Those who've been following my blog for a while know that I care for thirteen feral cats. When a neighbor moved away leaving some semi-wild cats that he'd been feeding, my hubby bought food and took it over to the patio and fed them through the winter. When spring came, the house sold and workers began remodeling. The cats migrated to our yard to take refuge...and to have kittens! Aghast at the sheer number of cats in our yard...seventeen...I searched for help. We had all the cats and kittens spayed/neutered, got their rabies shots, and released them back into the yard. The trap and release program meant that we would agree to offer shelter and food to them for the remainder of their lives.
So we built a shelter for them under our deck, and we purchase about six twenty pound bags of food to feed them. Over the years, we have lost four of the cats. The remaining ones are still wild and afraid of humans, except for us. Most of them shy away at noises and movement, though they don't actually run too far. Some of them are friendly with us. They will allow us to pet them and look forward to our outdoor visits. However, we could never pick them up or try to put them into a cage.
I begin each morning with feeding and watering the animals. It's the closest I'll get to living on a farm, I guess. And, I feel very blessed with taking care of these precious animals. Someone has to care. There are so many animals abandoned by families who move away and leave the defenseless pets behind. The number of feral cats is beyond comprehension--so much so that there is no place to take them. Thus, they continue to perpetuate. Feral animals have a short life expectancy, but I believe the ones we care for will fare better than most. They are fat and fluffy and as healthy as can be expected. My heart goes out to them over the winter, especially winters like the one we just experienced in Ohio. There is still snow on the ground. I shoveled paths around the house and around the areas where they walk to help.
Today the sun is shining and the cats are laying on the dry areas of concrete and stairs soaking up the warmth. I tell our three indoor cats how lucky they are, but I don't think they quite "get it."
Thanks for stopping by!