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
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.