Last week one of our volunteers, Sarah Z., told me that her 8th-grade cousin, Nicole, was undertaking a service project as part of her confirmation. Here is her story!
Sarah writes, "First, we read through information on HPC and Tree House about the importance of TNR and the decline in euthanasias in Chicago since aggressive spay and neuter programs were implemented. Additionally, we went over ways to trap safely and eliminate any physical contact with the cats. Then we set and baited the Tru-Catch traps.
We choose a gangway alongside my garage where I have caught four ferals during the summer. Nicole made sure the traps were set correctly and we sneaked inside the garage and sat against the farthest wall. I made sure the cats could not see us, but that we could hear the traps spring. After an hour, we had not caught any. Nicole rebaited the traps so that they smelled as pungent as possible and we moved them to the yard side of my garage where the ferals sometimes congregate. We then went inside and peered out my glass back door. No luck and then it started raining.
I wanted a hands-on experience for Nicole, so we headed into my basement bathroom where I keep my fosters from PAWS. I had three 6-week-old kittens in there, recovering from being separated from their mom and taken to animal control. Nicole syringe-fed the two who still need formula. She did such a good job... a total natural!"
Nicole herself writes that "what I will remember most about working together with my sponsor on this project was definitely when we were in the garage, waiting for the cats to smell the tuna in the traps. It was fun, also, to set up the traps, knowing that, if we caught one, we'd be helping the cat we caught by making sure that it will have a better chance of surviving after it is returned to the place where we caught it. Once they're spayed, there would be less cats out there, allowing the remaining cats to have enough to survive."
Thanks to Sarah and Nicole for this project. And you know, we've all been there not catching cats in our traps! It's part of the experience. What a great way to spread the TNR message and what a wonderful post for our Monday mornings.