Thursday, January 21, 2016

Answer Your FERAL Cat’s Question Day

People tend to have lots of questions about feral cats: Why do they live outside? Who takes care of them? Why do they run when I approach? Answers to these questions and much more can be found in our handbook, Alley Cat Rescue’s Guide to Managing Community Cats. (Available from Amazon and our website.)

But, since it’s Answer Your Cat’s Question Day, we thought we’d answer the questions we here from FERAL cats going through our Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. 

Q:           Ahh! Why am I stuck in this wire box? I only came in for a tuna snack!
A:            Don’t worry buddy, it’s only a humane trap. We’re going to have you checked out by a friendly doctor, and this is the safest way to gather you up for the car ride. We know you’re probably pretty scared right now, so here’s a blanket over the top to make it feel more like the safe hiding spots you like.

Q:           I feel woozy. Why can’t I stay awake?
A:            You’re about to have some routine surgery, and that’s the anesthesia that will make you sleep right through it. You’re female, so it’s called spaying. The doctor will make a small incision on your stomach, and afterward you won’t have to worry about nursing any more babies or getting cancer in your reproductive organs. If you were a boy, it’d be called a neuter. The spay and neuter procedures are safe and they bring about your calmer selves, leaving you and your male friends with much less of an urge to roam, yowl, spray, or get in fights, which your human neighbors really appreciate. 

Q:           Ok, I’m awake again, but the reflection in the mirror looks funny. Are the drugs still making me bonkers?
A:            Yes, but that’s you in the mirror all right. The doctor gave you a little cosmetic surgery too, in the form of an ear-tip. She snipped off the top ¼” of your left ear so that from now on when people see you, they’ll know you’re vaccinated, sterilized, and part of a colony that gets food, water, and shelter from a compassionate caregiver. It’s the universal symbol that show’s you’re being cared for.

Q:           My flanks are sore too, like I got poked. What gives?
A:            Our friendly doctor gave you vaccinations for rabies and distemper, which will help you and your friends stay healthy. You also got flea and worm treatment to take care of those pesky parasites. All of this will help keep your whole colony healthy, and keep any disease or parasite from passing from you to people or domestic pets.

Q:           I’ve been in the trap for a few days and was beginning to think it was my new tiny home. But now I'm back outside, and I think these trees look familiar…
 A:            We’re returning you to your home! We can see you’re not at all interested in snuggling with giants that walk on two legs, so we brought you back to the home you’re comfortable at; your outdoor colony. Your caretaker will be by every day to bring fresh food and water, and has set up some cozy, insulated shelters for you to sleep in.  

Q:           This has been fun ACR, am I free to go?
A:            Yes, and here's a short-cut through the fence!

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