I have always thought that TNR is an excellent practice, it helps control the population in feral cat colonies... lets the older cats continue their lives as they know them, with none or minimal human intervention... the quality of life for these adult cats improve because they won't have the hormones to incite aggressive behavior, competition for mates, for food, pregnancies, heat cycles... and for the kittens already born, if they are young enough, they can still be rescued, socialized and they can go on to find a home and a family.
TNR seems like a no-brainer, a win-win situation.
Today, I believe in TNR even more, and I am very grateful for the people that take this task upon themselves.
Throughout the years, we have adopted 9 cats from different rescues around the Phoenix area, but when we adopted our 'little ones' a couple of months ago, we had a first. It was the first time that we got to meet the foster parents that had taken care of our kittens before we even knew them. I was thrilled to be able to talk to them about my Dexter & Ronan, to hear stories of how they behaved, what they liked, how they interacted with the other cats in their foster home, funny stories, you name it! we asked...
Dexter and Ronan were the 2 males in a liter of 4 kittens, they were all fostered together, and by the time we met them, the 2 sisters had already been adopted, so it was just them... for some reason, I assumed that somebody had surrendered the 4 kittens to the rescue group because they couldn't care for them and I was completely blown away when I heard this was not the case...
My Dexter and Ronan were born homeless, to a feral mom and for weeks this cat mama must have had a tough time out there, in the hot Phoenix weather and with 4 little kittens to take care of and feed on her own. And along comes a very nice lady, who loves cats with a passion and sets up a trap in the vicinity, she wanted to give the mom and the 4 kittens a second chance.
She was able to trap the cat mom and the 2 female kittens in one night, but the 2 male kitties couldn't be persuaded to join the family, so they actually stayed on their own, out there, without even their cat mama and sisters for almost a full day. The next evening, she was so relieved when she was able to trap the 2 little male kittens and have the family re-united again.
After trapping this cat family, Charlotte took it upon herself to foster the 4 kittens until they were big and strong enough to be neutered/spayed and be put up for adoption. She also had some hope for the cat mama, maybe she could be placed into a home, and she tried for a couple of months to bring her around, but eventually realized that she was feral and not likely to be persuaded to turn into a lazy, pampered house cat. So, she had her spayed and returned her to her "outdoor" home.
2 months later, I walked into a PetSmart, leaning towards adopting a young cat but still thinking about it and 'Tiger' caught my eye immediately, he was asleep, but something about him caught my attention and I was hooked. We also saw a very playful kitty outside his enclosure, playing with some kids and my husband was drawn to him immediately, his name was 'Scooby'.
We decided to ask about Tiger & Scooby and that's when we were told they were brothers, even if Tiger looked much smaller than Scooby... and that was it, we just had to take both of them home, it just seemed like the best thing to do, and later, once we were home and had a chance to see them together, we realized we had made the perfect decision, they were perfect together, they slept together, played together, groom together and little 'Tiger', the smallest of the pair, just kept following Scooby around. I really think that little Tiger would have been a bit lost if he didn't have his brother with him all of a sudden.
A little over a month has passed, my little ones are growing like crazy, they got new names, Dexter and Ronan, they are completely integrated with the rest of the cats in our home, they are even best buddies with some of them already and we couldn't be happier, we couldn't imagine our family without these 2 little rascals.
I owe my 2 little ones to the practice of TNR and a great lady that saw this cat family fending for itself and took it upon herself to give them a new life.
This is a perfect example of how TNR really has an impact on the lives of people and cats... 4 homeless kittens have homes and loving families, a feral cat mama is now spayed and living her life without the burden and risk of more pregnancies and she won't bring more homeless kittens into this world...
TNR is hard work, but it works! and rescue groups like Blistered Whiskers that are out there doing this hard work and trying to get better lives for these little furry balls and their cat mamas are very special people that put their love of animals to action.