Caring for Neighborhood Cats Leads to Trap-Neuter-Return

Irish Cornaire, New York, United States

Several years ago I had come to learn there were around 12 to 14 cats that were living in an abandoned house, so I started feeding them with the permission from the property owner. One cat in particular caught my eye, and I named him Baby Boi (pictured in the photo).

After a few months of feeding the cats, the owner informed me that house was being dismantled, and I got scared because the cats would have no shelter at all, so I contacted Alley Cat Allies and told them what was going on and what was about to happen. They sent me a lot of information regarding Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), and then I got on the phone looking for reasonably priced vets to spay and neuter all the cats. I was given permission to release the cats on my friend’s property, but I still could not find a vet that would work with me. A friend of mine put me in touch with Northern Animal Charities of Northern NY, which sent me vouchers and also put me in touch with SpayNeuterNow (SNN), which is an organization that goes from town to town with its mobile clinic and helps people fix their cats.

The day came when I could finally get my whole colony spayed or neutered, and the night before I live trapped all of them except for Baby Boi, because he was socialized and sought attention. The next morning SNN showed up and all cats were spayed or neutered, including Baby Boi. I got them all into the garage to recover, and I went back the next day and opened the door for them. Most of them took off and I never saw them again, but some of them stuck around including Baby Boi, Fraidy, Tuxy, Junior, Abby (she was adopted), Blacki, and Henny. All are still thriving today, but sadly Baby Boi was put to sleep due to full renal failure, which crushed me. He was only 2 years old.

Today I still do TNR and I also advocate for TNR in my community.