to trap ferals and accompanying anxiety. thankful to receive compassion and care from friend rather than "you're a crazy cat guy" look.

12:05pm - attend therapy appointment. focus on reducing intense anxiety related to trapping Oliver's family. session is helpful.

1:35pm - final preparation for trapping. materials and supplies gathered. plan finalized.

1:46pm - feed Oliver large late lunch, give him lots of loves, hoping he sleeps late and is not hungry come trapping time.

4:45pm - darkness falling. traps baited, set. ready for action. anxiety rising.

5:11pm - darkness fallen, watching, listening, waiting. trying to remember to breathe. visibility difficult with darkness.

5:21pm - Oliver continues to sleep his his home.

5:43pm - movement detected in the yard. turns out to be Crooked Tail Kitty. scared him off as he's not part of the plan.

5:46pm - looking for black cats in the dark is not easy.

5:51pm - backup has arrived, Laura arrives home from work, nerves settle a bit

6:07pm - weather forecast was calling for 70% chance of rain right now. thankful it remains dry.

6:15pm - first glass of wine is served, yea for backup!

6:24pm - first kitten spotted. goes over and enters Tomahawk trap, triggers trap. quickly cover ends of trap with blanket and relocate trap to basement. kitten thrashing around in trap more than I would like, hope it's ok. note: sprinkles now falling from sky.

6:28pm - Mama Kitty and second kitten appear in yard. kitten goes into trap under planter, triggers trap. Mama Kitty stays by trapped kitten, trying to get to kitten. trapped kitten calmly eats the sardine bait.

6:28pm - text Laura requesting immediate backup.

6:29pm - Mama Kitty checks out last remaining trap, enters, triggers trap. grab towels to cover traps and run out with Laura to cover and transport traps to basement.

6:30pm - Oliver's family all secure in their covered traps in basement awaiting transport to clinic in morning.

6:31pm - Oliver appears in yard to see what all the commotion is about.

6:31pm - anxiety level back to baseline. mission accomplished.

6:59pm - celebratory pizza ordered, second glass of wine poured.

I'm so thankful to have caught Mama Kitty and both kittens!! Everything worked so perfectly with little trauma for everyone. Thank you everyone for your positive thoughts and energy. Thank you Nancy and Sue for answering my hundreds of questions.

Now, I'm eager to find out the genders of the kittens. Tomorrow morning comes delivering the cats to Sue for transport to Purrfect Pals. Then at the of the day, I get them back, so they can rest for 24 hours before being let free. The hard part for me is over. The hard part for the ferals remains.


  1. Great job! Wish we could be as fortunate with our mama cat at work! We've managed to TNR everyone except her. After seeing 4 of her fellow cats trapped, she has become trap savvy and won't go anywhere near one of the traps, no matter how hungry she gets. We haven't given up, especially since she produces 2-3 litters a year, we keep trying. (And yes, we trap her kittens as soon as we can.)

    1. Have you tried a drop trap? I've yet to not have that work - best if you can set it up and feed under it for at least a few days, even a week is better. I promise, you will get her.

  2. You did it! I am so glad it went well and Mama and the kitties are going to be taken care of. You did such a good job and kept Oliver from freaking out. I hope you enjoyed that pizza and wine! Hugs to you! Linda

  3. Way to go! Can't believe it went that smoothly. Amazing!

  4. Awesome work! You have just improved the quality of life for 3 more will go to heaven for this! Candace

  5. Oops - I inadvertently posted under your preparing to TNR posting. Well, what I said was
    YAY PHIL! And Laura too! I am thrilled for you, and can't wait to hear if you have boys, girls, or both. And Phil - mama cat needs a name now...
    I have to say, you have the luckiest little feral colony around - and I'm so glad you trapped them now, so you won't have MORE little ferals in your colony!
    Thanks for working so hard on this - looking forward to hearing more about them! Nancy

  6. I was tense just by reading this. I trap feral cats and kittens to have them fixed and I know how intense this is. My heart races like crazy and the rush of adrenaline is overwhelming. So glad you could trap all three of them at the same time... I have experienced some resentment from adult cats after being released, you know how cats are, but we were ok in a few weeks. Congratulations and thank you so much for caring this much for our feline friends. Can't wait to read more about them.

  7. Yay! OMC, Phil, I was holding my breath reading this! Good for you! Well done, kudos. No more babies for mama cat and yes, she needs a name! So do the babies, once their gender is determined.


  8. Amazing! It took a few weekends to get the 6 ferals I have around here TNR'd. Great job to get it all done in one night!

  9. I am so pleased everything went well!!!

  10. I'm so happy for all of you! I hope once the kitties are all spay/neutered, they will stick around your yard.....Plus hopefully they will quickly forgive and forget the operation!

  11. Bravo! That was not easy, I am sure. You just prevented many more unwanted kittens and I hope you are very proud of yourself. Best of luck with them. Perhaps those young ones won't be as wild as you think and can be adopted. Wouldn't that be great. Hugs to you, Deb

  12. OMC!!! That is so very awesome!!! We are very proud of you and glad that you are SUCH an amazing cat guy!! (no strange looks from us) Purrs to you and Oliver's family.....

  13. How wonderful to get all of Oliver's family trapped on the same night! We hope the surgeries are uneventful.

  14. Brilliant work !! Blessings to you and the kitties :D Looking forward to reading more about them as the days go by. I was holding my breath as I read this post too ;p You have a way with words...and photos ( and cats too !! ). Thanks for a lovely blog...I really enjoy reading it !


  15. Looks like the worst is over (for you). An amazing story well described.

  16. Fabulous!!!
    Job well done and you are to be commended highly!!!

  17. Paw up! Terrific work. You deserve a second glass of wine! Looking forward to finding out more about the family!

  18. I am way behind in my reading so just found this post. So glad it went well and you got them all! I did mine one a t a time except for Mamacita and her two kittens - they were very ill with a URI so I had to get them quickly and together - I do understand the adrenaline rush! Great job!!!


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