Tag Archives: kittens

4th Birthday Celebrations

16 CCN Birthday banner

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

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Autumn 2015 Photo Competition

Photo competition 15 autumn

Community Cats’ photo competition is a fun way to support the work we do and help us to raise much needed funds.  The entry to the competition is €3, which will help us to look after our feline friends.  As you may have guessed, the subject of the photo must be an animal, but not necessarily a cat, as we love all animals!

How does it work?

Firstly, you need to buy one or more entries online (make sure you write down the reference number).  You then submit your photo, with the reference number, to communitycatsnetwork@gmail.com.  You can submit photos until the 20th of November.  We keep record of all entries, so if you have bought more than one, you do not have to use them all in one go.  The photos are then displayed in a photo album on Facebook, where your friends and our followers can vote for them until the end of November.  The three photos with the most votes are shortlisted and sent to a judging panel who will consider both content and quality of the photos to make the final decision.  The winner will then be announced here and on Facebook middle of December.

Click to buy your entry

You can buy multiple entries from our Ecwid shop (using Paypal secure payment).  Alternatively, you can buy entries by making a bank transfer; make sure that you enter the following reference: “photo + your name” (Name of account: Community Cats Network; Bank: Permanent TSB, North Main Street, Cork; Sort code: 99 07 07; Account number: 20668352).  You can also pay via Paypal by using the link on the left (only one entry at a time).

Terms and Conditions

Only photos with a valid reference number will be accepted.

You must be the author of the photo in order to submit it.

If the prize needs to be posted to you, we will ask you to cover for the postage.

The prize

For this edition we have three prizes the winner can choose from.

The first is a handmade cat bed crafted by one of our supporters.

Photo Autumn_Cat bed purple

 

The second is a Anne Geddes doll.

Photo Autumn_Kids_Anne Geddes

 

The third is a pendant.

Photo Autumn_Jewellery_Pendant and chain

 

Thanks to our supporters for donating these prizes!

 

Summer 2015 Photo Competition

Community Cats’ photo competition is a fun way to support the work we do and help us to raise much needed funds.  The entry to the competition is €3, which will help us to look after our feline friends.  As you may have guessed, the subject of the photo must be an animal, but not necessarily a cat, as we love all animals!

How does it work?

Firstly, you need to buy one or more entries online (make sure you write down the reference number).  You then submit your photo, with the reference number, to communitycatsnetwork@gmail.com.  You can submit photos until the 20th of August.  We keep record of all entries, so if you have bought more than one, you do not have to use them all in one go.  The photos are then displayed in a photo album on Facebook, where your friends and our followers can vote for them until the end of August.  The three photos with the most votes are shortlisted and sent to a judging panel who will consider both content and quality of the photos to make the final decision.  The winner will then be announced here and on Facebook middle of September.

Click to buy your entry

You can buy multiple entries from our Ecwid shop (using Paypal secure payment).  Alternatively, you can buy entries by making a bank transfer; make sure that you enter the following reference: “photo + your name” (Name of account: Community Cats Network; Bank: Permanent TSB, North Main Street, Cork; Sort code: 99 07 07; Account number: 20668352).  You can also pay via Paypal by using the link on the left (only one entry at a time).

Terms and Conditions

Only photos with a valid reference number will be accepted.

You must be the author of the photo in order to submit it.

If the prize needs to be posted to you, we will ask you to cover for the postage.

The prize

For this edition we have three prizes the winner can choose from.

The first is a framed photo print.

Art_Print

The second is a tiger jigsaw.

Jigsaw

The third is a necklace and assorted bracelet.

Jewellery_Flower necklace and bracelet

Thanks to our supporters for donating these prizes!

 

Spring 2015 Photo Competition

Community Cats’ photo competition is a fun way to support the work we do and help us to raise much needed funds.  The entry to the competition is €3, which will help us to look after our feline friends.  As you may have guessed, the subject of the photo must be an animal, but not necessarily a cat, as we love all animals!

How does it work?

Firstly, you need to buy one or more entries online (make sure you write down the reference number).  You then submit your photo, with the reference number, to communitycatsnetwork@gmail.com.  You can submit photos until the 20th of May.  We keep record of all entries, so if you have bought more than one, you do not have to use them all in one go.  The photos are then displayed in a photo album on Facebook, where your friends and our followers can vote for them until the end of May.  The three photos with the most votes are shortlisted and sent to a judging panel who will consider both content and quality of the photos to make the final decision.  The winner will then be announced here and on Facebook middle of June.

Click to buy your entry

You can buy multiple entries from our Ecwid shop (using Paypal secure payment).  Alternatively, you can buy entries by making a bank transfer; make sure that you enter the following reference: “photo + your name” (Name of account: Community Cats Network; Bank: Permanent TSB, North Main Street, Cork; Sort code: 99 07 07; Account number: 20668352).  You can also pay via Paypal by using the link on the left (only one entry at a time).

