Tom or Harry? It’s Your Choice!

In memory of all the tom cats for whom we were too late…

“Hi guys! My name is Tom! I was a cute little thing when I was a kitten, well, that’s what the humans used to say. I wouldn’t let them touch me though. I would do like my mother and run away when they would approach and would only come back to eat the food they put down for us.

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Then I grew up and I started to get interested in girls, so I hit the road looking for some. Oh boy! These were the good times! Always on the road going from place to place to meet the girls. Sometimes, the humans would be nice and throw me a bit of chicken, but often they would just chase me with a broom, screaming ‘dirty tom’. It’s not my fault if I sprayed a little, I had to mark my territory for other cats. I used to love visiting the farm: there were plenty of girls and I would drink that nice white liquid; it tasted so good! But I wouldn’t stay for too long and would keep travelling. I didn’t even have time to go hunting during the summers; I was a busy boy! I got into some pretty bad fights though. We all wanted the same girls, so we had to fight for them. Sometimes I’d lose, sometimes I’d win, especially when fighting with the sick cats, they weren’t very strong and would quickly give up, but I got some bad bites. At the end of the summers, I would be exhausted and hungry from all the travelling. So I would just visit all my favourite spots to get some food and rest, and play with the mice a little. But as soon as it would get warmer and the days would get longer, I was off again! Back on the road!

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Then, one winter, I caught a bad cold. Usually, it would go away with food and rest, but I wasn’t very hungry. When the days got warmer, I started travelling again, but I was weak and didn’t have the energy anymore. I found a nice garden with some shelter and I sat there as I was in so much pain. The woman of the house started to give me all types of food, it smelled nice and I would eat a little, but it hurt my teeth and my throat. I could hear her say ‘skin and bones’ all the time.

One day, another woman came with some strange box with bars on it. She put a lot of nice smelly food in it, but I couldn’t eat. Then she poured some of the sweet white liquid we had at the farm, except that it came from a bottle. I forced myself to stand up to have a bit of that as it reminded me so much of the good old days. When I went in the box, I heard a noise. I turned around, but I couldn’t get out. When the woman approached, I tried to fight but didn’t have the energy. And then it was dark and I calmed down.

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The box moved and me with it. Then I heard the strange noise moving objects make. Next thing, there were other faces looking at me; I heard them say ‘Poor boy!’. I felt something stinging me and I dozed off. I could hear their voices though, words like ‘disease’, ’emaciated’, ‘not grooming’, ‘virus’, ‘aids’. Then the girl with the box was back. She started to rub my head. It was strange, I had never been touched by a human before, but I didn’t care. She was saying that it would be ok, that I wouldn’t be suffering anymore and that I would go to a better place (maybe she meant the farm?). I felt a prick and some tingling in my veins. Then, I couldn’t see the faces anymore, I couldn’t hear their voices and the pain was gone…”

***

“Hi folks! My name is Harry! I’m Tom’s cousin. I was like Tom when I was young, always running after the girls. I guess I was luckier than him though as I found a nice garden. The woman of the house would always give me some nice tasty food and would call me ‘handsome’. There were some girls there too, but they had no interest in me. Oh, it was ok, I would wander to look for others, but I would always come back to the garden with nice food, where I could have a snooze too.

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One day, a woman came, she had a box made of bars. She put some food in it. I went to check, but I wasn’t that hungry that I would go in that strange box. Then she put another box out, with more food. It was bigger and I started to feel hungry, so I went in. I heard something slamming. When the woman approached, I tried to run away, but I couldn’t escape. Then it got dark and I heard the noise moving objects make.

Next thing, I could hear new voices and I felt something stinging me. I went off to sleep. When I woke up, I was feeling really strange, a bit groggy and as if something was missing. I saw the face of the woman with the box and again we were in the moving object. When it stopped, it felt very familiar around me. The light came back and I could recognise the garden I liked so much. I ran away, but when the woman with the box was gone, I came back for some nice food. Tasty!

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I went looking for the girls again, but it wasn’t the same, so I lost interest and decided to stay in the garden with nice food. I would lie in the warm sun and if it rained I had a little house where I could stay dry. To pass the time, I would play with the mice. The woman of the house would bring me food a few times a day and I loved it, so I started to run towards her and would rub against her legs. One day, she moved her hand towards me and touched my head. It felt really strange. She kept doing it and eventually I got used to it and I even started to like it. Poor old Tom, he had such a rough life! It’s a pity he didn’t find a nice garden like mine!”

Don’t ignore tom cats; give them a chance to have a good life by having them neutered. By having tom cats neutered, you are reducing the spread of diseases and viruses, such as FIV (feline AIDS) and FeLV (Feline Leukemia). Neutered tom cats will live longer and are less likely to roam, fight and spray.

Run the Evening Echo Women’s Mini-Marathon 2016 in Aid of CCN

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The Evening Echo Women’s Mini-Marathon 2016 will take place in Cork on the 25th of September at 1pm.  It is a fun event that helps to raise money for many charities.  You can walk, jog or run the 4 miles.  Although it is a women’s mini-marathon, men are also welcome to take part as long as they are dressed as women!

We will all meet at 12.30pm for a group photo!  Location to be announced.

Join the “cat trappers on the run” and register now!

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For more details about registration or to sponsor one of our participants, click here.

Feral Cats in the Spotlight – 96fm Interview

As part of National Feral Cats Awareness Week, two of our main volunteers were interviewed on Cork’s 96fm Opinion Line to discuss feral cats and the importance of neutering. You can listen to the podcast (at 1:46).

Launching National Feral Cat Awareness Week 2016

feral cat weekFrom the 8th to the 14th of August, we will be celebrating National Feral Cat Awareness Week, an initiative from Feral Cats Ireland. Throughout the week, some vets across the country will offer discounted rates for the neutering of feral cats. Most importantly, this is a week to raise awareness about the plight of feral cats and about the solution to the issue of cat over-population: TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return).

