CPAW NJ’s 12 Spays of Christmas: Neighborhood Watch and Catch

Neighborhood Watch (& Catch)

Buzz buzz. Incoming text from Laura.

“Hey, I saw kittens under my neighbor’s deck.”

Trapper Jen reached out to Laura’s neighbor, but the mom and kittens had already gone. Jen kept an eye on Montclair social media groups, and asking if anyone had seen a mom and kittens in the area. There were confirmed sightings up and down the busy street from weeks prior, but the comment section went quiet.

Weeks later, buzz.. buzz.. buzz.. Laura called. “I saw them! They went in my neighbor’s garage 2 houses down!” She had a clear line of vision from her backyard to the furry family’s location.

The neighbor allowed a trap to be set up where the kittens and mom were camping out. Food was placed inside a zip-tied open trap so that the family would be comfortable entering and exiting for food when it was trapping day.

Bang, bang, bang, the trap doors closed. Three kittens trapped!

A few hours passed. Another bang. Another kitten. And to close out the night, a 2 for 1 special.. Mom and final kitten in one trap!

This successful trapping expedition was months in the making. You can imagine the time and effort that went in to tracking down mom, getting permission to trap on the neighbor’s property, and establishing a feeding pattern. As a rule, we work directly with a feeder rather than visiting locations where cats may be present. There are so many cats who need our help. We cannot exhaust ourselves on cat hunts. But when a group of neighbors came together to help us trap, we felt that it was urgent to step in before the kittens began wandering closer to the busy street on their own.

Mom was Trap-Neuter-Returned. We also feel very responsible about that last part – the “R” in TNR. Implied in that letter is not only the return to the cat’s territory, but the expectation that she will receive ongoing care like food and shelter for the rest of her life. Happily, a family in the area offered to set up a shelter and feed mom. She came regularly for a while, and even brought a friend (boyfriend?), but moved on to another home. And then another! Safe travels, wandering mama. We are so happy that the neighborhood came together to get you spayed and get your kittens off of that dangerous road.

The five kittens went to a wonderful rescue where they were matched with their forever homes. We are so grateful for our rescue partners, who allow us to focus on TNR and preventing more kittens from being born!

Please donate $12 today so that we can continue spaying cats like this wandering mama and help prevent kittens from being born outside.