December 2020 Newsletter

It’s been a great year, thanks to you!

At the end of a year like no other, we are looking ahead to the next one.  In 2021 CPAW NJ will celebrate its 4th anniversary.  How did we get here? And where are we going?

In 2017 three Montclair residents opened our hearts to the world, shining a light on why helping outdoor cats makes each community a more humane place to live.  We knew one thing:  if we could figure out how to fix more outdoor cats, countless lives would be saved and the population would naturally and humanely go down.

We had no building, someone’s garage, a few traps, and a lot of information and passion to share.  We took action by shining the light on who outdoor cats are, where they come from, and what happens when we help them.  We met hundreds of people doing the work, caring for them, who often just needed a helping hand.

The work makes your heart happy, even when sometimes the scarcity of resources and vastness of the problem overwhelms you.  It’s the people you meet who inspire you and keep you going….

  • Talking with someone who sees an outdoor cat and has no idea what to to do about it,
  • Asking questions and piecing together scattered resources to help someone who feels so alone,
  • Helping neighbors meet neighbors who realize they have more in common than they thought, and
  • Hearing someone who knew nothing before they spoke with you say “Yea, I get it.  Let’s get them neutered so they’ll stop fighting, spraying, and having more litters.  Yea, TNR.”


Sustainability.  Survival.  Lifesaving knowledge and resources.  Throwing a lifeline to those who need it most… 

WE ARE SO GRATEFUL!!!! That we’ve grown our tribe of folks who believe, like we do, that TNR works.  We have a few houses now where we recover, a limited but steady set of low cost spay/neuter appointments, a small but growing group of volunteers who trap, transport and help spread the word, and a renewed sense of passion and dedication to raising awareness of the issue and connecting people with resources and information so that they can help themselves.

We dedicate 2021 to empowering as many people as possible to find the help they need to help the cats in their yard.  We dedicate 2021 to raising awareness within as many communities as possible (WE NEED YOUR HELP) so that PUBLIC support exists for TNVR.

We may not be able to expand exponentially how many cats we actually trap (come, learn — you CAN do it!), but we can become a much more efficient resource for connecting people with resources that exist and encouraging you to advocate for more humane laws and create sustainable, community teams and grow Operation Paws on the Ground.

That’s compassion with a purrpose.  And it feels so good.  Stay safe and hug your fur babies for us.

Our pupils are big and our behinds are wiggling.. we’re ready to POUNCE on 2021 and make it the best year in CPAW NJ history! If you haven’t donated yet, now’s your last chance to make a tax deductible donation for the year 2020. Donate now.


Meet Boots.

You’ll remember a colony we’ve adopted after longtime animal advocate Carolyn Burdge passed away last fall. Boots is one of the cats in that colony. He wasn’t looking his best, so friends of CPAW NJ trapped him for a vet visit. He was given antibiotics and was so happy to be released, where he will continue to be closely monitored. He has a special home and he is fed twice a day. Local residents are sponsoring this colony and sending wet food once a month! We have multiple feeders who coordinate with each other, but we need your help. One of the caregivers must step down for health reasons. Do you live by the Bay Street train station in Montclair? Would you be willing to take a few feeding shifts a week and be this colony’s favorite human? Email

Strengthening Community Bonds.

We HEARD YOU!  For those of you who already volunteer — meowy thanks!  For those of you who are interested or new to the group, we are always looking for ways to connect all of us so we can each find the best way to give back thru volunteering.  We have monthly volunteer zoom call on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 7-8 pm — here’s the link for the next one on JANUARY 20:

Last month we had a lot of fun going around the horn naming famous cats.  We really had a huge list and impressed ourselves! Have a fun idea for a Zoom game? Email

In COVID times, we’re all seeking MORE CONNECTION….We’ve had several people ask for a better way to communicate with other volunteers. We’re working on it, we promise! In the meantime, we want everyone to share their basic contact info and what they do (or want to do) for CPAW NJ and we are going to make it available on a confidential basis to help folks interact, especially community by community.  So please take 3 minutes, click here and give us whatever information you are willing to share with others.  Then by the next Zoom meeting we will share the results.  Staying better connected will help everyone build bonds that go beyond CPAW NJ. We work better together as a team!

If you want to text to fill out this form, text the keyword connect to (201) 500-1994 to receive a link to complete this form.

We need your PAWS… But they need them even more.

Want to trap?

We’re planning our own virtual trapping training, but for now, get certified through the Community Cats Podcast/Neighborhood Cats webinar January 9 from 2-4:30 pm (or watch the recording by Jan. 16). $10 registration fee. Click here for details.

Want to learn how to be a social media advoCAT?

We need customer-service minded individuals to help us field requests we receive on Facebook and Instagram. Interested in attending a training? Email

Just love cats?

Take this Community Cats 101 class by the NYC Feral Cat Initiative January 14 5-6:30 pm. It’s free!

Local Artist Supports CPAW NJ in a Special Way


We are forever grateful for Bloomfield resident and animal lover Bernadette Sheridan, creator of the CPAW NJ logo. Her heart belongs to Otis, the most fabulous tabby, and Clementine, a patch tabby with a ton of curiosity. She gave permission for us to use this special design as part of our 12 Spays of Christmas logo! Visit her etsy shop now.

Attend the Online Cat Conference!

Have you registered?

The Community Cats Podcast is hosting an Online Cat Conference January 29th-31st. They’ll cover everything from how to start a TNR group to Community Cats & Masculinity. Early bird ticket pricing ends December 31. Starting January 1, ticket prices increase to $75. Be sure to grab your tickets now for just $60. Use code CPAWNJ and a generous portion of your registration fee will go right to CPAW NJ! Sign up now.

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