We relocated two cats this weekend to barn cat meca. We're talking heaven on earth for cats that can't be adopted into traditional homes. One of the primary reasons I founded Alley Cats and Angels was to focus on ferals with the intent of having a barn cat program for feral cats that could not be returned to their environment. To that end, I personally relocated over 200 cats into safe barn homes. But I've started passing the torch to one of our TNR Task Force Leaders, Marie P. Late last year, she started shadowing me on relocations and in the past few months, she's started reviewing barn cat applications and doing the interviews.
We do the relos together because, let's face it, I'm a control freak. But the barn cat program is my baby and we have worked hard to make it successful. But soon, she'll probably some of the relos on her own - she's a smart lady and she knows the program, how to decide which barn/building to best set up the confinement cage, etc. But she'll still probably come with me when i do relos because "she strong like bull"! She hoists those cages and heavy bags of litter like they weigh nothing. :-)
Marie and I are a lot alike, in that our hearts belong to the ferals.
We were fortunate that Elizabeth Ruffing was able to accompany us on the relocation and photograph it. Hopefully this will show it's not a quick and easy process. There is no dump and run. There's reviewing the application, interviewing the potential barn cat caregiver, and then determing which cats would be the best fit for the location. It typically takes close to an hour prep time to get everything (paperwork included) ready for the relocation. We typically drive at least one hour each way to the relocation site, although we have done much farther (415 miles in one day to relocate 5 cats). It takes about an hour at the barn site to go over paperwork, set up the cages, etc.
We supply everything needed for the relocation: the cages, hidey carrier, food/water buckets, litter box and scoop, linens, mini broom and dustpan, etc. We take each site 40 pounds of litter, a large bag of food, and several bags of kitty treats.
The barn cat photo essay is on our Facebook page and can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alley-Cats-and-Angels-of-NC/132383006913#!/media/set/?set=a.10150240498226914.320809.132383006913