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Discussion Starter #1
So, a couple days ago I posted the following in "The Complaining Thread - 2013":

I hate having to return tame cats and older kittens to feral colonies, especially when I know the colony is really dangerous or a breeding ground for disease. :( These are cats that we would place in foster care or adopt out through a rescue or no-kill shelter if it weren't kitten season! I save the occasional tame stray or semi-feral adult by fostering and adopting them out myself, but I can't take on any additional foster cats right now. It kills me every single time I have to let one go.
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I now have 2 more fosters, sort of. The cats from the 2nd colony I trapped at over the weekend were all varying degrees of tame. The colony itself is in a very posh, upper middle class neighbourhood, which you'd think would make it a safer place for the cats, but apparently not. The colony caretaker has had someone attempt to poison the cats, and a sibling of one of the cats that is now a sort of foster was run over on the Bayview Extension just last week. I trapped 3 cats at this colony over the weekend, 2 of which are completely tame, and absolutely love people!

I'm glad to say that one of these cats, "Tigger" the 4 month old DSH torbie kitten, was adopted yesterday! The woman who adopted her lives in the area of the colony and sometimes feeds and plays with the cats. She approached the colony caretaker to ask about adopting the kitten a while ago, and she came over when were trapping on Monday to reiterate her interest in adopting Tigger--"Tigger" being the name that she had already picked out for the kitten. :) I met her at the Recovery Centre yesterday, had her sign the adoption contract, and she left with her new kitty! I've asked Tigger's new mommy to send me a photo once she settles in, which I'll definitely post here.

The second tame cat is another kitten; a male DSH tabby & white who looks to be about 5 - 6 months old. I named him "Mickey". He's a fabulous cat! He's really playful and gregarious, and he absolutely loves people! The Recovery Centre volunteers were concerned about interacting with him because he was shoving up against the trap bars so much that he ended up with a bloody nose, trying to get at them, and they were worried he was aggressive. Lol, not unless you're afraid of being loved to death! The centre volunteers don't always have a lot of feral experience though, so it's understandable. Unfortunately, the cats from this colony all have roundworm, so Mickey has diarhea, which he got all over himself in his frantic efforts to escape his trap for cuddles. I gave him a bath with a wet washcloth yesterday, but I'll have to go buy some kitty shampoo today, so I can clean him up properly. He'll be much nicer to cuddle when his weaving and headbutting don't result in me being covered in poo.

The 3rd cat I trapped on Monday is a young adult tortie. She's absolutely beautiful, and clearly not feral, but she's the kind of cat that does often get put back outside because she's an adult, and a tortie, and not immediately adoptable. I'll put her back if I have to, but she could definitely be worked with, so I'm kind of hoping I can arrange foster care for her somewhere, though I haven't figured out where yet. I can't keep these cats at the Recovery Centre for more than a week or two at the very most, so I'm kind of frantically calling people to try and arrange something else, either temporary foster care or adoption. I managed to find someone who is interested in adopting a cat, but she has to talk her SI into the idea first. Fingers crossed!

My parents will kill me if I move anymore cats into our house, but maybe the garage...? :neutral:
 

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What wonderful work you do!!! Yes, the ones that would fit into the home environment should be given every chance to succeed! Here is a longshot thought, maybe you can send some form letters to some of the residents there. Maybe make up a flyer and canvas about 3 or 4 streets, maybe 75-100 homes and see if someone would be willing to take in a cat or two or three! If I lived there I would be happy to deliver the letters!! These cats are from their community - it may appeal to their sense of civic pride and duty (?). Just a thought - I know how stressful this can be! I think the garage is a great idea! I know in Canada it must be starting to get chilly now.
 

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You do great work! It's tough enough to TNR ferals back to a sketchy colony, but when cats actually turn out to be tame you feel that special obligation, which I know only too well.
I agree, there might be more people in that neighborhood like the lady who adopted Tigger. You never know. Some flyers with photos might help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Removing tame cats and kittens from colonies is an important part of TNR, but it's often not possible due to lack of resources. I don't "work for" any specific rescue, so I don't have to justify how I spend my own time or money--if I want to invest the effort to socialize semi-ferals, I'm free to do so, and I'll do whatever I can to avoid returning completely tame cats like these. The flyers are a good idea. I don't live anywhere near the colony where I trapped the cats, but I will send photos to the colony caretaker and the woman who adopted Tigger and ask them to speak with their neighbours. It's not especially cold in Toronto yet at this time of year, but I know freezing overnight lows aren't a long way off. It can get very cold in the winter, and cats do freeze to death, so it's something those of us who practice TNR in this city do really worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have photos!! None of Tigger yet, unfortunately, but I did get pictures of Mickey and the beautiful tortie!


