Cats in New Orleans

My name is Nita Hemeter and I live in New Orleans Louisiana.  I am submitting this story about cats.  I am not much of a writer, but I do have a story.
Since 2014 I have had thousands of cats on my porch!  Wow, you might be thinking, that’s a lot of cats to feed and what must the neighbors think?  “This woman must be a really crazy cat lady”!
I am not a crazy cat lady, I am a cat trapping lady who is trying to solve a problem created by crazy cat ladies and men who feed cats but don’t get them spayed or neutered resulting in more and more cats.
I live in tropical New Orleans Louisiana where the summers are long and hot and the winters are very mild, perfect breeding ground for community cats to breed and thrive.  Many of our houses are raised off the ground giving a perfect hiding spot for cats to hunker down and survive when cold weather arrives.  We are a port city with lots of rodents and bugs, we are famous for our food which our cats like too.  I have noticed many cats eating red beans and rice, leftover gumbo and boiled shrimp and crabs.  The cats do well here and go on to breed more and more cats.  They can have 3 litters a year in the south which leads to a kitten explosion during the dreaded “Kitten Season”.
Cats are all over the city from the famous French Quarter to the wealthy Garden District, the 9th Ward, Gentilly, Lakeview, New Orleans East and beyond.  All neighborhoods have breeding cats who are being fed by compassionate people who don’t think ahead as to what will happen in the future when their one cat gets impregnated by a roaming male cat ready to party.  Yes, New Orleans loves a party and so do our cats.  Too many people let their cats party with wild abandon resulting in multiple litters of kittens.
Soon there are 20 or more cats and the neighbors and caretakers are coming to the conclusion that there is a cat problem.
That’s when Trap Dat Cat comes to the rescue.  We are an all volunteer cat trapping group who traps cats, offers traps and trapping lessons to self-trappers, educates the public about cat overpopulation and cat care, rescues sick and injured cats and fosters cats when we have space.  We trap about 2000 cats a year.
Caretakers and trappers bring trapped cats to my porch day and night.  They are labeled with their location and description of the cat and fed and watered.  Paperwork is filled out and they sit overnight.  The next day they are loaded into my car and brought to the Louisiana SPCA or a participating private vet where they are spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies and given FVRCP vaccines.  They are given an ear tip, which is the universal sign that a cat has been neutered and is protected under the law in Orleans Parish. I have had up to 40 cats on my porch.  It gets to be a bit of a mess but it is a badly needed service.
The day after surgery the cats are released back to their caregivers so they can continue to feed with no more kittens being born to fill up our shelters and rescues.  Spaying and neutering is the only way to stop overpopulation, cruelty and resulting suffering and euthanasia of cats.  In addition it is better health wise for the cats.
We are thankful for our amazing volunteers who trap, foster, do laundry, fold newspapers for the traps, trap sick and injured cats and load and drive cats to the clinics.  Mardi Gras Costume designers make our beautiful trap covers.
Last year we trapped and neutered 2015 cats.
Help us spread the word.
Best regards,
Nita Hemeter
7704 Sycamore St.
New Orleans, La.  70118
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