This is a rural county that requires residents to dump their own trash in large metal “green boxes” at various locations. Besides trash being dumped you will notice an abundance of feral cats scrounging about for food.These are “House Kitties” that have been dumped and reverted to survival instincts. Some good souls feed these cats but for the most part they remain untouchable and will scurry away if you are too close. Some people will trap these cats with humane live “Have-a-Heart” traps and take them to the humane animal groups for neutering and rabies inoculation. These cats are then returned to the “Green Box” dumpsites or along the road ways-usually farm locations like mine that the notched ear cats find their way to.
By Christmas time I usually have twenty or more cats to feed and care for.
As the winter progresses, cold and miserable, even in the sanctuary of the barn, their number declines to about ten or twelve in the spring. Notched ear cats have been neutered; un-notched ear cats have a very low reproduction rate; most kittens not surviving the great outdoors.
Now of course I am discussing rural surroundings, I have no experience with feral cats in the city.
Poo was a house kitty kitten, starving and in great disarray at the Green Box dump site. He came to me, sat down, looked up and said: “Meow”. Golden light yellow with a white face, his thin ribs showing through his coat he was by his very behavior not feral. I thought he would be dead in a few days. Apparently he came from a good home and I surmised that he and his brethren could not be kept, perhaps for economic reasons consistent with the local poor economy.
Meow! He came to me and rubbed against my shoe. I reached down and picked him up with no resistance. I always carry a few dog and cat kibble in my work coat and he eagerly devoured them without growls from my hand.
Diane, my wife and I had long agreed “no more cats in the house”, save “Suggy” an upstairs somewhat retarded white cat. Ignoring this agreement I tucked little Poo in my Van and he sat there in the window sunlight waiting for me. When I started the Van and headed the six miles home he crawled in my lap and purred.
This was in the warm spell in November, I estimated him at 16 weeks of age. The following Monday he went to the Mountain View Humane and was neutered, given inoculations and was an unhappy cat. Once home he had his forever full kibble and canned cat food dishes. He constantly ate and gained 1.8 lbs from his initial weight in 30 days with his follow up shots at Dr. Young’s Veterinary service.
This is where he got his name, for eating constantly, remembering his starvation he “Pooed” . Poo was a good name.
This is one of the most enjoyable, sweet natured, friendly and loving cats I think we have ever had. Of course the Humane people will provide free neutering and ear notching for trapped cats, and people return them, most likely back to the Green Boxes.
With Poo, the following weeks were ice and bitter cold. He would have expired. We often wonder about the custom of neutering, one good meal, and back to the feral state. I personally think euthanizing the trapped cats would be really humane vs: returning them to a life of misery. After all these are all house cats. They deserve better treatment.
In some ways this is analogous to the plights of millions of homeless people with hundreds of thousands of homeless children scavenging for food. When we bail out banks, automobile giants, insurance firms ad nausea we deny our neighbors basic rights to employment with unemployed a subsidy, currently a paltry $300.00 a month, which is the national average. It is expected that within six months the current non-receipt of unemployment insurance will exceed an additional 3 million honest hardworking American citizens. What is interesting in statistics of unemployment is that these people will no longer remain registered as looking for work and the statistical unemployed number from Washington and your state will drop-heralding of course great strides in government success. Maybe we ought to send these statisticians to China along with the other industries.
With poverty knocking at the door and the wolf in the chimney it is no wonder that kitties, dogs and children are dumped. A long cold bitter winter awaits.
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