Fab four: my emotional difficulties in caring for feral cats
A handsome Siamese cat frequented my back yard, (I named him Jonah). My two indoor cats enjoy watching him through the windows (my indoor cats never go outdoors.)
Going on 3 years now I have made him make-shift homes to keep him dry from rain, keep food out for him. Since Jonah is Siamese, I believe he has been spayed because no sign of his markings in the community in other kittens/cats.
Last year a long hair grey cat was coming to eat Jonah’s food…I would try to discourage this grey cat. A couple of months later I saw this same grey cat back with a litter of four kittens…I called them the fab four (fabulous four) but soon they went away.
We have an open field behind our back yard, where we’ve known sightings of coyotes, opossums, skunks, etc. As time passed, I noticed the fab four comfortable at the front courtyard of the house at the end of our street. Knowing this homeowner had been married to a veterinary gave me comfort in thinking that maybe these cats were being cared for responsibly.
This same house at the end of the street is up for sale now. With the vacating of the homeowner, the fab four came back to my back yard to eat Jonah’s food. As I increased the amount of the food for Jonah, not only the Fab four were coming to dine but several other neighborhood cats too.
I was mortified when I noticed one morning a litter of kittens. A few days later – one more litter. And then yet one more litter of kittens in the front yard – three litters…and I saw before my very own eyes proof that one of the fab four was male (no details…use your imagination)…
I assume he is father of the three litters and three of the fab four are momma cats. Interestingly, the kittens will feed on alternate moms but they feed as a litter – there are three different sizes of kittens. The smallest litter in the front yard was sickly and easy to catch – we were able to take them in to the SPCA. I cried the entire time to and from and have panic attacks when thinking of trapping cats, not because of what may happen to them (which is really sad) but the process makes me sick. I can not trap the cats or see them trapped…but I need to have them trapped and removed because they will only multiply and our back yard smells really bad.
I have tried to find someone to do the trapping and it is taking too long…I am afraid we will have more litters. I read and am told that feeding feral cats is wrong…but I can not see cats skinny and hungry. I am told by those who trap cats that it is best to have them contained to a specific area which I can only do if I continue to feed them…it frustrates me to be chastised for feeding them.
If it is their future to have to be put down since I can’t find anyone who wants wild feral cats…why then should their last days on this cruel earth be those of hunger?
Images of trapped cats bring back horrible memories of bad experiences. I know it must be done…but I can’t be the one to do it…If people had hearts for cats and were more responsible, I wouldn’t have feral cats in my back yard!!