Real Caregivers of New Jersey: Daryn from Belleville


Daryn from Belleville


Do you have a favorite story about your colony?

Before all 5 of them were TNR’d, the female got pregnant and had a litter of 3 in the yard. The weather forecast predicted torrential downpours for the next 3-4 days. So I had to make an “executive decision” to bring the newborns to a friends house (with mom of course) who could care for them and provide the care the babies and mom needed (including having her TNR’d and her shots). Our friend adopted the babies out to loving families, and we get pictures of them as they are growing up. From gaining mom’s trust with her newborns, to trusting them with our friend, and now seeing the babies giving smiles to their loving families, was an emotional experience from start to finish.


How many cats do you take care of?  How many have been Trap-Neuter-Returned?

5, all TNR’d. It wasn’t easy catching them all! A friend recommended me to Karen, and we now stay in touch often. I was able to trap with the help of Karen and her friends.



Tell us about your cats!

We took in two 6-month-olds after the mother passed away. When I say “took in,” I mean I stood outside with a mouse toy on a string and lured them into the house (took me 6 hours for them both, in the winter!). That was my first experience “trapping.” Since then, the 2 cats have become very friendly. We also have been rescuing and fostering cats at my parents house for 10+ years. yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy


What are the best and worst parts of taking care of your crew?

The best part is seeing the affection they give us in return for taking care of them. I truly believe you can bond with and receive the same love you give feral cats. The worst part is not being able to take them all in and to protect them.

Were you always a cat lover? How did you become a colony caregiver?

Yes, since our first cat in high school. We saw some cats walking the streets, and decided to feed them and build them shelter. We do get negative feedback from the neighbors about the cats using their garden as the bathroom. I’m a real estate agent, and by working with people I know that hostility and defiance never gets you anywhere. We handle it with love and kindness, doing the best we can with what we have.

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