Rescue Journal

cole has the runs this morning...

Carol  ·  Oct. 31, 2009

just what i want to do...bath that poor moaning and wailing dog on a cold and wet rainy day. we are going to have to start measuring his canned food intake..i think a teaspoon too much, and there is hell in his guts to pay.
i spent the entire evening on the phone last very long (and yes enjoyably pleasant call) and my cell phone is dead and again, i did not do any of my personal laundry. it was almost 1 am by the time the diabetics were done, shadow was walked and the bed buddies finally got to use their velcro skills....a 6 am wake up call by a leaking chica..(chica, honey?.... you leak????) and another wet bed..which made even more laundry for me.
everything has it's price to pay.

anyway...the conversation was interesting because it was party about feral cat trapping..which is by choice not one of my areas of expertise. don't get me wrong..over the years i have done my fair share but not any more because saints focus is different.
but just because i don't do it and don't have to live it...does not mean i don't have an opinion of how it "should" be done (as we all know...carol has an opinion on just about EVERYTHING)..."should" is such a dangerous implies judgement, which it is.

BUT...there is a softer side to judgements that are attached to words like "should"....i do totally get why my "shoulds" logistically and reasonably aren't always happening at this moment in time...but maybe in a time down the road?
but i am going to put them out here anyway..others can take them or leave them according to their realities. but it is something to think about..maybe even one day to implement if the harsh realities of feral trapping do ever begin to change (like suddenly communities and municipalities actually start to value the incredibly hard and difficult work of cat trappers and fork over some dough)

i think feral cats trapped "should" be given a reasonable amount of time before re-release to ensure they are in fact actually feral and not just really freaked. the thought of tame domestics TNR'd and let back go because they didn't have the time to settle and remember that humans are their protectors and friends...worries me. we all know that most cats once trapped, are not ever willingly going to be trapped again and they might just have lost the last and only opportunity to reconnect once again with a kinder human world.

and i think all TNR'd cats "should" be FeLV tested routinely. i don't think it is wise to send infected ones back out there to spread this devastating disease...AND i think to send an infected cat out there to eventually suffer the horrible symptoms without any medical assistence to die really difficult deaths alone in a harsh and unforgiving life, is just plain mean.

i know all of the reasonable and reality based reasons why many feral cat trappers don't test (lack of funds, lack of resouces, lack of space to put positives, lack of a reasonable way to re-test in a couple of months to ensure the first test was accurate anyway...and a real lack of having the stone cold heart necessary if you have no other options, to nuke an unhealthy animal that looks vibrantly healthy and alive, that you were trying so hard to help....but...(why does someone always have to throw in a "but" to make life even more brutally difficult than it already is?...sorry)...but...there are some horribly brutal consequences to feral cats in general everywhere if testing is not done before not only are individual cats going to die difficult deaths but now whole groups are, including new, not yet TNR'd moms and their now infected babies...AND those cute little feral kittens that you just spent weeks socializing, can't be accurately tested til 6 months of age so you may well be adopting out litters of FeLV kittens to infect even more cats but now in people's homes. i tell you, the consequences can be devastatingly far reaching.

anyway..just putting this out there..rome did not rise and fall in a day. we do so much more and better than we did 10 years ago, and we will do even more and even better 10 years from now..that's the name of the game in rescue... baby steps that begins with a thought or an idea supporting positive, far reaching change.



thx for posting is good to have other perspectives esp. since mine are not from the trenches.and mine are based on what i have done or would do..i live with the felv's and watch them die..i just cannot imagine how much worse it is out on the street. it is bad enough when they are safe, warm, and dry.
i do imagine tho on the street, they die alot quicker so maybe that makes it better for them or not..i don't know.


I trap feral cats, and love it - here's my perspective.
We trap cats for Trap-Neuter-Return. We don't want ANY cats to live outdoors. We urgently work to prevent the birth of MORE homeless cats. With a fixed amount of time and resources, you have to decide whether you want to help MORE cats a little bit (by spay/neutering and preventing the birth of more cats) or FEW cats and do more for them. I know that while I'm doing MORE for a few cats, I'm turning my back on many cats, kittens and adults who are breeding and fending for themselves outdoors.
While you're socializing feral kittens or finding homes for the friendly cats (that you are assuming are homeless) - right down the street friendly and feral cats are having more kittens outside. The annual influx of feral "found" kittens into shelters causes the euthanasia of friendly cats, there. You have to decide if you want to make a DENT in cat overpopulation, to reduce euthanasia of friendly unwanted cats in shelters, and reduce the number of feral cats who will die as kittens, or live to reproduce and die of disease or injury, OR stay focused on individual cats and ignore the big picture.
I think TNR allows us to help the individual cats (spaying helps a friendly cat, as well as a feral, to live a healthier, safer life), as well as affect the big picture.
As to your suggestions: Holding cats for longer periods not only stresses the feral cats for the sake of the (statistically fewer) friendly cats, it takes time, space, and equipment that could be used to do TNR. Testing all cats and euthanizing positives (statistically around 4%) takes a lot of money that could be better used to prevent these FEW cats from reproducing and passing the virus to their kittens. The positives are currently healthy, albeit with an immuno-suppressive virus. The cats they live with have already been exposed - and yet, few will be positive. Most if not all groups will euthanize a visibly sick cat.

It might help if you realize that your opinions are based on distressing stories, that may not be true.
#1 - we're not releasing these kitties back to a howling wilderness. We're generally releasing them back the supervision of a caretaker, back to an urban or suburban neighborhood where they may have multiple feeders and shelter. That friendly cat may have an owner down the street - or possibly be lost or abandoned, but they have a feeder. Look at the facts - is the cat emaciated? If not, he's probably doing alright.
#2 - cats that have been trapped can certainly be trapped again. When feral cats get sick, or injured, they can be re-trapped and cared for.