When ECC is working in communities with large populations of stray and feral cats, we can never be quite sure what we’re going to find when we start a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) project. One person who contacted us recently needed help with three kittens in Bushwick an older woman was feeding. We knew that it was going to be more than just three kittens, since only a few weeks before, those same kittens had an unsterilized and unvaccinated mother and father. When we arrived it became clear the project was going to take longer than we initially thought. Very quickly eleven humane traps and carriers were filled with stray and feral cats. But we were still seeing cats that needed to be spayed or neutered, and we were out of traps for that day! While the TNR project in question is ongoing, we wanted to talk about two of the special cats we met while working on that block.
Lucy gets some loving
Lucy’s mother and three siblings were caught, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated. They were held a few days after surgery to recover, then returned to their colony to be monitored and fed by the woman who owns the property where the cats reside. Lucy, on the other hand, was destined to have a TNR experience that was anything but routine.
After trapping Lucy and her mother using a drop trap, we realized Lucy was sickly and had a huge gaping hole in her lower jaw, filled with rotting food and tissue. She was skinny and lethargic and needed some specialized veterinary care if she was going to get better. Kittens as young as Lucy usually become socialized when they have medical problems where treatment is going to require constant handling. Therefore, we knew immediately that Lucy was going to find a home rather then be returned to her colony, and we were going to help her find a great one.
Since then, Lucy has had several procedures that have exceeded $2000 in cost. She is recovering beautifully, eats very well, and is becoming more comfortable in her new surroundings. It is likely she will need additional intervention in the future as her injury has caused damage to her gums and teeth. Luckily, she is already in her new home in New Jersey, living a life of luxury.
Also, since many have asked, and since she was found in the same one block radius, we wanted to update everyone about our little friend Hodgepodge. Hodgepodge is doing very well and has recovered significantly since we found her near death. She is now eating ravenously on her own, has become playful, is quite the character, and can SEE! Her eyes have not completely healed, but are well on their way with the eye treatments she is receiving. It is important to remember that, for the most part, small and sick, but treatable kittens like Hodgepodge STILL don’t stand a chance at NYC Animal Care & Control. Furthermore, feral parents like hers are left behind unsterilized by the traditional animal control system to produce litter after litter of other Hodgepodge’s… future victims of an often indifferent culture and an antiquated animal sheltering system that prioritizes “cures” over prevention and killing masquerading as kindness.
Hodgepodge on the mend
For Lucy and Hodgepodge, and the thousands of others who we cannot help single-handedly, please see what a more progressive policy regarding feral cats looks like CLICK HERE. Also, if you can, please donate to the Empty Cages Collective to help injured and ill strays and feral cats and kittens get the veterinary care they need, and contribute to our important spay/neuter work! With your financial help, we can continue providing an alternative to both inaction and unnecessary killing posing as true euthanasia. To make a Paypal donation go to our Petfinder page HERE, or contact ECC HERE.