Terms and Conditions

Only photos with a valid reference number will be accepted.

You must be the author of the photo in order to submit it.

If the prize needs to be posted to you, we will ask you to cover for the postage.

The prize

This month we have three prizes the winner can choose from.

The first is a cat pad with assorted Jellyfish cat toy.

Photo_Spring_Cat bed Karen

 

The second is a pendant on a chain.

Photo_Spring_Jewellery_Pendant and chain

The third is Cats: 500 Questions Answered by Dr David Sands (read the synopsis here).

Photo_Spring_Book_cats

 

Thanks to our supporters for donating these prizes!

 

Winter 2015 Photo Competition

Community Cats’ photo competition is a fun way to support the work we do and help us to raise much needed funds.  The entry to the competition is €3, which will help us to look after our feline friends.  As you may have guessed, the subject of the photo must be an animal, but not necessarily a cat, as we love all animals!

How does it work?

Firstly, you need to buy one or more entries online (make sure you write down the reference number).  You then submit your photo, with the reference number, to communitycatsnetwork@gmail.com.  You can submit photos until the 28th of February.  We keep record of all entries, so if you have bought more than one, you do not have to use them all in one go.  The photos are then displayed in a photo album on Facebook, where your friends and our followers can vote for them until the 5th of March.  The three photos with the most votes are shortlisted and sent to a judging panel who will consider both content and quality of the photos to make the final decision.  The winner will then be announced here and on Facebook middle of March.

Click to buy your entry

You can buy more than one entry from our Ecwid shop (using Paypal secure payment).  Alternatively, you can buy entries by making a bank transfer; make sure that you enter the following reference: “photo + your name” (Name of account: Community Cats Network; Bank: Permanent TSB, North Main Street, Cork; Sort code: 99 07 07; Account number: 20668352).  You can also pay via Paypal by using the link on the left (only one entry at a time).

Terms and Conditions

Only photos with a valid reference number will be accepted.

You must be the author of the photo in order to submit it.

If the prize needs to be posted to you, we will ask you to cover for the postage.

The prize

This month we have two prizes the winner can choose from.

The first is a cat clock.

Cat Clock

The second is a tiger jigsaw.

Jigsaw

Thanks to our supporters for donating these prizes!

 

Happy New Year from CCN

We would like to wish a happy new year to all of our supporters!

2014 has been a difficult year as we have come across many difficult cases and ill cats that needed to be euthanised.  Also, at the back of our minds are all the cats that we weren’t able to help, because of the lack of cooperation of some carers.  However, at the eve of the new year, we must look at the positive side of the work we do: all the cats we were able to help one way or another, all the good carers we have met, who were willing to take responsibility or put in the effort to make a project happen.

This year, we helped 755 cats and in December we reached the milestone of 2000 cats helped (in 2 and half years of existence).  This means that so much suffering has been prevented thanks to our TNR programme and the support and encouragements we receive from all of you.

It is not always easy and can be emotionally damaging and often we have thought to give it up.  Yet, we keep going and are already getting ready for another busy year.  Why?  Because we think that all cats are purrfect!

Enjoy the video and happy new year!

Our Offsprings are the Ferals of Tomorrow

"Our offsprings are the ferals of tomorrow"

“Our offsprings are the ferals of tomorrow”

Phone rings… “Hi, last winter, a stray cat came to my garden.  It was cold and I felt sorry for her, so I started feeding her.  You know, I would hate to see an animal suffer.  Then, in March, she had a litter of kittens, but it was fine, the farmer down the road took all four of them!  But, at the beginning of the summer, she had another litter of kittens.  7 of them! And now, I think she is pregnant again and I can’t find homes for the kittens.  I don’t mind feeding her as she keeps the mice away, but I can’t possibly keep all of them.  I don’t know what to do, can you please help?”

Sounds familiar?

This is a very common type of call received by animal welfare organisations and our answer is simply to have the cat and her kittens neutered straight away before the situation gets completely out of hand.  We discuss with the carer a way to finance the project and proceed to have the whole family neutered.  Then, maybe a couple of kittens may find a home, but at least they won’t be having kittens.  The problem is solved, but is it really?

Let’s rewind a little, back to spring time: “it was fine, the farmer down the road took all four of them!”  The alarm bell in my head is ringing!  Now, were those kittens neutered before going to the farm?  Did the farmer get them neutered?  The answer is more than likely no.

