This barn was an hour west of Carleton Place.There were approximately 30 cats and they would only come near the owner of the barn because he would throw some food around for them. These 30 cats were underfed, some had upper-respiratory disease, some were pregnant and all were frightened of people. The property was going to be put up for sale and these cats were not wanted. They had to go. If the local shelter had rounded them up they would have all been euthanized as it was already full and the cats were not friendly.
One of Ottawa's rescue groups (The Ottawa Cat Rescue Network) got involved along with Gwen from Country Cat Rescue in Kemptville, Ont. It was hoped that they would be rounded up and the less feral ones could go into foster homes. So in we went with live traps, cages and food and lots of guts. The traps were set here and there with stinky food like tuna and sardines. The cats ranged from 6 months to approximately 5 years. There were people there that were willing to take home one or two each to work with them and give them a chance to become adoptable. One couple had enough cages ready to take 7 cats.
Gwen was the main trapper and after many years of rescuing her skills were very much appreciated at this barn. She was amazing and fearless and so confident. Once the cats were trapped the trap was covered with a blanket to try to calm the cat. Day 1 - 14 cats were trapped and taken to foster homes to be assessed and then vet checked. Day 2 - 7 cats. Day 3 - the remainders. This was over the course of 3 weekends. In the meantime the cats were kept fed and watered at the barn.
Here are some photos from the rescue.
The cows were also taken out by locals
Ice conditions made walking difficult and it was filthy dirty in every building. It was also freezing temperatures and there were many trips to Tim Horton's for hot coffee. The cats would hide out in all these buildings.
Louise from the Ottawa Cat Rescue Network & Lynn (volunteer)
Lynn, Gwen & me (frozen solid)
So, of course you want to know how it all ended up. Well, almost all of the cats were put into foster. They were all skin & bones. 2 were pregnant and 2 needed surgery. One cat had to be euthanized because of illness but at least she spent her last few hours with someone who cared and didn't die in a freezing barn. The couple who were waiting with cages to take 7 cats actually took more than 7 and spent hours upon hours working with them and they were adopted eventually. This guy in the last photo was the patriarch of the group and God love him he tried so hard not to be trapped. On the 3rd day of trapping he just couldn't resist the food and was trapped. He turned out to be adoptable.
So that is just one rescue that some of these rescue groups get involved in. Almost 30 cats to find homes for. Cat lovers are a hardy bunch and this is proof.