The TNR Jewelry Line, Featuring Cats

by Blanche Nonken.
(Fallon, NV)

Cat Earrings by Blanche Nonken

Eight Pairs of Cats, one for each spay/neuter

I live on a farm.

A few months after we moved in, housemate came home with four weaned kittens from a Walmart Kitten Desperation Booth (if you shop at a Walmart, I’m sure you’ve seen those out front.)
Seven years later, after intermittently getting one or two fixed and never able to afford to keep up, I’d just about had enough of the “oh the population will reach a stable point.” Yeah, no. I mean we have no mouse problem at all, but $50 a month in farmcat bulk food is at the Stupid Point.

Two months or so ago, I had one new mom named Emerald hit by a car, and reached out to the local community on Facebook for anyone who could foster the three kittens, only a day and a half old. The Fallon Animal Welfare Group (FAWG), reached out and sent the cat angel Pat to pick up the babies, and she also offered to make our farm part of the FAWG “Trap/Neuter/Release” program. Man, I almost cried.

Cats that inspired earrings by Blanche Nonken

And here you see some of the inspiration, showing off their now-clipped ears.

At this point we’re down to three females and two males who need fixing – the females when their litters are weaned, and the babies will go out for adoption- and once the remaining two males are snipped and clipped (TNR protocol includes clipping the tip off one ear so it can be seen that they’re already done) they are released after a 24 hour recovery. At that point any dumped or abandoned cats (it happens, we have some sketchy people out in the country) can be dealt with case-by-case.

In thanks, and to help in whatever way I can, I have dedicated any cat-themed pieces I make to FAWG, to sell or use for donations or raffles. Our rural county, with a population of less than 15,000, was euthanizing more cats per year than more populous urban counties to our west! FAWG’s goal was to stop that, rescue and adopt out any they can, have annual “no-fee” adoption events, and increase awareness through reduced cost or free TNR activities.

I went first with earrings – something I could do quickly so they had some for yesterday’s Bark In The Park festival. Eight pair, various designs of wire work – and it’s not just for me to “give back” but for increased awareness of my goals, selling more via Makabet Designs.

I wonder if any of you have found donations as one path to greater local recognition? If so, what did you do and how did you do it?

Blanche Nonken
Makabet Designs

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  • Blanche, the kitty earrings are so clever. I can see a lot of these earrings being in local pet stores, veterinarian offices, and at art/craft shows – with the earrings mounted on earring cards that carry your message.

  • Yes, make a card to carry that message, I hear about so many people still don’t know about TNR and it a shame because it saves lives! I have been working with my local town TNR for years and thinking about offering my cat jewelry for a percentage to donate our TNR program.

  • Colleen says:

    I know of a little boy who has a couple brain tumors and the family is desperate for financial help. When my Mom passed I made angels for everyone who had a hand in taking care of my Mom at the nursing home. They could be used as a Christmas ornament, hanging on your rear view mirror or where ever you wanted to hang it. I called them “Mickeys Angels” after my Moms nickname. I started selling the Angels and all the proceeds went right to the family. I had a sign telling the story and where the money went. People were very receptive of them, especially knowing they were helping a little 8 yr old. I LOVE what you are doing to help the kitties!

    I tried to add a pic of them, it didn’t work ????

  • Rita says:

    Thank you for what you’ve been doing to help kitties. Our yearly donations go to alleycat allies, a charity dedicated to TNR. I have been inspired to make some earrings for the local adoption efforts thanks to you. Appreciate you sharing your story and all you’re doing for my favorite pets. We have a beautiful ginger we adopted two years ago. She was 10 at the time we adopted her. My husband specifically wanted an older cat because we are older, and they tend to sit in the shelters until they are put down. It’s very sad. But we lucked out with our Peaches. She is the most loving and affectionate cat we’ve ever had. She was grateful to be rescued.

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