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Trap, neuter, and release (TNR) is one of the best things we can do for cat colonies. As cute as kittens are, there are too many precious floofs on the streets that will struggle and suffer needlessly. Untold millions won’t survive. With kitten season always happening somewhere, TNR is the best and most humane way to control the kitten population. That’s why Bay Ridge Kittens, run by Maggie Shnayerson in Brooklyn, NYC, is doing their part to help in this endeavor.

Check out their adorable project!

Tennis Court Trapping

Tennis Court kittens, Brooklyn, Bay Ridge Kittens

Images and media via Instagram/bayridgekittens, Credit: Maggie Shnayerson 

Usually, on a tennis court, you find people hitting a ball back and forth over a net, not a family of cats living on the court. In this case, a feral kitty mama in Brooklyn was taking shelter at a walled-in tennis court with her kittens. Below, you can see the scene that looks a little spooky at night.

Brooklyn tennis court

This isn’t her first time, though, since the mama is known to have had “countless litters outside.” Fortunately, the latest litter was fixed and released, so Bay Ridge set out to work with Sunset Park Cats to find them all.

“Handsome Andé and his handsome ear tip”

Handsome André and his handsome ear tip

All of these things mixed together make for a pretty bad recipe, with few resources for people who trap cats. So what do they do during this trying time? They focus on TNR, so at least no more kittens are being born.

Althea’s Last Litter in the Tennis Court

“Her latest litter of kittens, raised on this walled-off tennis court, will be her last,” the recuers said.

What would become of the tennis court cats? The first night looking for the cats, Bay Ridge found two kittens and their brother/dad. The rescuers named the two kittens Rafael and Naomi and named the daddy André.

But where was mama? Well, she was street-smart and knew what was going on. It took a lot of cunning technique on Bay Ridge’s part. For example, they had to stay far away from Althea to avoid spooking her and use some clever trapping techniques.

“Mom was a different story, she was wise to us. So we came back another night, tried different techniques and stayed as far away from her as possible.”

Finally, using one of the kittens as bait, mama was caught. Mama’s new name became Althea and boy, she was unhappy about her indoor stay to recuperate from being fixed!

“We called her Althea and she gave indoor life ZERO stars while recovering from her spay with me.”

Althea, Brooklyn, Tennis court, mama cat

Althea the feral mama cat didn’t enjoy being caught.

What’s Going On With The Kittens and Parents Now?

Brooklyn, rescued kittens Rafa and Naomi

Rescued kittens Rafa and Naomi

Two nights after rescuers caught this little family, they found and caught two other siblings. After being spayed and neutered and having time to heal, the rescuers released parents Althea and André back into their familiar outside surroundings. Now, they could live out their lives without making more babies that needed rescuing.

Releasing André and Althea

Meanwhile, Rafael (Rafa for short) and Naomi were ten weeks old and also still scared around humans. However, after two weeks, they finally started to warm up to people at Bay Ridge. 

The rescuers managed to eventually catch Ashe, and little Rafael adorably tried to comfort his sibling.

Rafael comforts Ashe

Rafael comforts Ashe

Naomi and Rafael needed foster home, or even better – their permanent forever home. They both love to play and learned from the other kittens that humans aren’t so bad. As they were always together, they bonded so much and became inseparable, and dare we say, very bold?

“Rafa is still a bit skittish, but the young man is BOLD. That’s my seat.”

Looks like Rafa loves to steal people’s spots! Doesn’t every cat, though?

Rafa and Naomi together

You can find Rafa and Naomi’s, along with sister Ashe’s antics, on Bay Ridge’s Instagram @bayridgekittens, under the tennis crew spotlight. Ashe went with a foster since she is a bit spicier and needed some one-on-one quiet time away from her siblings and other cats.

Thank you, Bay Ridge, for helping these sweet kittens!

REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR & AS ALWAYS, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!

All photos and videos by Bay Ridge Kittens/Instagram.

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