To mark our 7th birthday, we have asked our volunteers to share a few thoughts about their experience with CCN.
Mary, our TNR coordinator in North Cork remembers how she started volunteering with the organisation in 2016.
“My journey with CCN began back in 2016. The first day of a new job, I was brought out the back by staff and introduced to mama cat and her kittens. It didn’t take much time before I realised there were quite a few other cats around too! I contacted a few organisations for help but it was CCN that came to our aid. I had done quite a bit of rescue work up to that point and was eager to continue, so our trapping session of work cats turned into a training session and I have been trapping for CCN in the Clonmel area ever since.
I had never worked solely with feral cats before, I had fed them, knew to be very careful with them and give them a wide berth but that was about it! My first solo trapping was a baptism of fire when a small colony of cats in the centre of town gave me the run around in freezing temperatures for a solid week. I got them, eventually, and learned that feral cats are some of the cleverest, quickest and most admirable of creatures I had ever come across. Over 200 cats later and I’m still learning!
Helping feral cats is different from any of the previous work I’ve done with rescue animals before. These animals are invisible to most, they hide in dark corners, they keep their suffering to themselves, they trust very few and have known nothing but hardship. For each single cat I trap I know I’ve just changed that cat’s life forever. For every cat I release I know its chances of a healthier life have increased immeasurably because someone cared enough to pick up the phone and ask for help. Of course, sometimes the call comes too late and the only kindness I can give is a merciful sleep. I’ve had my heart broken and cried as many tears over ferals as I have smiled and felt a rush of pride at releasing cats over the past 3 years. TNR is not easy on a personal level, it’s emotional, frustrating and physically draining at times but it’s not done for personal gain, it’s done for the cats. It’s done because these cats have been failed by people and deserve for someone to give up their time freely try make amends, and if a bit of time is all it takes to change a cats life forever then my time is truly well spent.”
Don’t forget to support our Birthday Raffle to raise fund to help even more cats.