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My Experience as a Community Cat Caretaker

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

This article was written by Pet Community Center client, Nicole Cochran. This is her account of becoming a community cat caretaker in East Nashville.

It all began with the faint sound of kitten mews coming from a vent in our kitchen. We are dog people, so this was most definitely an out-of-place sound in our home! A little exploration under the house revealed an adorable litter of three misfits peppering our kitchen with sounds of sweetness. After completing a simple math equation, we realized we were on the precipice of a problem.

My sister had heard of the Community Cat Program offered at Pet Community Center (PCC), so we made it our mission to take care of every cat that frequented our yard in our East Nashville neighborhood. To date, we have trapped, neutered, vaccinated, and returned seven community cats with the help of Pet Community Center. Despite the overwhelming guilt we feel for the trust broken when we trap them, it seems we have been forgiven, and we now provide a nightly buffet on our veranda for our furry friends.

We have named them all, but my sister insists that cats don’t “come” to the sound of their name. I will admit to having a favorite, Midnight. Perhaps she feels the extra love because she has recently let me start petting her for the first time!

Using the pronoun “she” reminds me of one of the funniest parts of caring for community cats. We never know what gender the cats we bring in are until PCC tells us, so it's like a gender reveal party every time. My sister and I have a good-natured betting game going on, and each of us has been pleasantly surprised. We were both sure Midnight was male, but alas, she is a sweet, black-as-night little girl.

We are so grateful for this program and how it has tamed that scary multiplication problem we once faced. Our feline friends have added so much joy to our lives, and the peace of mind we have now about their health is priceless!.

Oh, and we are no longer just “dog people!”

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