Meet the Trap King!
Sterling Davis, aka The Trap King, joined the CatCon family in 2018 for Meet & Greets with fans, as well as the seminar From Rapping to Trapping….Trap Neuter Return with Trap King Sterling Davis. He spoke about debunking the cat lady myth, his role as an African American man in the cat community, and the ups and downs of TNR.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Video of Sterling’s August 2018 seminar is available right here on our blog.
Sterling’s mission to humanely address the problem of overpopulation and disease in feral cat colonies started in Atlanta, GA but quickly grew thanks to his viral videos and Instagram posts. 60 Second Docs profiled him earlier this year to help him spread the word about abused and voiceless animals in need.
CATCON: You’ve had a really varied career! How did your past experience lead you to where you are now?
Sterling Davis: I feel like the various experiences are exactly what got me to where I am now. Be it growing up dealing with abuse, working in music and entertainment, or serving in the military traveling and experiencing different cultures, I feel like I was born to be a voice for the voiceless. Most cat/rescue people aren’t usually people-people and my experiences (that made me) a people person helps.
When did you first get involved with cat welfare, and how did you learn about TNR?
I always had a love for animals and I actually became a vegetarian at 12. It wasn’t until about 7 years ago when I got into working in rescue in between music tours and I saw an ad on Craigslist for a shelter looking to hire someone that can work with cats. I had a cat at the time and I always loved them so I went in and interviewed. I was hired and started cleaning litter boxes and eventually was promoted to the TNR/outreach position where I would train and work with Best Friends as well as other shelters and nonprofits in Atlanta.
Tell us a little bit how effective TNR works.
TNR is very effective, it’s not only the only humane alternative to death (euthanasia) for feral/stray cats but it saves money as euthanasia is expensive.
Watch Sterling demonstrate the “R” in TNR:
What’s a typical day like for you? What are some of the tools and essentials you bring when you’re on a TNR mission?
A typical day for me starts with feeding the cats and dogs at my place and then heading to either drop some cats off for surgery, or return some cats back to their colony. Mid-day I try to use that time informing and educating people on TNR, be it assisting and teaching, or explaining the process to an overpopulated complex.
Closer to the evening is when I go to pick cats up from surgery to bring them home to up to do some trapping. I find doing TNR easier towards the evening when the streets are a little more calm. You can find me out at all times at night with my traps, mackerel, flashlight, and my iPad so I can catch a basketball game while I watch over my traps…it’s like a mini stakeout!
What about your cat, Rick James, and the other cats you’ve shared a home with?
Rick James is my little buddy, he’s been with me through some of my toughest moments in life including my own battle with alcohol addiction He’s turning 11 this year and I love his little furry butt! My other buddy is Binx that my roommate rescued, a talkative tabby. My other rescue baby, Teena Marie passed over a year ago. She was an all white rag doll and she is truly missed. She was the brains of the operation; me and Rick James haven’t been the same without her around. I hope she’s proud of me helping more kitties like her.
Team CatCon is all about debunking the negative cat lady stereotype. We love what you and your team are doing to break down barriers for men and people of color in the cat community. What’s the most important message you’d like to share with the audience?
Thank you! I want people to know that even before I was born, there have been strong compassionate women doing TNR and working in animal rescue. Compassion fatigue and burnout are common issues and our ladies aren’t crazy, they need help! Community cat care can’t be just a thing for single ladies. Caring for animals and keeping the community clean and together is everyone’s job!
If you could be any cat in history or in pop culture, who would you be and why?
If I could be any cat I would probably be Garfield. Who wouldn’t want to be Garfield? He was pretty much one of the coolest cats ever and he did it effortlessly! He ate good, had all the punchlines, and bullied the pet dog…that’s gangster! 😂
What will you be doing in your seminar at CatCon?
So many of my cat ladies have thanked me for saying the things that need to be said but they couldn’t say or haven’t been able to. I want to pass on some of that knowledge that they’ve taught me to new demographics. People are going to see that it’s no longer crazy cat ladies… just cool, compassionate TrapQueens and TrapKings ready to take animal rescue to another level. I’m jumping out there heart first to be the change and that’s what I’ll be bringing to CatCon a fun, edgy, and new approach TNR/animal rescue and the cat world! 😻 There will be a little music, some funny experiences as well as some serious ones wrapped up in a fun informative time with the King! 😻
What would CatCon fans be surprised to know about you?
I think people would be surprised to know that even though I’m always chasing tail, I’m never chasing tail! LOL! I’m a single guy with no children and really committed to my cats and what I’m doing. Maybe one day I’ll find me a cat lady and settle down but I’m really married to the mission.
What’s your motto?
My motto is “You don’t lose cool points for compassion”. I have seen a difference in young men and the way they view cats once they see that you can still be cool if you help a cat lady or even have a cat as a pet themselves. It’s so important that these stereotypes are broken and we don’t see cats or community cat care as something that isn’t cool so that’s the motto and get ready to hear it often because TrapKing is about to make cats great again! 😻😻😻
Ladies….your cat dreams of you being with a man that knows what to do with a cat If you with a dude that doesn’t like cats you need to drop his ass and come see me at @catconworldwide in August. It’s about to be lit! #trapneuterreturn #tnr #cats #catmenunite #animalrescue #uknowwhereyocatat #catsmusicme #justtrapcats #theogtk #trappincats #getoffmyeartip #cuffapet #sterlwerld #humanedupri #feralwilliams #servejacknotcrack #servinjack #saveallofem #nocashfilthyrich #dowhatyoulove #lovewhatyoudo #purrackobama #tipsnottits
If you missed Sterling’s inspiring seminar at CatCon 2018, you can watch the exclusive video here.
In our new reality restricting large gatherings, we’re reimagining CatCon as a virtual event this fall. Introducing: CatCon From Your Couch! We want to let you know that although CatCon 2020 is taking place online, we will continue our mission to spread joy and goodness to cats and the people who love them. We know many shelters and advocacy groups are struggling right now, and we plan to provide ways for you to donate. A portion of proceeds from sponsorships and ticket sales will go to our charities of record. We’re working hard behind the scenes to create the fun, informational, MEOW-velous content you’ve come to expect from CatCon through the years. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!