Tag Archives: Cat Trapper

A few thoughts about CCN – by Mary W

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.

A few thoughts about CCN – by Jackie

To mark our 7th birthday, we have asked our volunteers to share a few thoughts about their experience with CCN.

Jackie, our TNR coordinator in North Cork remembers how she started volunteering with the organisation in 2016.

“The first day I came across CCN was a day of chaos, panic and desperation. For years I had been trying to help cats who found their way to me. I had recently started feeding the most frightened cat he would run and hide, but when I left food and watched from a distance he would come for it. Then, one day my mother in law, who lived next door, said that there was a cat running around with insides coming out. After looking out and finding that blood had dripped everywhere, the panic set in. I was convinced it was a female having complications giving birth. I sought advice on a rescue page; Emilie answered and told me calmly she would send help. We managed to catch the cat and put him in a box, and CCN brought him to the vet. That cat changed my life completely – his name is Sam and he is still here. That day he had a ruptured testicle, which was instantly fixed by having him neutered.
I was in awe, and asked if I fundraised would they come and help in Mitchelstown. They agreed, so off I went!

Then I got the chance to go on the first trapping in Mitchelstown and I was hooked. It was that incredible feeling you get when you release cats that got me. The rest is hard work, but that moment when you open the door is magic – the hope and love lights up your soul.

My next few projects were all close to home and work, in places where I had loved these cats. So I brought home my first foster cat, I failed miserably at rehoming him. I knew tnr was the way to go for me, but have since managed to rehome all the foster cats I have taken in, so that’s an improvement! As some of you already know, Baylor -my failed foster- has a tendency to bring home stray cats he finds. It’s as if he felt it earned him his keep! Only this morning, I heard a foreign meow and on investigation discovered Baylor with a new cat, so trap is out and ready! And after 3 yrs and over 350 cats, my heart will still pound like a bass drum in my chest when I am about to trap the cat.”

 

Don’t forget to support our Birthday Raffle to raise fund to help even more cats.

Volunteers in the Spotlight: Laura M

We have asked our volunteers to tell us a bit about their experience of volunteering with CCN: what is their motivation, what they do and whether they find it rewarding.

Here is what Laura has to say…

There are many reasons why I volunteer with Community Cats Network, but the main reason is my love of animals and my passion to help stray and feral cats to live a happy and healthy life.

The first sick cat I became aware of was a female calico that turned up on my doorstep one evening. It was obvious she was very sick. I was able to pick her up and took her to a local vet where she was treated for cat flu. I called her ‘Bubbles’ because of her runny nose. Over the following days she had a nice warm bed in my shed and received medication daily, but she was not recovering; in fact, she was getting worse. Again, I brought her to a vet where she got a blood test and unfortunately she tested positive for FeLV and had to be put to sleep. At this time I was only 18 years old and I knew very little about cats or any sickness they could develop. I found the whole thing very upsetting and could not understand how it had all happened. After that I started to look out for cats and any signs of sickness.

Cats, over the years, have been dealt a raw deal as it is the perception of many people that cats can fend for themselves. Around the area I live, over the years, I have seen many very sick and injured cats and I became really concerned that the population was increasing at an alarming rate. Many kittens born to feral mothers rarely survive because of illness such as cat flu etc.

It was very disheartening at first as many of the cats I picked up off the streets were in such a bad state that the only option was to euthanise. This was always done with consultation and advice from a vet. A lot of the time I spent taking beautiful cats off the streets with horrific injuries and diseases.

I became involved in Community Cats Network because TNR appealed to me. I never realised how many feral cats were in my area alone and what could really be achieved by Trap, Neuter and Return. Members of the public will feed a stray cat but many do not understand that when you feed a stray then you have a responsibility towards that animal. With Community Cats Network I have learned so much myself and one of the main things is that the public need to be educated on cat population control and cat welfare. An area benefits if a group of people come together to help neuter male and female cats and return them back to that area. This little colony will live happily together and will not allow another group of cats into the area. They play an important role in our community. This aspect of volunteering really appeals to me because healthy and neutered cats are allowed to live their lives and are safe in their own neighbourhood. They are easily identified with their tipped ears so they won’t be trapped again unless sick or injured.

I help out with TNR around the North Cork area, I meet the cats’ carers and make arrangements to go ahead with the projects. I trap the cats humanely, take them to the vets, care for them after surgery and release them the following day once they have recovered.

The ethos of Trap Neuter Return is one that I advocate to any neighbourhood and volunteering with an organisation such as Community Cat Network is satisfying because it means that less cats are suffering. Those that have been part of our TNR program are returned to their own colony where they can live out their lives as happier and healthier cats.

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There are many ways to volunteer and support us to help the cats.  For more information, visit our volunteering page.  You can also join our “Helping Hands” Facebook group to keep updated of our various appeals.

 

Volunteers in the Spotlight: Sarah M

We have asked our volunteers to tell us a bit about their experience of volunteering with CCN: what is their motivation, what they do and whether they find it rewarding.

Here is what Sarah has to say…

I was never a big fan of cats, I thought they were cute but they scared me a bit… until Bobby was trapped as a tiny kitten in the wall of the building. I decided I had no choice but to look after him for the night and try to find someone to take him the next day. Almost 2 years later I am definitely a “Crazy Cat Lady”.

A couple of months after taking Bobby in, a female cat (I’m almost certain his mother) started appearing at the window making a horrific noise. I thought something was wrong with her and phoned around to find out it was more than likely she was calling and was given the details of CCN.

I was shocked to learn that a cat could be calling and pregnant again so soon after having a litter. I also couldn’t believe they could get pregnant so young. CCN came and neutered this frightened young cat which was a massive relief! Soon after, she started inviting her boyfriend for dinner, a very rough looking ginger boy who was constantly cut up from fighting with other cats and destroyed in ear mites. CCN neutered & treated him and now he is the most loving friendly stray you could meet. He is determined to move himself in and loves his comforts. Soon after, cat number 3 came… Another young male who lost most of his ear from fighting! He was neutered and is now a huge healthy boy who goes from house to house flirting and filling his belly.

Through Community Cats Network, I have been educated a lot and have had my eyes opened to the huge feral cat population in Youghal. I try to help out when I can, helping with TNRs, street collections, selling raffle tickets and helping with a bingo night. I would encourage others to volunteer, not only does it help the cats in the town but it also gives you a chance to get involved in the community. It doesn’t matter whether you love or hate cats, the events are a bit of fun for everyone and raise much needed funds.

So many times I hear of people feeding ferals, but don’t want to take any responsibility financially or medically for them. We need to remember that these are homeless animals who did not ask to be here!  By neutering our own pets, ferals and helping even in a small way with fundraising and raising awareness we can collectively give these animals a better life and take the pressure off the people who are caring for them!

You don’t have to give up a lot of time or money to help…. knitting a couple of toys for a stall, donating some items for the car boot sales, distributing a few leaflets or giving up an hour to help with a street collection…. all of these small things help!

Through CCN I’ve met some great people, had some fun and of course met some wonderful kitties.

CCN ARE making a difference! It is fantastic to see cats that were in bad states now living in the community as healthy, happy animals! 

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There are many ways to volunteer and support us to help the cats.  For more information, visit our volunteering page.  You can also join our “Helping Hands” Facebook group to keep updated of our various appeals.