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Did you know what it means when a cat has a left ear tipped?

Managed Care

Derby-Cats-on-chair
Derby Cat on Chair

The notch signifies that the cat is part of a community of feral felines that have been spayed or neutered and are being cared for. They are part of a TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release) neighborhood program to trap, test, spay or neuter, vaccinate and release the feral cats back where they were found.  These cats are not your neighbor’s pet that goes inside and out.  They are feral or wild and belong to no one. 

When the cat or kitty is under anesthesia for surgery, a small portion of its left-ear is removed so that the cat colony care takers know that this cat does not need to be trapped again for this procedure.  It’s a good thing.  No new litters will be born and the cat can be returned to a closely managed cat colony.  So when you see a cat like this, it is healthy, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered, and well cared for.

Neighbors Helping Cats

Derby-Cat-Rose
Derby Cat Rose

There are pockets of people involved in this program everywhere and several are in New Bern.  Their purpose is to provide a life-saving solution to a cat overpopulation problem.  These cats live healthier lives than the strays that are left to fend for themselves.

I have seen the success of this program in my neighborhood through a group named Derby Cats.  They take the cats to Spay Today, Inc., a low-cost spay/neuter service in Greenville where $55 covers the cost of spay/neuter, rabies vaccine, and a 3 way combo vaccine (distemper).  Derby Cats also provides pre and post-op care, any necessary medical care, food, litter and transport all made possible by the generous donations from our neighbors.

During the process, some of the friendly cats are placed into foster care where they can be socialized and adopted into a home.  The ferals are released where they were picked up or, if that is not possible, are sought after as barn cats. 

To learn more about Derby Cats, become involved, or make a donation, please visit their Facebook page.


Meet: Dora – The One Eye Love

Meet: Dora – The One Eye Love

A traumatized kitten from a trash can coffee cup finds a home, health, and happiness.

What Was That?

It’s 3:00 am, and five-pound Dora is tearing around the living room, attempting to climb the blinds and curtains and everything else she knows is off-limits during the day. All that can be seen is one little eye glowing with glee as she speeds by. “Having one eye doesn’t slow her down a bit,” says Ben, who found her on the side of a busy road almost six years ago when she was only five weeks old.

A Rough Start

“She was hiding in an empty cup by some trash,” Ben remembers. He noticed her little head poking out and pulled over. “She ran right to me, meeping and crying.” Dora was in a rough shape, weighing only nine ounces and covered in fleas and scratches. She also had significant trauma to her left eye, which couldn’t be saved.

Dora the cat on the couch
Dora on the couch

Happily Ever After

Sweet Dora never seemed to mind the loss of her eye. She even tried to play with her stitches as soon as she came home from the vet after surgery. More recently, Dora’s job has been class mascot as Ben’s wife, Rachel, taught elementary school online. “Dora Zoomed with me every day. She’d walk all over the keyboard, sniff the camera, and twitch her tail when she heard my students talk. The kids loved it. She’d take a nap by the window to supervise.”

Hobbies & Habits

Dora’s hobbies include tackling her 17-pound older cat brother, Fluffy Ed, and napping with her more patient older brother, the Magical Mr. Mistoffolees. She also enjoys listening for the sound of a lid being removed from a rotisserie chicken container so she can roll on her back and beg by showing her fluffy belly.

~ Written by Rachel Donnelly

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TRUE TALES: Polly & Piper

TRUE TALES: Polly & Piper

Early this summer I received a call from Polly, a worried pet owner with a specific concern.  Her little beagle, Piper, needed to have surgery on her leg and Polly needed help with post-surgical care.  This care included bringing Piper in from the car on their trip home from the hospital and helping Piper go outside three times a day until she was able to walk on her own. 

Piper had had surgery on the other leg two years before so Polly already knew what to expect and how to plan for Piper’s comfort.  After discussing the details, I said, “Sure, we will be happy to help.”  Polly was so relieved that she scheduled the surgery after our phone call and called me back with the dates.

Recovery Plan

Fortunately, Piper proved to be a cooperative patient.  She was always happy to see us and did her business right on schedule.  The Crockett’s Critter Care team gently moved her from her resting area to the yard and back on each visit.  Initially, we carried Piper up and down the long ramp off of the deck and placed her gingerly on the ground.  She remained leashed to protect her from doing anything that might jeopardize her recovery.  As she healed, she was able to maneuver the distance from the house to the yard and back on her own.

We checked Piper’s incision regularly to make sure it was healing well.  When it was time for the bandage to be removed, we were able to do so without any fuss.  Piper’s progress was steady and uneventful – just what the doctor ordered!    It was gratifying and rewarding for us to be a part of Piper’s recovery and to see her walking on all fours. We love getting calls that are out of the ordinary.

Happy pet, happy home.  

Polly was appreciative of our help saying, “Cannot begin to express how grateful I am to Jeanne and her staff for the help they are to Piper and me. Wonderful.”

We believe that Piper will have a full recovery so she can return to the Beagle lifestyle that she was born into – sniff, stop, smell, roll, wag her tail, enjoy some treats, and gaze adoringly at her doting master.  

MEET: Duffy – Small but Mighty

MEET: Duffy – Small but Mighty

Despite his small stature, Duffy, a Yorkshire Terrier has a big personality and an abundance of love for all things human! Duffy has become a beloved staple within a New Bern retirement-home. As the pet of a resident, he puts a smile on the faces of many in the community. 

The positivity garnered by keeping seniors and their beloved animals together is more than tangible in Duffy’s case. He provides heightened social activity and a loyal, familiar companionship for his owner. When he’s not on an adventure with Crockett’s Critter Care, he can be found practicing the arts of bone burying & lap sitting. 

This furry friend overflows with enthusiasm while exploring the retirement-home grounds. He sniffs until his heart is content and hones in on anything we may encounter. Though Duffy is a passionate outdoors-man, he always leads the way back to his room & best friend – A strong reminder of the bond between pet and owner. Duffy exemplifies the bold, courageous, and affectionate traits of a Yorkie.  By Nicholas Bailey.

Other Crockett’s Critters

Your pet could be featured in our monthly newsletter. Reach out to Jeanne via email and tell her what makes your buddy so special. If you enjoy reading our blog, please join our mailing list to receive pet caring tips.