Feral cats are shown in the Parsons Pond area in this photo from February.
— Star file photo
When the cats came back to Parsons Pond this time, residents were more accepting of them, according to Millicent Payne.
The resident of the Northern Peninsula town has been instrumental in getting control of the feral cat population that has plagued the community for some time. The job might soon be completed.
There had been many attempts over the years to control the population, which is at least 60-70 in a colony living mainly in the waterfront area of the town. Trapping the felines over the winter, spaying or neutering them, and releasing them — the TNR process — seems to have worked out well.
The only exception, some of the cats appear to be too smart to be trapped, according to Payne.
“We have one down there that we just can’t get her at all,” she joked. “She just won’t go near the traps. She knows what’s going on.”
People of Parsons Pond contacted Scaredy Cat Rescue in Corner Brook, which coordinated the TNR, and Silver Linings in the St. Anthony area, which provided shelters for the colony, for help.
On three occasions throughout the winter, 44 cats were trapped, neutered or spayed, and released.
The colony, which had become bothersome or a sore point to many in the town, is now Nalor accepted, said Payne. There are a number of people helping feed and care for the animals, offering help to the primary caregiver Ellen Payne.
“People had left the community and had left stray cats, she didn’t have the heart to let them starve to death,” she said of her sister in-law. “It kind of got out of hand, so over time it was time to do something about it.”
While Payne said there appears not to be any kittens around town, there are some cats still roaming the area which are not spayed and neutered. Of the main colony, she said there are probably four or five.
There are another 10 or so throughout the town.
They are hoping to trap, neuter or spay, and release the rest June 19.