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happy ending

After some time, I came to learn the gray and white kitty in the trap was not the mama I was looking for. Her frequent vocalizations told me that she was probably someone’s tame cat. A TNR friend happened to be nearby and helped me assess her. She determined that indeed the cat was friendly, that she had kittens in the past but not recently and she didn’t feel any signs of spay scars.

I took her back to my place, figuring I would get her spayed even though there was a decent chance she might be someone’s friendly cat. I began agonizing about what to do with her post spay, the last thing I would ever want to do was to rehome someone’s beloved cat. Turning her loose again without knowing for sure that she had a home didn’t seem like a good option either. I decided to post some signs in the area and asked some people around the neighborhood if they had seen a gray and white cat around, and of course no one had ever seen her before.

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I also posted a “Found Cat” ad on Craigslist and scanned through the numerous lost cat postings, just in case someone was looking for her. I didn’t find anything about her but did read a heart-wrenching story about someone’s beloved lost cat who was found and taken to the animal shelter only to be adopted out to a new owner. The person who lost the cat was heartbroken. This was the very story I felt suddenly in the middle of and I felt heartbroken too and my anxiety level skyrocketed! Yikes.

We decided to name this kitty Sylvia, because of her silver color. She has a very sweet temperament, loves having her head rubbed and purrs and purrs. She looks in really good shape, like she has someone looking after her. She went to the spay/neuter clinic and got her rabies vaccine, other vaccines and a microchip with the expectation that she would probably be adopted out. Later in the day, I learned that Sylvia was already spayed! Good for her, bad for me! My heart sank, now I was fairly sure that I had someone’s cat and I was really stressing about that. For all I knew someone was out there sobbing because their beloved sweet gray and white cat didn’t come home on Sunday.

I agonized even more about what to do and started leaning toward buying a GPS tracking collar to affix to her and to release her. Keeping her and rehoming her didn’t seem right, but not knowing her outcome after releasing didn’t feel good either. My TNR friend provided emotional support via phone as I wrestled with the options. Not five minutes after I got off the phone, I got a call from a lady saying she had seen my Found Cat poster and that her little gray and white girl had gone missing on the same day I trapped Sylvia!  Oh joy!!!

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The poster that reunited Stretchy

I hopped right back in the car and delivered sweet Sylvia to her human mama, who was so delighted to be reunited! I learned that the cat’s real name was Stretchy, she is 3 years old and lives with her kitty birth mama, both are indoor/outdoor cats. Stretchy had two previous litters of kittens before her human took her to the local spay/neuter clinic to be spayed 6 months ago.

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The happy reunion

Her human caretaker was overjoyed to be reunited with Stretchy and Stretchy looked pretty darn happy to be back home too! I am crazy-thrilled that she got back to her home, oh my God am I relieved! I can’t believe the amount of stress I felt for having someone’s cat, and not knowing whom she belonged to!

Thankfully, Stetchy’s human was familiar with TNR and understood why she was trapped. She was happy that she got a free microchip and vaccines out of the ordeal too!

I don’t know how the seasoned TNR people handle the stress of having trapped someone’s obviously owned cat, but oh my golly, the stress was about enough to do me in. One thing I learned from this ordeal is that M&M’s are not optional TNR equipment; they are essential TNR equipment! Now I know. I also know I will sleep much better tonight knowing Stretchy is back at home where she is well loved!

Meanwhile, back at the TNR site, there was no sign of the mama or kittens, so I decided to pull the traps and told the property owner to call me when she sees the kittens or mama once again.

10 Responses to “happy ending”

  1. Katie Isabella says:

    LOved reading this happy ending but I will need to ask, what are M&M’s? I re-read and if I missed the meaning, I missed it two times. :-(

  2. Marg says:

    Oh that is such a good ending to the story. We are so glad you put the notices around and that you found Stretchy’s Mom. We love happy endings. Have a great day.

  3. Fuzzy Tales says:

    Aaagghh! Quite the adventure! I’m glad she has a home and already is spayed, though wish her human wouldn’t let the cats roam like that!

  4. Katie Isabella says:

    I agree with Fuzzy Tales…it is an endangerment to let your cats roam like that. Cruel people are about the number 1 danger, other animals, other cats, vehicles, you name it.

  5. Yay that Stretchy found her way back to her owner! It must be hard to worry like that, but the good you do with the feral cats is so important!

  6. nancy says:

    Thanks for posting your experience!
    I have found this to be one of the MOST stressful things to happen when doing TNR. We handle “possible pet cats” on a case-by-case basis. If someone has been feeding what they believe is a stray–and we rule out that it’s Not a nursing mom– we will trap the cat and take it in for TNR. (Always checking for a microchip–even if the cat acts feral.) If it has already been spay/neutered, we will vaccinate, treat for fleas & ear mites, check for bite wounds etc. If the cat is already “fixed” or is friendly, we will check with local vets, shelters, and community boards to see if the cat has been reported as missing. We will also post “Found Cat” signs and sometimes post to online sites. We’ll also check online “Pet Missing” sites. If the cat is being fed and is in a “safe” area away from predators and heavy traffic we may release back to where it was trapped after searching for the owner. (If the cat does not show up on cold or snowy or rainy days, we might suspect that the cat has a home.)

    We have had spayed/neutered, unfriendly cats show up at our colony, and these we release back to the colony where they have food and shelter. We have also had friendly, unsprayed and neutered cats appear at the colony. These we vet and then do an owner search, but after a certain length of time, if no one claims the cat, we will start the rehoming process. In the end, we try to do what is best for the cat, while giving an owner the opportunity to search for their missing pet. We have found that many people with indoor/outdoor cats take days before they even start to look. You were VERY lucky to have found this owner.

    • nancy says:

      I should add that we always hold a spayed/neutered and unfriendly cat that shows up at the colony for a few days after vetting to allow time to search for an owner.

  7. Nice save. Our rescue does a lot of TNR work and we find nice cats all the time. It can be hard….but if people are putting ID on their cats, it makes it so much harder to get them home. We will look for signs and check out local PetFBI site, but there is only so much you can do. At least Stretchy had you looking out for her. And so have to agree about the M&Ms.

    When we were trapping in our neighborhood, mom caught a boy in a trap and took him to the clinic. Came back to pick him up and was told he had been neutered… recently. But since he had no id, the clinic ear tipped him. I can only imagine if he made it home that night, the conversation his family had. I wanted to attach a collar to him with a note that said to “CHIP YOUR CAT IF YOU ARE GOING TO LET HIM OUTSIDE!” :)

  8. Greg_1948 says:

    I think I would have reservations about neutering someone elses pet! My 3 indoor cats are microchipped with collars and licensed with the county. The microchip numbers are also in the county’s computer database. I do this even though they are indoor cats. I occasionally take them outside for a little walk. Anything can happen!

  9. Greg1948 says:

    I am just following my last comment as a test, mainly to see if Zeke’s face shows up here! You been quiet for a week at fourwhitepaws–perhaps you went on that trip you postponed for Buddy, Or was that someone else and another ill cat? I am having a “senior” moment! I am still the Feline Cafe guy.

    Greg1948 also Greg_1948 (very original!)

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