Thursday, January 28, 2016

Feeding a Feral

A woman active in the local TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release/Relocate) community contacted me.  She had to go out of town for a week; would I mind feeding one of the ferals she was trying to trap, while she was gone?

Not at all.

At one time, there was a feral colony of up to twenty cats living behind a local big-box shopping center.  The woman who contacted me had been trapping them, one by one over a period of years, and spaying or neutering them.  Then she relocated them (a shopping plaza next to a busy highway is not a great place for a cat to live).  The friendly ones (only a few, unfortunately, were friendly) were placed with families.  The feral ones were placed on a friend's farm.   The woman is lucky in that she has a friend with a farm who is willing to take the cats; most farm cats breed their own replacements, so the ideal "farm home" that people talk about for ferals often doesn't exist in reality.

Now she was down to one cat, a calico, who needed to be trapped.  The cat has already had several litters of kittens that the woman has rehomed. (Obviously, that makes TWO feral cats who need to be neutered; the calico and whoever keeps knocking her up; the woman's priority right now is the calico.) She didn't ask me to try to trap it while she was out of town; she just wanted me to feed it so that it would still be around for another trapping attempt.

Here is where the cat lives.  Home sweet home.

The cat is able to access the underside of the shopping plaza through this opening:

This is where the cat eats. 

After placing down a bowl of food and filling the water bowls with fresh water, I was asked to tilt the wooden board up over the bowls so that the cat could eat without being seen and so that snow would stay off the food.

No, I haven't seen the cat.  I'll be feeding it through Saturday.

Pretty depressing, right?  A lot of people disagree with feeding ferals ("They can fend for themselves!" "If you'd stop feeding those nasty cats they'd go away!"), and a lot of people disagree with TNR ("Why spend money on stray cats when there are people in need?" "Why not just put the cats to sleep?" "Why not just leave those cats alone?"). 

I just hope the woman is able to trap this cat so it can stop having kittens and stop living under Walmart.  That's my hope.


Random Felines said...

glad you can help her....and paws crossed she catches the calico. we are ALL about TNR - good for her!!

rockygrace said...

Random, the calico is one wily cat, so the woman has her work cut out for her! TNR sure can be frustrating.

Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

I hope that too. I really hate when people tell other people how to spend their money. If they are so heck bent helping people, then that is where they should put their money.

rockygrace said...

Tails, I agree! It's my money and I'll spend it where I want to. On cats. :)

James P. said...

Please let us all know if there is an update on this sneaky kitty.

rockygrace said...

Ginny, another attempt to trap Miss Thing is going to be made this weekend. This cat is EXTREMELY wary of live traps, as she has seen all of her friends and babies be trapped and removed one by one (for all she knows they're going to the gas chamber; she doesn't know that they're being placed in new homes or on a farm), so we are currently working on a trap-that-doesn't-look-like-a-trap, in the hopes that we can fool her.