Happy June, team TNR!
We’re up to our earlobes in a certain form of “happy” here at Tabby’s Place. The calendar may tease us, but it doesn’t tarry forever…and kitten season has finally hatched in its full frenzy.
As you know, the endgame of TNR is preventing the constant cycle of free-roaming cats breeding, birthing litter after litter of homeless kittens. Theoretically, if TNR “works,” someday there will be no more kittens born in the wild.
We’re a very long way from that day.
In the meantime, a major part of our summertime TNR work involves picking up the pieces — the tiny, mewing, cute-beyond-description pieces, born to those mom and dad cats who haven’t yet been neutered.
Most of the kittens we rescue are orphans in one way or another. We don’t know what happened to their folks, other than that they left before their littles stopped needing them. So, it’s regular for Tabby’s Place to have galumphing hordes of kittens being bottle-fed by staff and volunteers.
What’s delightfully abnormal is this summer’s situation: we have many of the moms, too!
Through repeated, fortunate sets of circumstances, we were able to trap not only teeny-tinies, but the mother cats who bore them. This is great news in all sorts of ways. Not only are kittens best off being nursed and nurtured by their own mothers, but we can also spay those moms.
And, as it turns out, we can also love them.
Several of our “feral” mom cats have turned out to be shy sweethearts. Take Skye (pictured above). Somewhere between scrabbling for survival as a not-quite-adult mother, and coming to Tabby’s Place to be assaulted with human affection, Skye decided she loves love. She’s still — and may always be — a bit skittish, but it’s clear this is a cat craving love. Skye is still nursing her little niblets, but we trust she’ll get to be a kitten again herself, in a forever home of her own.
Then there’s Nadine, the teenage queen. The last of our trap-ees from a large colony, Nadine was pregnant when she waddled our way. Like Skye, ‘dine is extremely young, terrifically tortoiseshell…and remarkably friendly, for a “feral mom.” As she raises her little ones (with our assistance), Nadine is also letting us raise her confidence in humankind.
There’s something especially satisfying about long-suffering mama cats, who give every ounce of their strength on their smidgens’ behalf, finally getting some love of their own. By this time next month, the child-rearing season will be over for Nadine and Skye, and it will finally be their time to shine and bask in the glow of love.
Thank you for making this possible for our free-roaming felines of all ages and sizes, dear sponsors. Have a beautiful month!