Today, Feral Fixers brought in 53 more cats to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic to be fixed. 46 of these were ferals while the other seven were 'friendly ferals'. This was an odd day, to say the least. Because of the upcoming PAWS Adopt-a-thon, we were on a strict limit of how many cats we could bring in - and that limit was 45. Because of last minute trapping, there were 57 cats at Tammy's last night ready to be taken to PAWS. Tammy and super-volunteer Judy whittled that number down to 47 - the ones we brought in this morning with a yet-to-be-determined "Plan B" to try and get the other cats done soon, somehow... someway...
So, super-volunteers Jodie and Steve helped me pick up the 47 chosen cats at Tammy's this morning and drive them PAWS (Thanks Jodie! Thanks Steve!). While I was finishing up paperwork and tagging the traps, the clinic supervisor, Shannon, came up to me to let me know that she had had some cancellations that day and many of the individual pets that were going to be brought in by their owners were no-shows. After a brief conversation, Shannon said that, if we could arrange it somehow, we could bring in our remaining cats that day to be fixed. I quickly called Tammy and, after a short while, she determined that 8 of these cats could come in for surgery (the others had started eating their morning meal and thus were ineligible for surgery). Tammy then drove these cats down to PAWS herself.
In the evening, super-volunteer Stacy helped me pick up the cats at PAWS and bring them back to Tammy's (Thanks Stacy). And, as always, super-volunteer Judy was at Tammy's both in the morning and evening helping out with all of the tasks which needed to be done. Thanks Judy! One of the ferals had difficulties after surgery, however, and the PAWS staff were very concerned about it. The cat was having much trouble breathing and they recommended that we take it to a vet ASAP (assuming it lived that long - it was on oxygen when I arrived at the clinic). We loaded that cat last into my car (which was again loaned to us by super-volunteer Sue - Thanks Sue!). The PAWS staff had wrapped the cat in a towel before putting it back in the trap. They covered the trap with another towel and a blanket and I had it riding in the front seat with me - keeping it nice and warm. Rather than drop it off at Tammy's and have the caretaker then take it to the vet, I just drove it there. Tammy called ahead and they were waiting for me. I hadn't heard a peep out of this cat during the trip back from PAWS and I will admit to being nervous when I finally had a chance to look at it at the vet's office. Fortunately it was still alive. Later, the vet clinic called Tammy and told her that it had a "Diaphragmatic hernia", the worst case of it he had ever seen, and would require surgery (and there were no guarantees it would survive or even get better). It now looks like the surgery is going to happen and this cat may have a new lease on life - and that is a story for another day.
The other odd occurrence today, was us having to bring in a female feral for a second attempt at a spay. When we had brought this cat in some months ago, the PAWS staff saw what they thought was a spay scar after its belly had been shaven. They consequently considered the cat already spayed and so did not do surgery on it. All of us were very surprised when this same cat gave birth to 5 kittens just a couple of months later. So we brought the mama in again today with instructions to the PAWS staff to ignore the 'spay scar', which they did, and the cat did finally have surgery.
Once other thing I have to mention is the absolutely yeoman effort put in by super-volunteer Kim. 26 of the cats brought in over the past couple of trips were trapped by her! That's a lot of cats for one person to trap - Thanks Kim!
Anyway, we had a final total of 53 cats brought to PAWS today. One was already spayed, so 52 of 'our' cats were fixed today at PAWS. This month, we have had a total of 232 cats fixed (by far our biggest month ever). As a side note, we also had 5 more cats this month that we had brought to PAWS but found that were already fixed. Our yearly total now stands at 1,151 (once again, our biggest ever) and our overall total since inception has now risen to 4,656.