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I'm a newcomer to the cat world and I'm not yet financially independent to start paying for TNR methods/adoptions. Recently I just liked to wander around, feed the cats I saw, and pet them once or twice... but there's this one kitten that I absolutely adore.

However, I will be going away for college and I will only occasionally come back home. I want to believe that I will be able to get a job in four years, come back and properly adopt my favorite kitty. But of course, I knew that she would most likely a)go missing b)die c)forget me or d)breed and breed and breed before I can rescue her. Even if she's still there, I'm not sure if the whole transition from outdoor to indoor will be too traumatic or something.

Also, I recently saw a teenage cat standing on the partition that divides the highway. My car just flew by and I saw that cat and my heart broke. I'm not driving and there's just no way the car could stop in such a high-speed highway. I don't know if that cat managed to make it back to safety but I sincerely hope that he/she did. :( :( I just don't know how it got there in the first place...

So, do you guys have any stories about the ferals/strays that you can't save?
 

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I have a friend who traps ferals and strays and has them neutered or altered. If they are truly feral she releases them in the same area again. If they seem to be lost pets, she first tries to find the owners, or a new family. She feeds them all and tries to keep them safe. She would adopt some herself but she has has two gigantic dogs who would see them as snacks.
 

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Trapping ferals is not always easy and homing them is sometimes as difficult.
I do the best I can but there are always cats I wished I could have done more for.
Even if I had the space and the money, housing too many cats is also not doable since I own 3 at the moment and they object (never mind the community I live in).

Frankly, I miss and worry about the ones I managed to get adopted as well.
 

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Yes, what wallycat said. Autumn, the smiley tortie in my avatar, and her kitten Ramona are cats that came out of the feral colony at my workplace. Autumn originally had 5 kittens, but Ramona was the only one I was able to save. I sometimes still feel guilty about that, despite the fact that I did everything I could have. I feel especially guilty about Ophelia, Autumn's long-haired torbie kitten, because she was hit by a car the same weekend that I began trapping at the colony. I always felt that she might have made it if I had been able to begin trapping sooner. It's sad, but being involved in rescue and TNR means dealing with the unpleasant reality that many cats and kittens don't survive, but then that's part of the reason we do it. I know I can't save them all, but if I help just one cat, it'll make all the difference in the world for that one little life.
 

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I fret about the cats I've never even met - the ones I see on line at the Animal Control website with sad stories, haunting eyes; seniors with little hope of being adopted!! After awhile the picture disappears and I never know if they were adopted or euthanized. I know AC can't keep them all - I do not blame them; there just aren't enough adopters and there are people who buy from breeders making that many less homes available. I'm not judging, I just wish people would adopt until there were none left.
 

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When I was new to TNR and rescue we boarded cats which were dumped at the vet cuz we all ran out of space in our homes to foster. I was late and racing down to meet a potential adopter at the vet. The person had called and said she was at the vet and where was I. I was under the gun.

I saw an elderly man carrying a cat and walking a dog on the side of the interstate on the Indian Reservation. Down the road it struck me he was dumping the animals in the big wash.

I was so upset when I realized this. I continued on to meet the adopter cuz we were going broke boarding the cats. but it always haunts me when I drive by that section of the interstate. From then on anytime I see a cat or dog on the side of the road I stop and try to get them. I will never get over that memory and feel horrible inside even at the memory.
 
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