The small group of volunteers at Community Cats Network will, as always, be busy trapping cats for neutering, but throughout the week, we will attempt to post some information about caring for feral cats and about how YOU can make a difference and help to solve the problem. Raising awareness is key as, at the origin of the problem, is not only a set of old-fashioned attitudes towards cat care, but most importantly a lack of information about how feral cats can be helped and enjoy better lives. It is down to every one of us to spread the word about TNR programmes and about the benefits of neutering and we count on you in this endeavour.

CCN TNR Info poster

We will be launching the week with two information stalls in Maxi Zoo on the 6th of August, one in the Midleton store, the other in the Douglas store. We hope you can join us for a chat on the day and will be happy to share information about the work we do with you.

The Incredible Story of Tommy, the Lost Cat

16 05 LauristonWe were recently asked to post an ad about a friendly cat that had been hanging around an estate in Midleton to see whether he was a local making himself comfortable at other people’s houses or a lost cat needing to be reunited with his owner. Nobody came forward, so we decided to investigate a bit further and called down to the estate where two families had been feeding the cat. They told us that they were convinced that it was the same cat who had already been around about a year previously, but that they would like to make sure that he was indeed been looked after. The first step was to scan the cat. It is so rare to find a microchipped cat that when you hear a beep, you get really excited! The number was duly written down and we went to check some databases. The microchip was registered with a UK database and the details had been last updated in 2011. The lines were not open at that hour, so we would have to wait until the following day to find out more…

The following morning, I rang the UK company and was told that the cat was indeed registered at a UK address and with a UK number. I was beginning to be disappointed as it probably meant that the owners had never updated their details when bringing their cat to Ireland. I was told by the database company that they would try to make contact and keep me updated. Half an hour later, my phone was ringing from a UK number… It wasn’t the database company though, but the owner of Tommy!

P1240857 webShe explained that she had come to live in Ireland and in May 2015, a year ago, had moved back to the UK, but Tommy had escaped on Dublin port. We can only guess that Tommy jumped on a lorry and got transported that way to Midleton. The strangest thing of all was that the lady, who had not set foot in Ireland since, was spending a few days near Dublin and was flying back home that evening. The excitement and joy was so overwhelming, the owner said it was as if she had won the lottery, and we started to think of how to reunite her with her cat. She decided to rent a car and to drive down to pick him up. I went over to the estate to collect him, as the last thing we needed was for Tommy to go on a wander, and kept him safe for a few hours until he could be at long last reunited with his owner! Tommy was not able to go home that night as he needed his papers to be sorted, but a friend of the lady minded him until his pet passport would get sorted and he could travel back home.

We don’t often experience these happy-ending stories and I was over the moon to have been able to reunite a cat with his owner. Once more, this shows that microchipping your cat is really worthwhile and that we should never ever assume that a cat has just been dumped and we must thank the two families in Midleton for minding him and making contact.

Street Collections 2016

We are looking for volunteers to help out at the following street collections. Please, consider donating an hour or two of your time to help us to raise some much needed funds for the local stray and feral cats!

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Please email communitycatsnetwork@gmail.com or text 086 1583501 if you can help. Thanks!

11/06/16: Youghal

23/06/16: Mitchelstown

1/07/16: Whitegate

8/09/16: Fermoy

23/09/16: Castlemaryr

6/10/16: Mallow

14/10/16: Carrigtohill

21/10/16: Midleton

4th Birthday Celebrations

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compOn the 27th of April, we are celebrating four years of helping cats in Cork county and beyond. To mark this event and to thank you for your support, we are having some fun competitions on our Facebook page with loads of little goodies to be won. Join the fun and help us to celebrate in style!

You can also enter our Birthday Raffle and be in with a chance to win one of these lovely prizes. Tickets are €2 each, €5 for 3 tickets, €10 for 8 tickets. Donations can be made here. The draw will take place on the 29th of April at 9pm and winners will be announced online. Note that if collection cannot be arranged, postage will be at your charge.

Thanks for your support!

Birthday raffle 2016

Postponed: Raffle in Fermoy

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**We are very sorry to say that our raffle in Fermoy has to be postponed. We will keep you updated with the new date.**

Join us for a great raffle held in aid of CCN at Cheers Bar in Fermoy on the 2nd of April. There will be plenty of prizes sponsored by local businesses to be won! Great craic guaranteed! More details can be found here.

All proceeds will go towards the neutering of stray and feral cats in Fermoy.

We’d like to thank Cheers Bar for hosting the event, all the businesses who kindly sponsored prizes and all of you who supported!

Win Two Tickets for Sharon Shannon’s Concert

How would you like to win a pair of tickets to see Sharon Shannon live at Cyprus Avenue in Cork on the 15th of April 2016?

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To enter the draw, just make a donation here (€2 per line or €5 for 3 lines). The draw will take place on the 10th of April at 9pm and the winner will be announced on our Facebook page. All proceeds will go towards the cost of neutering of stray and feral cats in Mitchelstown.

The more lines you buy, the better your chances to win and the more cats we can help!

We thank you in advance for your support! We would like to thank CARE Rescue for their kind donation to help cats in Mitchelstown!

5th Purrfect Auction & Tom’cat’bola – 3rd to 13th of March 2016

Purrfect Auction

Community Cats Network’s first purrfect auction of the year has already begun, so it’s time for a bit of retail therapy! As always, there are plenty of items to bid on: toys, make-ip, bags, jewellery, catty stuff and much more!

Join the fun here and get bidding!

You can also take part in our Tom’cat’bola and be in with a chance to win one of these prizes. Tickets are only €1 and can be bought here.

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