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It surely does take a long time to catch all the cats in a colony! The first time or two, all the easy ones get caught. Then it can take months to try to get the more wild and wary ones, and sometimes there are a few who just refuse to be trapped. But, in all that time, I get to "know" the residents and it is such a rewarding feeling. I was helping trap a large (50+ cats) colony in WV for a couple months. Now that they're down to a few hard-core cats, I've taken on a smaller colony (~25 cats) in OH myself. I can trap every other Sunday because the cheap ($35) clinic is every other Monday, but I visit the cats a few times in between. I'm getting to know them and their varied personalities and, whether super-wild or actually touchable, they are all so beautiful and intriguing in their own ways. I just love being around them.

I took pictures of a few today. It wasn't at one their regular feeding times, so only about half the cats showed up, and some stayed where I couldn't get pictures.

This beauty was dumped at the site two years ago (already spayed) and she won't let anyone near her.


This is one of the recently spayed girls. She's inquisitive, but won't be touched.


This is May-May. She is fairly tame and she is now my BFF since I brought catnip last week. She is now spayed. She drools like crazy when she's nippin'!


And this is Patches, aka Mamacita. She breaks my heart. She is so loving, follows anybody around, and cries when we leave. How I wish someone would adopt her. The more times I visit, the harder it is to leave her behind. Uh-Oh. She, too, has discovered the joys of catnip, and can't quit rolling around when she finds some! You can see her spay-shave.


These cats are SO well cared-for. They are fed and checked three times a day. Their main caretaker brings them a homemade casserole, roast chicken, and canned food every evening. She often stays for hours afterward, just watching them and talikng to them. A wonderful, wonderful cat lady!
 

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Oh, Elsie, these stories break my heart. :(

These cats are so lucky to have people like you and your friends.
 

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Oh, that breaks my heart too and my heart can't take much more. Poor Mamacita. But they are all lucky to have people like you who care.

How do you know the one is spayed? It's always been my fear that I'll catch one in my traps who is and she'll go in for the surgery anyway. Would the vets know? Is there a visible scar left that they can see when they shave?
 

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Sometimes the scar is very small and doesn't get noticed. If I take a cat in for spay and I don't know its background, I warn the vet. The vet will shave the area and closely examine it for a scar. In the case of the feral colonies, we have the left ear "tipped" (about 1/4" cut off) when the cats are spayed/neutered. It's a universal practice and most shelters and vets know that ear-tipped cats are 'fixed'. It also helps when trapping large colonies, especially if a lot of them look alike.
 

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Yes, mine get their ear tips cut too. But in the case of former pets, the only thing you could go on would be the scar. I'd hate to send a cat in and find out later she was already spayed after they cut her open. So far it hasn't happened. Whether it's part of my colony or not, if they're in my trap, they've got an appointment so it's possible that someone's roaming cat will get s/n. I get it done for $20 plus 5 for shots, another 5 for worming and 5 for a Frontline Plus treatment. I'm not going to waste a slot because I caught the neighbor's cat. People are notorious around here for not S/N anyway.
 

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All of the cats are so lovely. It's so sad to hear of them being "dumped" or wanting a home but unable to have one. But, you're doing wonderful work with them and you should be proud of your efforts.
 

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There's no reason to feel bad! They look like they're enjoying their lives. They have everything an outdoor cat could need.
Thanks for all you do for them. The future for these cats is good, now that they won't be reproducing.
 

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Greenport ferals basically said exactly what i am thinking.

great work and beautiful kitties!
 
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