Here's how Nuka became our third TNR (trap-neuter-return cat).
First sightings of Nuka
The first time I saw Nuka was on a recording from my wildlife camera in March 2018. She came by the shelters and cautious investigated the place. You can see her at the end of this video.
Shortly after I decided to move the camera to the other side of the house, to see if I could get a glimpse of some other cats than the ones who goes by the shelters. And bingo! First night I got a sight of 3 cats and Nuka was one of them. The tabby in the front is called Miko and behind her is Nuka.
Now that I knew there were cats hanging out on the other side, I set up some food there too. With the help of the wildlife camera, I could see that Nuka always came with the third cat who ran by the camera in the video above. Since they have similar patterns and sizes I'm guessing they are siblings.
Quick sidenote: As I was thinking of names for them, I was sitting in my living room where we have posters of Nuka Cola which is a soda from the game Fallout. And that's how I named the two cats who seem to go together. Alright, back to it.
It was only Nuka who approached the bowl of food and Cola always kept in the background. They liked to sit on a wall in my neighbor's garden. Here's a video where you first see a long-haired male cat that goes by the name Bozzy. Then you see Cola and I believe the rest of the footage is Nuka.
I set up a trap at the new eating spot, but without activating it. Nuka investigated the trap on the first night. The next day I put the food just inside the trap, to make her feel safe going in there. Finally I activated the trap and put delicious vet food inside it. Soon after I found poor Nuka trapped inside. From the wildlife camera recording it all I know that Cola watched the whole thing from a distance and I feel terrible for separating the two of them, even if it wasn't for long.
In Denmark we use both ear tattoos and chip to register our cats and Nuka had neither (for more on the ear tattoo system, please read our FAQ).
The vet told me that Nuka is a healthy girl and around 9 months old. She was about to go into heat, so we caught her just in time, before she could have a litter. She was fixed, ear tattooed and vaccinated before I picked her up and let her "Sleep it off" at my place. She needed to be in good shape before I could let her back out in the wild.
When she was ready, I released her back outside and she did not hesitate for a second once I opened the door to freedom. I hope she was reunited with Cola soon after somewhere.
As I write this it hasn't been 48 hours since I returned her and I'm curious to know when I will see her and Cola again. With my first TNR Little Poul, it took a solid 14 days! She wasn't tame, but she was used to being around me and still it took weeks for her to forgive me. With Tommy it only took 1 day before he was back in his old routines. But Nuka didn't know me beforehand and was rather scared of me, so it could be a while. But the bowl of food is waiting for her return, when she is ready to forgive me. For now I'm keeping an eye out for her, with my wildlife camera, hoping. Whereever she is she won't have to worry about boys and kittens.
Run free sweet Nuka!