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It was one year ago today that my heart was opened to the world of homeless cats. August 22, 2011 sometime in the afternoon, I looked out the window facing the side yard and saw a black cat sleeping under a tree. He was trying to stay dry in the rain. I had seen this skinny cat before but never knew if it had a home. In that moment, I realized it was homeless.


Over on my Fourwhitepaws blog, I celebrated Oliver today and told the story of how he worked his way into my heart. It’s a beautiful story. Oliver seems quite happy occupying a big piece of my heart, and I like it too!

As I celebrated this one year anniversary, I realized that Oliver introduced me to TNR. I had heard of it before but didn’t really know much about it. Oliver was my first TNR cat. When he brought his family to my yard, I realized I needed to learn how to TNR if I was going to be taking care of community cats.

Trapping and getting Oliver neutered was stressful, I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t want to hurt him or do something that caused him never to come back. When his family came over, I realized I needed to learn how to do the TNR thing the right way. About that time, I read an announcement in the Purrfect Pals newsletter that they were going to offer a TNR class. The timing could not have been more perfect for me. Although the class was delayed several weeks due to a few snow storms, I started talking with Nancy on the phone about the process of TNR and she talked me through everything I needed to do. With her assistance I was able to TNR all three of Oliver’s family members.

On this day of celebrating Oliver, I am grateful for him and his gift of introducing me to TNR. I still feel very new to the whole TNR thing and I know I have much to learn but thus far the experience has been intensely positive and life-giving for me. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to help so many community cats just like my Oliver.

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