I have a feeling, having read news about American domestic cats for many years, that millions of unwanted cats are being “stored” in anonymous homes across the country. These are informal rescues completely off the radar. The homes are occupied by caring people who hoover up the unwanted cats abandon as they are on the outside (emotionally and physically) by irresponsible cat ownership. The cats have become wanted again but I sense that this is forced on people.
Time and time again we read stories of 40, 50, 60 cats and more being discovered in homes. I’m not referring to cat hoarders who were strictly speaking criminals because of neglect and abuse of companion animals – a criminal act. I’m referring to ordinary people who don’t like to see cats going hungry. They don’t like to see abandon cats and kittens as outsiders, forgotten and neglected by the community. They take action and they do it anonymously and quietly.
And then something happens which reveals what is going on. And in the newspapers today is a story of a home which partially collapsed into the East River in the Bronx, New York. The wooden structure below the house which sits half onto the river broke and collapsed. The house lent forward at a precarious angle and it appears that it was due to collapse fully into the river but it stopped there which allowed firefighters to enter the house and recover 60 cats.
The owners were away at the time. These cats would never have been discovered by the authorities but for the structural failure of the support pylons keeping this house above the river. How many other houses are like this? We’ll never know because it is all done quietly behind the scenes but I suspect that kindhearted people in reasonably sized homes are hoovering up the unwanted cats, looking after them, spending a lot of money on veterinary fees and food. They are a counterweight against the burden placed upon the community of unwanted abandon cats. These cats bypass the rescue network but in truth they are rescued cats.
And a final word for the people who volunteer. They are a silent army go about their work in looking after unwanted cats without a reward from their peers or the authorities. Their reward is doing what they know is right and what they must do in all conscience.