ALTON — The first mission to trap, neuter or spay, inoculate and release feral or community cats in Alton resulted in one livid, “former” tomcat and 10 varmints that got a free meal.
“It’s a very large, gray male cat, we called him ‘Mr. Angry,’” said Shelly Moore, Metro East Humane Society’s community cat program coordinator. That lone feline was about to go into neutering surgery Wednesday at the Metro-East Humane Society, 8495 Illinois Route 143, Edwardsville.
The ownerless, recovering cat went back home to freedom Thursday morning.
“We think he is the one” neighbors on Duco Street had reported as causing problems, she said.
Ten of the traps, though, with generous blobs of gooey, canned cat food inside tempted five surly raccoons and five opossums to venture inside — and have a door slam behind them, locking them in for the night.
With the intense July heat, Moore said the cats apparently stayed in their cool retreats that night.
“We learned a lot, we are going to make some adjustments when we get back out,” she said. “When the heat breaks, we hope more cats will come out. We will change our approach, instead of putting the traps out the night before, we will put them out in the morning, wait a few hours and pick them up.”
Moore and eight volunteers set out Tuesday evening to prepare and place 25 shiny new animal traps containing the bait by houses on Maurice and Duco streets, just west of Milton Road. Four days prior, volunteers placed large blue and white tags on the front doors of homes in the area informing residents of their trap-neuter-release (TNR) program and schedule.
The tags explain the cats will be sterilized by a veterinarian at MEHS, vaccinated against rabies, micro-chipped, and their left ear cauterized, or “tipped,” so it is easy to tell if they are neutered or spayed. The tags also request people keep their cats indoors and not feed strays during the trapping, and to call Moore if they regularly feed feral…