Thursday, July 29, 2010

WHAT DO I DO: THERE'S A CAT IN MY YARD?

If you do cat rescue, you have probably heard this question more than once: in fact, you have probably heard it many more times than you would like.  As feral and homeless cats increase in number, more and more are finding their way into backyards and onto decks. Friends, family members, and even chance conversations with complete strangers can find a rescuer explaining how to look for a lost cat's owner, or how to feed, house, and TNR a roaming feral.

A close friend of mine, who knows I work with feral cats, casually mentioned that her chidren had seen 'a very hungry and dirty looking black cat' in their yard, and that her son had given the cat a carrot--which the cat ate (!!) When I explained to my friend, who does not particularly like cats, that the unkempt cat is probably either a lost pet or a sick and underwieght feral, and that a little protein might be a better choice of food, her reaction was that she did not want to encourage the cat to frequent her yard. I immediately told my friend that finding a cat in her yard is good luck! I then offered to feed and trap it.  My reasoning is that if it is lost, I may be able to find the owners while it boards at a local sancuary, and, should it turn out to be a feral that needs medical attention--including spay/neutering and a few good meals--that can be worked out too. Of course, if it's homeless, I am secretly hoping that I can show my friend and her children just how easy it is to put up a feral shelter and leave a little food and water outside each morning for their new tenant: a small price to pay for keeping their property rodent free!

Well.....we will see...

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