Cat Math

18 cats were trapped in 3 days from the V Colony last week, all from 1 alley 2 blocks from my house.

12 cats were already TNR’ed and eartipped, so 10 were returned back outside, minus 2 that were friendly and admitted to Tree House.

Which means the other 6 cats were TNR’ed. 2 of those cats required antibiotics for URI (upper respiratory infection) and are healthy again.

Out of those 6 cats, 4 were male, and 2 were female. 1 of the females was pregnant.

So what do these numbers mean?

It means ZERO kittens. That alley already has enough cats.

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20,000 Outdoor Cats TNR’ed in Cook County

Today I went to an open house for animal rescue groups at Chicago Animal Care and Control. It was a chance for all the groups to meet while discussing their plans moving forward to reducing the number of animals killed in shelters in Chicago.

All areas of rescue, from foster organizations to adoptions to shelters to trap-neuter-return to cat colony caretakers, were given credit in helping the overall kill rates to decrease. Rochelle Michalek, PAWS Chicago’s executive director, explained the statistics in how their shelter is helping to get the number of animals saved to increase every year.

One number she cited struck me the most. Twenty thousand.

Twenty thousand stray and feral cats have been TNR’ed since 2008, at the start of the Managed Care of Feral Cats Ordinance making TNR Cook County’s preferred method of controlling our stray and feral cat overpopulation. 20,000 is the combined number of cats TNR’d as reported by the ordinance’s sponsor organizations: Feral Fixers, PAWS Chicago, Tree House, and Triple R Pets.

How’s that for Cat Math? That number is HUGE. It shows that A LOT of people are out there doing TNR because they know it’s the most humane and effective method of controlling the outdoor cat overpopulation.

Then Dr. Richard Brown, CACC’s new supervising veterinarian, threw out some more numbers. He wants CACC to reduce their kill rate another 10% this year. And then he wants CACC, an intake shelter, to be no-kill by 2015.

I am inspired. I met a lot of great people today who care greatly.

And I won the gift box from the Open House’s raffle! I didn’t even put my name in the hat – Erin from Lulu’s Locker Rescue threw it in there without me knowing about it. It’s filled with dog treats, cat toys and other very important supplies for feral cat colony caretakers such was wine, beer, chocolate, cookies and candy.

I’m sharing the treats with some of my community’s feral cat caretakers. And Mooha.

I want this one!

I want this one!

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TNR Is Proven to Work in Cook County

Many pro-TNR advocates came to today’s hearing at the Commissioner’s  office. The numbers in this article speak for themselves: TNR works. There are less free-roaming cats outside ever since the Managed Care of Feral Cats Ordinance was passed in 2007.

I’m obsessed with the Cat Math of TNR. I want to highlight and quote here the most important point of this article, which is the TNR numbers:

“Rochelle Michalek, executive director of PAWS Chicago, another leading colony sponsor, said that since 2008,

17,500 stray cats had been sterilized and vaccinated in Cook County,

at a cost of $1.5 million — all of it privately funded, without any government contributions.

She added that colonies reduced an average of 41 percent over three years

and estimated there are currently 7,000 cats

at the county’s 1,000 approved colonies.”

I’m happy to have added to those numbers, and I know it’s working because more and more people are helping the community cats with TNR. Just last week I saw a “new” black cat up the street from me. Only he was not “new”, because he was already ear tipped by someone else! I’ll have to figure out what’s going on over here later. IMG_0274 But we still have a lot of work to do. Let’s get trapping!

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Happy New Year! Looking forward to 2013

Part of being a registered cat colony caretaker per the 2007 Cook County Managed Care of Feral Cats Ordinance 07-O-72 is submitting the information on all of the cats you have TNR’ed.

I just submitted my updated colony information to Tree House. I’ve been registered with them since 2007. This was a great way for me to get my paperwork organized.

So, here’s the cat math.
Since 2004, I have spayed/neutered 171 cats in 18 locations, most of which are within 6 blocks away from me. Most of these cats were TNR’ed.
50 of these cats were adopted out or admitted into no-kill shelters.

But the number I am most interested in is how many more cats were NOT born outside as a result of doing TNR. It’s a number I cannot prove, because I prevented it from happening. But it is why I do what I do.

The numbers don’t seem real until I am faced with a new colony. Then it’s easy to see how the numbers add up because a colony that is not being TNR’ed usually looks like this at feeding time.

From left to right: Francis, Clover, Blackie, Patches, Spokes, and Gracie

From left to right: Francis, Clover, Blackie, Patches, Spokes, and Gracie

This is some of the cats from the Eleanor Rigby Colony that PAWS Chicago told me about in 2008 before I started TNR. Since then, I have TNR’ed or adopted out 18 feral and stray cats and kittens from there. 4 years later, the colony is now down to just 4 cats being fed regularly. This is proof that TNR works. How many more cats would be there today had nothing been done? Even if the cats were just all removed, more will keep coming to take their place, which is known as the vacuum effect.

So here’s to a new year! I’m going to keep thinking about these numbers and make 2013 the best year yet.

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