Life After TNR: Healing Bubba's Scars
Life on the streets for a free-roaming feral cat can be hard. Faced with dangers like cars, predators, illness, and inclement weather, it’s estimated that only 25% of kittens born outdoors survive to the age of one. For the minority that does, these tough cats are now faced with another threat- other adult feral cats. Territorial fights are common in cats, as Alley Cat Allies explains “This fighting over food, water, shelter, or a specific location is common among cats who aren’t spayed or neutered.” Fights can often lead to injuries, and injuries can lead to infections, which when left untreated could prove fatal.
And, this was life for Bubba, a black and white unneutered, feral male cat. Day after day for Bubba was a sequence of survival. Yet, this life was momentarily interrupted by his visits to his caretakers. Neighborhood caretakers, who feed and provide fresh water, are a lifeline for free-roaming cats. Because of their kindness, many feral cats come to be known as “feeder friendly”. This means that while they are untrusting of all other humans, they have made a small exception for the ones providing care.
Bubba would visit his caretakers two times a day. There he would make his way up to the porch to snuggle on something soft. This respite was clearly needed, as Bubba’s face frequently held the signs of fighting. A gouge across the nose, a swollen eye, scratches along his cheek. ”Bubba was always beat up from the many scuffles he’d get into.” added Anna, a member of Dakin’s trap, neuter, return (TNR) group - the Kitten Street Team- who was called out to help.
Months ago, prior to his neuter surgery, Bubba sustained multiple injuries due to territory fights with other cats
Dakin’s Kitten Street Team practices TNR to reduce the number of unwanted litters, protect cats from diseases like Rabies and Distemper, and to end feral cat suffering. When Bubba was neutered at Dakin, he was vaccinated and then returned to his outdoor home. With his urge to fight gone, Bubba’s quality of life was tremendously improved. The territorial battles are now a distant memory. Bubba will make his way up to his caretaker's porch to curl up on a soft blanket. His scars have faded away, and quiet peaceful purring takes their place.