Sunday, July 03, 2005

On wild cats and other peeves
I love animals. Pretty much all animals with the exception of ants and cockroaches. So it always bothers me when I spot yet another wild cat in our yard.

For years now the backyard has become a home away from home for the literally dozens of homeless cats in the area. We think it's the house two doors down that feeds them, and so they stick around the area. The problem is, none of them are fixed and every year our yard gets turned into a kitty nursery.

A few weeks ago, we spotted mama cat with two completely adorable kittens. One a little plaid one with a white face and a curious nature. The other, mostly gray with white feet. He was very small, and beyond adorable. Since my husband is also an animal lover, we went into our yearly worry over unsupervised kittens running free on a high-traffic street.

The day after we both pretty much fell in love with the little gray one, we were awakened at 5 am by angry, unpleasant noises in the backyard. My husband went out to investigate and scared off a rather large racoon. But it was too late. There, curled up next to our back fence was the little gray kitten. He was dead.

Having to wrap up and dispose of an adorable, newly-killed kitten at 5 am is not the way anyone should start the day.

Mama cat and the other kitten have staked out our yard as their private space and spend most days, all day, lying in the sun and chasing leaves. The kitten is growing, and having a lovely time curling up under a rose bush and generally being a cat. But whenever I think of his cute sibling, I just want to cry.

I know people think that feeding feral cats is a good thing. And I certainly don't want them to starve. But if you do that, could you also please try to catch them and get them fixed so that they don't keep breeding more generations of cats. We remember mama cat from when she was a kitten in our yard a few years ago. And last year we had to dispose of a cat that had been run over in front of our house.

We don't want to deal with your dead cats. It's upsetting and inconsiderate. Please, if you love animals enough to feed them, then love them enough to try and prevent this from happening. The local SPCA has lots of suggestions for trapping wild cats. They'll even rent you the traps and provide discount spay and neuter services. Please?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now I'm gonna cry.

(Yes, the 2 cats that live outside and came with the house, which I feed every night, are both fixed. Once a year we take them to the vet for checkups. I do my best to keep down the nasty fur-entagling type of weeds... just for them... 'cuz frankly I don't care about the weeds otherwise. Long haired cats shouldn't live outside. IMHO.)