Feeding Feral Cats
by Judy Duston
I used to go to work via the back roads of New Hampshire. I spotted quite a few little kittens & their mothers sitting outside sunning themselves in the warm sun. When I pulled in next to the barn door they ran in the barn or under the barn.
The next day I fixed a mixture of oatmeal as a filler, one egg, canned cat food/dry cat food to absorb extra liquids, fish oil & pet vitamins.
I did this every day for three years. I watched these cats grow & thrive. One kitten was so tiny he/she looked like a baby chicken the legs & feet were so skinny, the kitten kept trying to get into my car. I couldn't figure out why - maybe frightened of wild animals in the area as cats are food to starving wild animals.
At the time I was only living in a small apartment. My landlord was nice enough to allow my to have three of these cats; one was a Maine Coon type cat, I named him Lincoln; a black & white cat was named Shadow and then there was this most beautiful cat. She was a smoke grey; when her fur was lifted it was a darker grey and on top layer of fur was a lighter grey so I named her Smokey.
Eventually I got married and moved on but I still kept my kitties and they were well maintained, I might say. I continued to feed the other barn cats and eventually took as many home with me as I could catch or those that hadn't yet died.
We had a big house and loads of land where all the strays could run and play. There were two cats that were attached to one another. Where one went the other stayed close by. The one who followed wasn't too friendly he/she was afraid of humans.
One of the black and white cats would wait until all the cats ate and had driven off and out of sight and then he would go and eat. The next day I went to feed the cats and the black and white male was dead and the female follower was sitting on her mom(?) or buddy actually crying huge tears.
I wanted to take her home with me but she wouldn't let me. She was the only one that never gained trust. The next day I went back again and she too just gave up and died.
I took the remainder of the barn cats home with me. The funniest part was when my husband took the little dogs for a walk he had a trail of at least twelve to fifteen cats following him!
Neighbors laughed and my husband loved it.
It was so odd to see that these once stray animals that may have been dumped on the side of the road or wooded area to fend for themselves just came into our home with two dogs just like they had been there for years.
Eventually one by one they all died because of an upper respiratory problem. But to give any animal another chance at what any animal deserves and that's a half way decent life. Animals were God's first creation & friends.
"The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated." By: Gandhi." God bless.
Update Nov 25th 2010...Best cat food(s)
I have been searching for many years for not only good but safe cat food for my cats & dogs. At the time I didn't have a computer and tried my very best to go by word of mouth. In the past I used Iams because it had a strong scent which all cats love.
Each and every cat died one by one starting from my baby kitten to teenager & older; two male cats then an older female cat. I wrote a letter to Iams saying I would never buy Iams again because of the poisons in my cats food that had killed each & every one of my cats one by one.
Iams wrote back & said it had changed & that testing was done differently & all animals were treated humanely & sent back to shelters to be re-adopted.
I guess maybe that part of being re-adopted may somewhat have been true as recently I adopted a cat. She lived only six weeks to the day. She had no liver and she had cancer. The worse case scenario was the shelter told me I needed to wait a few weeks longer because they needed to operate on the polyps in her ears. When I got this loving cat back instead of any such surgery for polyps her teeth had been removed. I was so upset that I didn't dare go back there to speak with any one or to talk to them personally on the phone. So I wrote as nice a letter as I could muster but not being able to see or think clearly through my tears.
In my closing statement I used(as we are put on guilt trips, I changed it), a great quote from Gandhi:"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it treats its animals." I found a great website (new window) with quotes I just love. Also a story I copied is at the end of these quotes by Jim Willis - please have plenty of tissues lol..
Back to healthy & safe cat & dog foods. I looked up a whole food store in my area. I was lucky to find one in Andover, Mass. These stores are nationwide and they have all fresh veggies, soup(s), bar natural foods contained or other, just like a super/farmers market.
I not only liked it I loved it. It is people friendly with cat & dog foods that are many too choose from. Even though my cat doesn't like the taste just yet. I mix it with the old Friskies for the time being, I bought an excellent vitamins with minerals.
I also help an elderly gentleman with his once stray ferals (too many cats). I drop off a huge bag of natural dry and a huge box of natural brand can foods. The plus side is I learned what else is great for kitty litter; it is the wood stove pellets they are biodegradable
easy & scoopable, cat friendly, no odors and you can buy them in a huge bag at home depot for a little over four dollars. They last me for ever lol......
I hope every one does a search for whole foods in your area. Don't be afraid to ask if any pets foods have been tested on animals. I ask first then check labels. I made a big mistake once awhile back and bought a case of cat food because it was on a big mark down. At the very bottom of the cans it says animal feeding tests using AAFCO. It stands for, "Association of American Feeding Control Officials". If not happy with this this product it can be returned to the store where it was bought.
The brand I bought was Authority, by Petsmart but I strongly feel its by Iams.....
I hope every one had a safe & happy Thanksgiving.