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.