Monday, August 23, 2010

Feral cats- 0, Us- 1

It hasn't been much of a secret, but in the year and a half plus that we've lived here, we've had a feral cat problem.  It didn't really bother us until they started having kittens in our backyard and they were dying.  Several liters in not as many months later, we're up to dozens of wild, feral, disease ridden cats congregating in our yard.

In an attempt to having the situation solved it has become a finger pointing problem.  We know that the neighbor about 3 houses down is largely responsible for how they are able to be strong enough to have several liters and live for so long.  You see, she is allergic to cats, but they have 5.  So, she decided to have her 5 cats be outside cats and keep their food on their front porch.  Sounds great, right?  Except she gets irritated that wild cats are eating her cats food.  Um, I guess they can't read the sign that says 'Private food only' and just decide to go for it.

We want them gone.  Which gives us few options.  If we take them to the SPCA we have to pay to have them spay/neutered, ears tipped and then release them back where we got them from.  They are still feral cats, they just can't reproduce and I guess eventually they become a traffic hazard or we clean up dead cats out of our yard.  The price for this varies between $15 and $45 depending on which county we go to.  There is a limit of 2 per household per month.  When you have at minimum a dozen cats to do this too, that leaves a lot of time for them to continue to procreate and we would be looking at a minimum of $180 - $540!  Not to sound selfish, but do you know how many baby beanies I could buy off of etsy for that???

If you just drop them off after hours, you can be fined.  If you take them to the pound, they will be euthanized.  While I despise them and sincerely find them to be a huge health threat, I don't want to kill them. 

Behind Dusty's work is a large field.  At the field there are already several feral cats (other warehouses leave food out) lots of mice and lots of jack rabbits.  We decided that we would catch and relocate them to this field so that they can be free and live with other cats, eat mice and live life however.  Sounds great, right?

Last night we picked up our first trap.  Within hours, we captured one.  This morning Dusty and I took it to work to release it.  The poor cat was so scared :(  Dusty freed it and it took off.  But, it didn't know where to go.  I went inside and Dusty saw it eventually at one of the buildings.  He tried to help it so that it would go to the field where he had just spotted a cat with several kittens.  Instead the cat got scared and jumped hard into the glass.  It's nose began bleeding :(  That broke my heart.  Now, I'm desperate to cash another one quickly so it isn't alone :(

I feel sad for the cats, I truly do.  They didn't ask to be feral.  They didn't ask to be born.  I blame those who are too irresponsible to spay and neuter their pets and who think they are doing the world a favor by leaving food outside for wild animals and pets.  But, I value our families health above it all.


Jamie said...

My aunt and uncle used to do this too. They would take them into the country and release them. Hopefully you'll get more to take out there so the one is with familiar ones. What a sucky situation to be in. :(

Lee said...

LOVE your blog. Best wishes for a continuing pregnancy and NO early labor. Hope your little girl feels better soon. My hubby had his tonsils out about 5 years ago- sleep apnea- and it was HORRIBLE. A really awful recovery- so I'm not surprised at your little one's troubles. Seriously, I got to observe a tonsillectomy when I was in nursing school, and it's brutal. Keep of the good work, hang in there! Lee

Lori said...

We have a feral cat issue too...not quite like yours, it seems, and honestly, since our neighbor two houses down who was doing things similarly to your neighbor moved, it's gotten better.

We live on 3 acres surrounded by woods, so basically the cats have things to eat, but it breaks my heart to see these little kitties out in the elements and foraging for food. We have a feral cat spay/neuter organization that we tried to catch some of the cats for, but couldn't...and like yours, they'd just spay them and bring them back and there's now way I could get them all.

I hate it because it's like a day to day reminder of the suffering that goes on in the world and it stinks for the cats and for us watching and being sort of helpless.

Hope there are some resolutions for you soon!!

Amanda Bonham said...

I have four cats, they were all feral when we (my family) got them. Its sad because I live literally live a 1000 feet from the Folsom Zoo and every year people will dump their animals off to the zoo thinking they will take care of them because their lack of responsibility as animal owner. Each one of my cats are examples of lack of care and responsibility. I love them all, and I am glad they are apart of our family. They have such different personalities, but to stop the cycle we got them all fixed. No more babies, but i do see others in my neighborhood that are siblings of my cats. Its just sad people can't take ownership and do the right thing and fix their pets to not procreate. So many defenseless animals suffer because of selfishness. Just keep doing what you are doing.