– Our rescue work with the stray cats of Garden City Mall & Apartments- By Michelle and Tasha Francis
Once upon a time, during the height of the Covid pandemic, my daughter and myself, both passionate animal lovers were concerned about the welfare of stray cats in the community. We noticed that many of the cats from the mall moved over to our residence and were constantly fighting as a result of the pandemic – the eateries had closed so food was scarce. With the cats being without proper food, shelter, or medical care, we wanted to do something to help. We engaged with Garden City Residence & Mall management team to assist with the financial cover for the TNR project of the cats which could be provided from the pest control budget, as the cats serve as a natural pest control in the compound.
That’s when we decided to start a rescue mission to provide aid to these abandoned cats with the help of TNR Trust founded and led by Amy Rapp, Desmond the vet and the rest of the team. We began by setting up feeding stations with food purchased from Dr Sohaili from Josera Kenya, supplying Josera cat food, in various parts of the residence where the cats were known to frequent. Then with TNR and their veterinarian, we were able provide medical treatment to any sick or injured cats found including neutering and spaying them.
What Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) is, it’s a method used to manage the population of stray and feral cats. The process involves trapping cats, spaying or neutering them, and then releasing them back into their natural environment.
TNR programs are important because they not only help to reduce the number of unwanted cats in a community but also reduces the number of rabies infected cats. TNR reduces cat overpopulation, cat abandonment, and cat euthanasia. It is also a more humane approach to dealing with stray and feral cats, as it involves sterilizing the cats instead of killing them.
While TNR is an effective way to manage cat populations, it is important to note that it should only be carried out by trained professionals who are experienced in handling feral cats. It is also important to ensure that the cats are returned to a safe and suitable environment where they can continue to live and thrive.
Over time, we have rescued 30+ cats, each with their own unique story. Our dedication to saving these cats is a long term commitment which we do with love and kindness, so each cat never feels alone and helpless and are cared for as they deserved. They each have a name (not very creative): Catwoman, Brother, Mother, Baby, Chucky, Kitty, Peanut, Ashley, Grey, Luna, Paws, Sophie, Socks, Maui, Pickles, Randy, Daisy, Leo, Batman (a resident had driven over him and he was in very bad shape. A vet we called in wanted us to put him down but our TNR vet (Desmond) said we should monitor him after he treated him, and he healed perfectly and is looking healthy and strong now), Patches, Grandpa, Michael, Brown, Charlie, Selma (+her 5 kittens), Sylvester and 4 cats that stayed in the mall have sadly passed due to different illnesses. 😔
We have tried to make a difference and know it’s influenced some others to follow suit with kindness and compassion in the lives of these animals. We hope our story serves as an inspiration for others to help animals in need.