When you run a TNR organization, you inevitably end up with adoptable friendly cats and kittens that can be placed into good homes – all you need is a place to keep them safe, like a foster home, and funds for vetting. Then you promote them with lots of cute, cuddly photos on Facebook and Twitter. You share them locally on Next Door and you place them on adoption websites like Petfinder and Adopt a Pet. Usually, it does not take long to find a good match, especially for kittens.
Sometime you have feral cats that have to be moved for one urgent reason for another. The promotion process is similar - though not so cuddly - but you are looking for barn homes or sheds or other colonies that can add them after the prerequisite 30 day relocation process is done in a confined area. This is not easy, but if you work hard enough and turn over enough stones, you can eventually find a place for them: Perhaps even as a “working cat” at a warehouse or behind a restaurant.
But what about the “limbo cats”? No these are not cats who dance the calypso. They are cats that are neither adoptable in the traditional sense, nor feral - so they end up in some kind of cat "limbo". When we put them through the TNR program, we learn that they cannot go back to their colony for one reason or another. Usually they are a little too friendly but not feral enough to safely live outdoors. Sometimes they are physically fragile or have some health issue that makes it dangerous for them to go back. Sometimes they just cannot find their place in the colony hierarchy and are picked on relentlessly by other cats.
Whenever possible, we try to find better situations for these cats, but finding the right spot is like looking for a needle in a haystack because these cats don't appeal to traditional adopters. Mellie is one such cat. She originally lived in a trailer park in Estero Florida with 150 other cats. She must have been an owned cat at one time who became stray, because she likes people. At the trailer park, she hid constantly because other cats bullied her and would not let her eat. She would wait and hide but rarely was there enough food left over and she was malnourished. A volunteer took her home and found to her surprise, that she was a very playful girl who got along with other cats as long as they were not aggressive or dominant. Perhaps being indoors instead of out also gave her a sense of security.
Mellie is a special girl who needs a above-average, big-hearted adopter with the patience to give her time and space. She will happily live in your home but she may hide at first and she will probably never be a lap cat. If you have other cats, she will be ok with them as long as they are not in her face; but she will hide from aggressive and dominant cats. All she wants is a safe place to live with a person who will love her and give her time to get comfortable. If you can see it in your heart to offer her a safe place to land, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also see her through the "Adoptable Cats" link above, which will take you to Pet Finder. There is no adoption fee but donations are always welcome. We just want her to have a good life that fits her comfort zone.
Our Story - The first 500 TNRs
Our feature video! Meet TNR #500 and see the story of how we reached our first first major milestone.
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Helping Neighborhood Cats!
Southwest Florida is a hotbed of cat overpopulation. Our year round balmy temperatures mean that kitten season never ends here and there are thousands of cats roaming free in the City of Bonita Springs. Couple that with a mix of people from other cultures where spay/neuter is not a priority or even considered, and you are on your way to endless litters of cats. To their credit, the City of Bonita Springs in partnership with Lee Co FL Domestic Animal Services began in FREE spay/neuter program so that residents could fix the cats at zero cost to them. The problem was that no one was doing it so TNR was happening but in a haphazard and low volume way. Community Cats of Bonita Springs founders, Angela Gipson and Jasmine Rivera, decided to team up with a multi-pronged approach - bilingual community outreach and education so that people could know about and use the program, assist people hands on who needed help getting their neighborhood cats fixed (mainly elderly and non-English speaking), assemble a team of volunteers to feed cats in managed colonies and monitor so that newcomers could be easily identified and fixed in a timely way, and raise funds to pay for medication and vetting for cats who were sick or injured and also assist volunteer and residents with cat food. In barely over 2 years, a handful of volunteers have fixed over 650 cats! All told, with other the help of other residents, over 1100 cats in the city of Bonita Springs have been fixed and returned to their colonies. Community Cats of Bonita Springs helps by coordinating appointments to the vet for spay/neuter and needed care, setting and monitoring traps, transporting cats to and from the vet, provide care before and after surgery, and providing care for sick colony cats and then releasing them back to their colonies when healed, They also find homes for friendly street cats and kittens whenever possible by partnering with local rescues and shelters. All of this work takes money, as well as time, effort and a huge commitment. If you live in Bonita Springs Florida and would like to help, you can reach us at BonitaKittyFixers@gmail.com. If you would like to donate to help with expenses, please use the DONATE BUTTON on this website. You can also find and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Author: Angela Gipson
President & Co Founder