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This Brooklyn 'Lucky 13' cat amused herself while awaiting her spay surgery. (Photo by Alison Sanchez)

This Brooklyn "Lucky 13" cat amused herself while awaiting her spay surgery.

Photo by Alison Sanchez

NYC Eartips: Fall/Holiday 2010

Lucky 13

by Marie Coons

I've been a resident of Kensington, Brooklyn, for four years and have always noticed small pockets of cat colonies throughout the neighborhood while walking my dog. There was even a small colony living in the back of my own building, which I knew were fed regularly by the residents. When two of the mother cats gave birth to eight new kittens this summer, I realized that I could not ignore the situation any longer. I couldn't bear the thought of knowing that these kittens were only adding to the growing number of unwanted cats in our neighborhood. As a first step, I took the Neighborhood Cats TNR workshop. From the workshop, I was able to get all the information and support that I would need to properly care for my colony.

I managed to secure a room in the basement of my building to hold the cats pre- and post-surgery. With help from a fellow animal lover and some very smelly sardines, we managed to trap eleven cats on the first night of our project. The following night, we trapped another cat. There was still one kitten in the colony who would not take the bait. We tried again on the third night with help from expert trappers, Melissa and Hector. By using a drop trap, they managed to finally trap the kitten. In the end, we trapped 13 cats — eight females and five males. We had them all spayed or neutered, and we named our project "Lucky 13."

Although the whole process was labor-intensive, I feel very satisfied in knowing that I contributed in a small way to preventing further overpopulation of unwanted animals in our community. It was the humane thing to do for these critters and the healthy thing to do for our neighborhood.

About the Author

Marie Coons resides in Kensington, Brooklyn, with her husband, three cats and one dog. She is the caretaker of a colony of seven cats.