We processed 8 cats on Tuesday and 8 more today, Thursday. I did the transport both ways, both days. All the crew at the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic know me now (and I know most of their names ☺). I bring in Donuts or Candy as a morning 'gift' to the PAWS staff once in a while (I did today) and the workers there sure appreciate it. As usual, its the people behind the scenes that get the actual work done and are the unsung heroes of the spay/neuter efforts. My hat is off to them - thank you PAWS!
One very unfortunate event did happen at PAWS today - a feral escaped. Someone new to TNR brought in 3 ferals to PAWS; the 'momma' was brought in a carrier (for reasons unknown to me) while two of her kittens were brought in together in a single trap. The PAWS personnel told the person bringing in the cats that they would have to transfer the 'momma' from the carrier to a trap and would also have to put the kittens in separate traps. While the person was attempting to transfer the momma from the carrier to a trap, the cat escaped out onto the street and then to parts unknown. Hopefully, she'll find her way home. I wish I would have been there when the attempted transfer took place - I think (having worked with Tammy on very similar issues), I could have helped make this transfer a successful event. The kittens were successfully separated into separate traps and then 'processed' by PAWS.
Memo to anyone bringing in ferals to PAWS (or any other place that will work with them): Each cat has to be in a trap (not a carrier) and, only one cat to a trap. The reasoning behind this is quite solid; the PAWS personnel have to anaesthesize the ferals before they can begin to work on them. As ferals are, well, feral, they do not cooperate in this procedure. The only safe way to do this is to have them in a trap. A trap divider is then used to push the feral to one end of the cage and immobilize it. While the cat is immobilized, the anaesthesia can be administered to the cat through the trap. Doing this is just not possible in a carrier; hence the requirement that the cats be in traps before the PAWS personnel will work with/on them. Again, it was a truly unfortunate event, but sometimes this stuff happens...
Anyway, with these 16 cats this week, we have now processed 123 cats for the month of March - easily a record for Feral Fixers. This brings our yearly total up to 167 cats and our overall total to 780 cats! Our thanks go to all of the volunteer drivers and trappers who have helped Feral Fixers reach these numbers.
We're taking a short break now as, frankly, we're pretty burnt out. We'll be starting up again, week after next.