To Get Involved or Not with TNR (Why I chose to get involved)
Now that my first Trap Neuter Release (TNR) experience is over. I want to talk to you about why I did this. I’ve admitted to you that I really never was a “cat person.” As a child the only cats around were the ones in the barn, or sometimes one of my friends had a cat. I never BONDED with cats. I was indifferent and that indifference stayed with me. My preference has always been dogs and horses, although I’ve also brought home goats, rabbits, at least one chipmunk, and a few birds.
As I grew up, I found that there were people in my family who had cats and loved them dearly, but I just missed the point. To me cats were OK, kind of pretty, “other” animals. Just not quite my cup of tea.
Then I bought my house and found there were free roaming cats all over the neighborhood. They used my backyard for a toilet and I didn’t like that, but still I didn’t DO anything. A few years ago I did get between my dog and a kitten and I began considering getting some traps, but that’s as far as I went.
It took the appearance of multiple kittens for me to ACT. That’s when the whole concept of TNR turned around for me. It was taking care of these little kittens and finding, much to my surprise, how interesting, sweet, loving, and entertaining they really are.
The experience of trapping them is an exciting challenge. The whole process is something to be learned and practiced. Once I finally decided to take this project on, I wanted to do it the best way possible. Just because I never was enamored with cats, did not mean that I wanted to frighten them when I caught them, so patience and moving ahead slowly was key for me. My first drop trap experience was another thrill. That kitten did NOT want anything to do with the other traps I was using. He is now a playful happy little guy who lives with me. I’ve posted his photo a few times because he’s just so darn CUTE.
The first time I reached in and picked up one of the kittens and after a couple of minutes he began to purr was the moment that my ENTIRE emotional connection to cats began to grow. I can hardly explain how incredible the feeling was when this tiny creature began to trust me. I was the FIRST person this kitten learned to trust. I got a feeling of euphoria that grew with each of the six kittens that I eventually socialized.
When I began talking about some of my experiences while I was at work, I was surprised at the people who supported this “catventure.” They asked me for updates. I began posting very short updates on Facebook and sharing photos with my friends and family. I got more encouragement. Then I began this blog and when people who are far more experienced than I began to comment and help me with their advice, I knew I was hooked. I now know that this will not be a single project that began with a few kittens in the backyard and ended up with me learning about finding homes for socialized kittens and feeding a couple of cats in the yard. It will be something I love doing that I feel is worthwhile and is based on sound humane practices that are well documented.
The reason I will do this again is the wonderful feeling I get with each successful TNR. As I get ready to begin to trap again, I will talk more about preparing for the next round as well as other positive changes that getting involved with TNR have brought my way.
If you are involved with TNR please share your experiences with me as well.
- Talk Back: More on the Controversy of Cats and Wildlife (hsus.typepad.com)
- It’s All the Fault of Those Pesky Humans (thecreativecat.net)
- All Good News! Another Adopted Kitten (thisandthatwriting.wordpress.com)
- What Is TNR Success? (thisandthatwriting.wordpress.com)