Mickey! :D


Beautiful tortie! Any name suggestions for her would be appreciated; I feel bad calling her "the tortie" all the time.
 

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Dt8thd, oh my goodness! Little Mickey with his scraped up nose...poor baby! He's a little cutie! And such a pretty Tortie girl!
A name popped into my mind as soon as I saw her picture..."Nutmeg", like the spice!
I'm so glad you took these two in! I hope you can find them homes soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Dt8thd, oh my goodness! Little Mickey with his scraped up nose...poor baby! He's a little cutie! And such a pretty Tortie girl!
A name popped into my mind as soon as I saw her picture..."Nutmeg", like the spice!
I'm so glad you took these two in! I hope you can find them homes soon!
Yes, they're both lovely cats. Nutmeg is a cute suggestion, I'll try it out and see if it suits her. :)

I hope I can find them homes soon too, or I'm going to have to move them into my garage, and my parents will not be pleased with me if I do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What about Pepper for the tortie? They are both adorable. Poor Mickey, that nose looks painful! :(
Oh, I really like the name Pepper for her; I'll have to see if she looks like a Pepper when I see her tonight. It's too difficult for me to name cats based on their photos; I find that I need to really look at the cat in person to determine whether a name "fits" or not. I'm just odd like that, I guess. :)

Mickey's nose looks worse than it is, I think. He doesn't react at all when I apply Polysporin. It's not nice to look at though, is it? :( I would have moved him to one of the large cages sooner, but all of the cats have to go to the feral spay/neuter clinic in a trap or transfer cage, otherwise the staff won't do the operation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Tortie is now called Pepper! :D I did try out Nutmeg as well, but I found myself shortening it to " Ms. Nutty" when I was babbling at her in my "talking to cats voice", Lol! Thanks for the name suggestions 7cats2dogs and emilyatl!

Mickey and Pepper are now sharing an extra large dog crate. They're both so sweet; they sleep cuddled together with their arms around each other! My heart melts when I see them like that. I carried Pepper around in my arms for about half an hour yesterday, and she never once indicated that she wanted to be put down. She purred from when I first picked her up until I put her back in her crate.

In other news, I was back at the colony where I trapped Mickey and Pepper last night because there's a feral spay/neuter clinic this evening at the Toronto Humane Society. The colony cats typically get fed first thing in the morning, around 7:30am and again at 3:30pm, so it was well past their feeding time when we began trapping (the colony caretaker is retired, but I work full-time). There was only one cat hanging around when we arrived: the more playful of the two orange tabby kittens (they're big kittens, I'd guess around 7 or 8 months, so they're probably Pepper's brothers from the same litter), but we got him! He's just as tame as Mickey and Pepper are; in fact, we didn't even trap him... we picked him up, which made him purr his head off, and put him in the trap!!

This colony is insane! The cats aren't just tame, they're the exact kind of housecats that most people wish they had! I can't believe that the neighbours are up in arms about these cats; it's absolutely ridiculous! :-x

UPDATE: I got a phone call while I was typing this to let me know that the colony caretaker has trapped the other orange tabby. Hooo boy, I'm up to 5 fosters now. :neutral: I'm glad that they won't be going back out, but holy crap!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, it was another late night of cat-related activities last night. I took the bus straight to the Recovery Centre after work, and, from there, me and another trapper drove 4 cats (the 2 orange tabbies, a kitten from a foster home, and a tom from another colony) downtown to the clinic at the Toronto Humane Society. Then it was back to the Recovery Centre to do some feeding, and cleaning, and socializing while I waited for the cats to be ready for pick up and for the other trapper, who went home to make dinner while we were waiting, to go get the cats and drive them back to the Recovery Centre. Then we had to get everyone fed, and watered, and settled in for the night. It was after 1am when I finally got home. Ugh! Seriously, I have no life.

Anyway, enough complaining. I set the 2 orange tabbies (who are, as suspected, both boys) up in a big dog crate right next to Mickey’s and Pepper’s. They were both still a bit out of sorts from their surgeries, but they were moving around alright, and they demolished the wet food I gave them. Looking at these cats in the crate, they are completely identical! Not just really, really similar, I mean that they look exactly alike! If they didn’t have different personalities, there would be no discernible way to tell them apart. I’m convinced that they’re identical twins. All cats from the same litter are technically fraternal twins, but there’s no way that these guys didn’t come from the same egg. The colony caretaker did mention that she thinks that one of the twins is polydactyl on one of his front paws, so I’ll have to check today--I honestly couldn’t be bothered at 12:30am on a work night.