Now, let’s fast-forward to the following spring.  The farmer is happy, his little cats (3 females and a male) are doing a good job on the farm.  In April though, all three females give birth to a litter of kittens each.  It is their first litter and they only have two kittens each.  “Sure,” the farmer thinks, “a few more cats might come in handy; I have a big farm!  And maybe Jo will take a couple for his own farm.”  It’s still all fine, isn’t it?  Yes, except that during the summer, they give birth to more kittens, and again at the beginning of winter, except that those mostly die because of the severe weather.

13 11 26 a

Two years later, the farmer is looking at all the cats on his farm.  There are so many of them that he cannot feed them properly anymore.  His three little female cats have become useless at killing the rats and mice as they are so exhausted from giving birth, as for the tom, he is constantly chasing the females and has been seen at all the neighbouring farms.  Their offsprings are no good either, they have also started giving birth constantly, and now the younger generations are all sickly because they are inbred.  The farmer is looking at all the cats (he can’t even count how many there are) and is scratching his head “what to do?”.  He must admit that he did try to drown the kittens like his father and his grand-father used to do, but the females are very good at hiding the kittens in the hay, and to be honest, he likes the cats and does not want to harm them.  Maybe he should bring them to the vet to have them euthanised?  But, he cannot even catch the cats; they have gone completely wild!  He’ll talk to the vet though and see what he thinks…

14 02 06 c webThe vet is not too keen on having animals euthanised like that and if the farmer can’t catch the cats, how could he?  He’s heard of organisations doing Trap-Neuter-Return though, maybe they could help?  So the farmer gets in touch with such an organisation.  At first, he has a fit when he hears what it will cost, but it has to stop, and he needs his cats to be healthy so that they can do their job on the farm.  All the cats and kittens get trapped, most of them are neutered, but a few have to be euthanised as they are too sick.  They come back to the farm and a few weeks later, they look a lot healthier and the farm is once more clear of rats.  The farmer is still giving out at the vet bill, but he is glad that things have now gone back to normal.  Next time, he’ll make sure that the cats are neutered beforehand.  “Now, if only Jo could do the same thing on his farm, because how many does he have now?  A good 30 for sure!”

Can you remember what the caller said initially?  “I would hate to see an animal suffer.”  Of course, she hadn’t realised what would happen as the farmer is a good guy and wouldn’t harm an animal, but by rehoming unneutered kittens, she has unknowingly been responsible for a great deal of suffering.  Or maybe she thought that it wasn’t her problem?  How about when the cats start to wander away from the farm because there isn’t any food and start to come to her garden where she is still feeding the little stray, the mother of them all?  Does it become her problem then?

Free ads

Websites are full of “Kittens Free to Good Home” ads, but what does it really mean?

I think that in the work we do, convincing people to have kittens neutered before rehoming is actually the biggest challenge.  Sometimes, it’s just because they don’t know that kittens can be neutered at such an early age (see info here), but most of the time, they don’t see the point since they are going to find “good homes” for the kittens.  Why should it be their responsibility?  Times and times again, we explain that if these are actually good homes, then the adopter will not mind giving a donation to cover for the cost of neutering.  In fact, they are quite happy to do so since it saves them the bother of having to bring the kittens.  In other cases, they think that it is not their problem since the cat isn’t actually theirs.  Maybe so, but we all need to start taking responsibility if we want to put a stop to the problem of cat over-population.  It is not one individual’s problem, it actually has become a society’s problem and we all need to start taking responsibility.

Disclaimer: the story above is fictional, although it is based on real experiences.  It wasn’t written with the intention of criticising anyone, but rather with the intention of educating.  Take responsibility too: educate those around you and spread the word about the importance of neutering!

Spay that Stray

Captain Jack

Captain Jack

We received a call from a lady in Timoleague that had a feral cat with a sore eyes. We when we got there we say a number of cats and kittens. The carers said one of them had a sore eye. We waited for the cat to show up but in the mean time we spotted a grey tabby with some mucus in his eyes. Assuming this was the cat the lady spoke about, we trapped the cat. We called the carer to ask her and she said ‘no it not that one’ it’s ‘the white one’ so we continued to trap. Eventually we saw the cat with the ‘sore eye’ our first reaction was oh **** the cat’s eye had completely burst. We trapped the cat and contacted the vet.

IMG_0288

He was immediately brought to the vet and the operation to remove the eye immediate ensued. The entire eye had exploded through the membrane leaving the cat blind in one eye and constantly exposed to infection.

IMG_0365

The vet had to remove the remainder of the eye and stitch the eye closed. Without this operation the cat would have died a slow and painful death due to constant infection.

IMG_0377

We decided to name him Captain Jack after his ordeal and is now back with is feral family.

IMG_0435

 

After talking with the carer we decided that it would be a good idea to start another village project.

