Monday, January 17, 2011

Folks who want to learn

Every now and then I get a wonderful and rare email. The person won't be wanting to adopt a cat from me. They won't be wanting me to take a cat from me. They won't be wanting me to fix any cats for them.

They will have feral cats of their own that appeared one day, the way feral cats do. They will already have taken some good steps to care for them. They will have already realized they need to fix the cats before spring arrives. They will have already been wise enough to look for help online. That's how they usually find me.

You want me to do ANYTHING for you? Just send me a photo like this:

Her name is Shadow.

I lend you anything I own if you have already taken steps to get your porch cats safe and warm. These kitties are from Greene NY, my very first hometown, where I lived until I was 4. Their caretakers were already well on the way the TNRing them. I sent them to the Neighborhood Cats page to buy one of their special "cat trap and isolator" packages and told them I'd be happy to lend them a feral cat den.

They came out on Sunday and brought their new trap (so shipping must really be fast!) It was the first time I'd seen the trap, and I'm very happy with it and will continue to recommend it. The flat hand-guard needs to be removed, because the edges are too sharp and a frantic cat, or a mistakenly caught raccoon, could shred their paws on it (been there, done that, in my nuisance wildlife control days). With the hand-guard removed, it is important to keep gloves on. I miss some of the older traps that used to just have extra wire bars as a hard-guard, so the animal could not reach through. Or the hand-guard should be thicker and the edges smoothed.

Other than that, it's a beautiful trap. I still like that the Safeguard traps I own are a bit wider than the Tomahawk. A plastic double food bowl does not fit easily in the Tomahawk, and it does in the Safeguard. But the wider pan, and the easy back door lock, more than make up for overall width in the new Tomahawk. If you buy the kit, you also get an isolator (which I need to start calling a "trap divider", which nowadays is required equipment for safe and humane feral cat handling. The price for the kit is very affordable for what you get. Previously I steered people away from Tomahawk traps because they were quite expensive. You could get two nice wide Safeguards for the cost of one Tomahawk trap. Not any more!

I may still buy the Safeguards myself (maybe) but for a new trapper, the Tomahawk is a beautiful thing, especially that wide trip pan that a cat is less likely to step over, and that easy-as-pie backdoor latch.

We talked about getting the cat out of the trap and into the den, and into the cage. They already had a wire cage so did not need to borrow the one I have. We visited the cats upstairs. It was a joy to talk to people who obviously cared about their cats because it was simply the right thing to do.

This kitten is so beautiful he almost doesn't look real!

Once these cats are fixed, there will be no growing population of kittens next spring, and no hungry mother cat catching birds or whatever she can get her paws on to feed her litter.

That's what it's all about.


Connie, Orlando said...

Wow, the George Clooney of kittens!

mikken said...

I'm caring for a stray (possibly feral?) for the first time ever, too! I have no idea if "Jack" is male or female and was going to ask my vet if she'd s/n a possibly feral cat for me.

Can you tell me, when's the best time to have this done? I was worried about extreme weather and surgical recovery. Jack has a shelter (very like the one in the photo, but with the entry more to one end) and it is in a protected area (under my deck, against the house), but if he's a she and needs a belly shaved...we're in N.Ohio and it gets pretty cold here, shelter or no.

If you'd like, you can email me at mikken AT neo DOT rr DOT com. Thanks so much!

Chrissykat said...

What a beauty! Wow! So great that they have taken such measures of care.

c said...

wow that's a beautiful picture!!!!

Rags to Riches Cat Rescue said...

I agree she is BEAUTIFUL!

Mandy said...

That is such a beautiful cat!