The first twin we trapped is a wonderful cat, just like Mickey and Pepper, he’s completely tame. The second twin is less so. He’s much more skittish than his brother, and he crammed himself into the back of the crate when we moved him in there with his brother. We’ll see how he does, but I think he’ll be ok; I may just have to work with him a bit. I brought my camera to work with me today, so that I can take pictures of the boys. I’ll post them up either tonight or tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The tabby twins! :D

The first photo is the super-social playful guy.


The second picture is the shyer boy.


Aren't they lovely? :D

Neither of them have names yet, so please feel free to make suggestions.
 

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Ack! They are both adorable! The first one has such a cute expression. Thank you for taking them in.

And I'm glad the name Pepper worked. She was my first kitty ever, a tortie, who lived to be 19. :)
 

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Very Handsome, love the big orange boys.

Neither of them have names yet, so please feel free to make suggestions.
Alexander
Cory
Copper
Petey
Armani
Butler

I thought of 'pair' names like Calvin and Hobbes, but for some reason thought these boys maybe should just have individual names...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I thought of 'pair' names like Calvin and Hobbes, but for some reason thought these boys maybe should just have individual names...
Yes, I agree. I did initially think about giving them "pair" names too, but I don't know if they'll end up being adopted together or separately, so I think individual names make the most sense. I think I would only give "pair" names to cats that were either bonded and needed to be adopted together, or cats that suited the names individually, even if they weren't necessarily adopted together.

I think "Petey" could maybe work. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Are you thinking Petey for the first one? He looks like a Petey. What about Oscar or Jake for the quiet one?
Thanks for the suggestions! I make a list of all the names suggested and try them out when I'm interacting with the cat to see which ones suit, so I'll add Oscar and Jake to the list.

I haven't settled on Petey, but I think it could work, as could Jake, potentially. I generally enjoy giving cats obscure historical names or names taken from classical literature; firstly because I'm odd like that, but also because I feel like it sets the cat apart from those with more traditional names. I'm not against giving cats more common names (my brother's girlfriend also proposed Edward, and I kind of like Steven), I just enjoy the uniqueness and character of a name like Galileo or Dante for a cat. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
It looks like poor Mickey has a URI, so I've made an appointment for him at the vet's tomorrow evening. He's still sharing a crate with Pepper because Mickey gets really unhappy about being confined when he's on his own, hence the damage to his nose from shoving up against the trap and cage bars. I'm sure Pepper will need to be treated too, even though she's not really showing too many signs right now, and the twin boys as well, because there's some sneezing going on in their crate too. I'll also have to pick up some dewormer for the twins.

It kind of bugs me that vets always want to see all of the cats I'm looking to treat when I request a medication like a dewormer. Is it not standard practice to treat every cat in a household if one clearly has worms? So, why would that be different when I'm bringing you 1 of 4 colony cats from the same colony, especially as I can provide you with poop samples, complete with worms, for each cat? Or, I could have, but I've already treated Mickey and Pepper (and Tigger before she was adopted) with Profender that I had laying around, so they're less of an issue; but, it's recommended to administer a second dose of dewormer 2 weeks after the first, and I'm sure it's been at least that since Mickey and Pepper were treated the first time. I pay out of my own pocket for vet visits and medications for the cats that I foster, and asking me to bring in multiple cats seems a bit stupid, when I could much more easily (and from my standpoint, cost effectively) bring you a poo sample. In fact, I'm pretty sure I know what roundworm looks like by now, so how about you take my word for it--because who would lie about something like that?!--and let me buy the stupid meds? I called my pharmacy earlier today to see if it was at all possible to get an over the counter oral suspension of Azithromycin, but no such luck. I hate that I have to drop $60 on a vet visit just to get a prescription for something that's only a controlled medication because some people assume that a cold is something you should take anti-biotics for if it doesn't go away on its own in 24 hours.

So, I'm planning to take another cat along with Mickey to the appointment tomorrow. I figure I'll take whoever is exhibiting the most symptoms of also having a URI, so that I can (hopefully) convince the vet to prescribe the appropriate amount of anti-biotics to treat all of my cats. The vet is close to where I work, but I can't exactly bring cats to work with me, so I have to go to the Recovery Centre, load up the cats, and double back up to the vet's.

A number of cats at the centre have URI's right now. It's not uncommon in an environment that sees lots of cats pass through, but it's aggravating because they just end up passing it around. I need to get these cats adopted, or at least into proper foster homes, otherwise my garage is going to end up being kitty quarantine. ...We used to actually park cars in there.
 
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