Timoleague is a small but vibrant village in West Cork. Like most other villages in Ireland it also has feral cat population. Because of our work in other villages in West Cork the word has spread. Timoleague residents want to neuter the cats in their area. With the help of local residents we are establishing a census of the village of the domestic and feral population and documenting all cats. We can only estimate at the moment of how many cats are they but the estimates are coming back at about 30 plus cats. 15 of these cats have already been privately funded and we hope to raise the money locally to neuter the rest of the cats. If you would like to contribute to the neutering fund and help Captain Jack fellow ferals you can click the paypal link and donate. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=EJ5AGXUVHWSM6

Behind the Veil

Yesterday, we took 5 kittens to the vet. There were 2 Tabbies, a smaller, younger one, and a larger guy. There was a Tabby and white. A Black and White, and a Black. These little creatures were nearly all that remained of group of 20 kittens we had discovered during the course of a TNR job. We had trapped these 5 waifs the night before. Well, trap isn’t the right word, we picked them up off the ground from around the empty food bowls that lay strewn by the back door of the house. These 5 kittens really did not have the strength left to resist because of the hunger induced illnesses that had ravaged their small bodies. Gaunt, bony, ragged, matted fur, big eyes in small pinched faces, runny noses, these unfortunate animals were a picture poster for deprivation and neglect.

The adult cats sharing a few scraps

We brought them home following their capture and put them into the overnight cages. Generous quantities of food, warm dry bedding, and fresh water, were provided for them, yet they cowered at the back of the cages, big eyes staring, terrified, at their human captors. The smallest Tabby caught our eye. In a better place, perhaps on another planet where empathy with all living things is the norm, this little guy would have been a stunner. But this was here and he was dying slowly, and badly, because of sheer human indifference.
In the morning we collected our kittens and transferred them into transport cages. There had been an outbreak of diarrhoea during the night and the holding cages were destroyed in faeces. They had to be scoured clean before we left because of fears of cross infecting our own cats, big, sleek, over fed monsters, who preened around the house, as well as our foster kittens and a couple of patients we were nursing. We loaded our kittens into the car and set off for the vet.
We arrived at the veterinary practice and were greeted warmly by our friend, Leslie, a veterinary nurse with years of experience in dealing with cats and who has, herself, saved hundreds of kittens from death. We informed leslie that we had a group of VERY sick kittens and she immediately understood the inference. Kevin, the vet, was summoned. The situation was explained. A quick surgical exam was conducted and sentence was passed. With extreme speed all 5 kittens were put to sleep. The last kitten to be PTS was the little Tabby. He sat and stared out of his cage, eyes still frightened by these strange surroundings, wondering where his companions had vanished to, and waited his turn. He was damned by the fact of his birth. He was damned by a society that cared for nothing outside of itself. He was damned because those onto whose property he was born, despite their obvious wealth and material possessions, didn’t consider a tiny, frightened, Tabby Kitten, worth a bowl of the cheapest food.

Most of these kittens have died from starvation and cat flu

It is a tribute to the humanity and the competency of the vet Kevin, and nurse Leslie who comforted each and every kitten as the fatal dosage was administered, that the little creatures suffered no great trauma in their dying. There were 4 of us in that surgery and not one of us wanted to be there. As each kitten was injected one of us held them in our arms, holding and cradling while awaiting the end to come. They all went quickly, the starving bodies unable to resist the powerful drug for even a minute. Then all 5 bodies were laid out in a row while we inspected them for any signs of life. There were none. Kevin showed us the signs on their bodies where the constant diarrhoea has stripped the fur away from their legs and burnt the very flesh beneath.
When we started this TNR job there were 20 kittens alive. These were the survivors of the 50-60 that would have initially born before the lady called us to deal with her ’cat problem’. We had our plans in place to deal with these survivors when the lady of the house rang us to say she was going on holidays and she didn’t ‘want us around’ while she was away. Of course no cat was fed while she was off sunning herself. 11 more kittens died in the interim from deprivation. By the time we resumed there were 9 kittens left. Now there are 4 remaining survivors and they are in our care where they will be fed, doctored, made well, and rehomed.

We brought the pathetic corpses back to the lady to show her. She glanced briefly, then quickly averted her head. She called ‘one of the boys’ to come and remove the dead kittens in a potato bag. Maggie placed a little bunch of fuchsia into the bag. A mark of respect but also a sign of her anger and despair at the sheer, utter futility, of some people’s existence.

One of the survivors

We have to move on. There are TNR projects everywhere that need our attention and fast! But we left with the images of this last one, in particular the Little Tabby for whom we could offer nothing. A scared little kitten, one of the estimated hundreds of thousands, who die through human indifference and neglect every year in Ireland.
That little Tabby, his anxious little face staring out through the bars of his cage as his companions were put to sleep, will haunt me for a long time to come.
God Damn that women for having put us in that position.