I got quite a surprise when I went out on the front porch this afternoon. There were two orange cats, approximately 6-8 months old, acting like they wanted in. I, the soft hearted that I am opened the door and tried to talk to them but they ran off.
I know there is a colony of stray cats in the area. I've seen several big males dashing off into the bushes or skulking about the neighbours foundations. I know one of our neighbours, the couple that rescued Poofers for us, puts out food and gives them shelter, and catches them when they can to get them fixed. I did not know there were young cats looking for handouts.
I put a bowl of food out and a few minutes later I saw a very skinny, very young grey kitten start wolfing food. Even worse than young cats is very young kittens, starving. I tried to approach him but he is even wilder than to two orange cats. He ran across the road in front of a car, thankfully he got the the other side since the car didn't slow down even with me waving and yelling at the driver.
He must have been really hungry because he didn't take long to come back and start eating again. He let us open the inside door and talk to him through the screen but as soon as we opened the screen door he disappeared over the edge of the porch. We closed the door again, deciding patience was the better part of valour in this case, and not wanting him to tempt fate by running across the road again.
We took stock and remembered that we still had a small single level, wire cage in the garage. I retrieved it, scaring the kitten off once again, and an old heavy duty tarp and retreated back to the house. Inside PeterC and I wrapped the cage in the tarp, taping it down to hold in the heat and provide shelter, added a cardboard box with an old blanket inside, and placed filled a bowl with food inside before putting the cage out on the front porch.
While out there I saw the two orange cats coming off a neighbours porch, a thin grey cat on another neighbours porch, and a long hair grey and white hiding in the hedge. I don't know where all these cats came from but my heart just aches to see them outside. Luckily it hasn't been a very cold winter, though it has been wet and below freezing most of January.
I wonder if the weather has brought them all out or if this is a new influx of cats people have been dropping off and abandoning "in the country". I have made no bones about my dislike of people who don't take care of their animals, but drop offs are my personal pet peeve. Just thinking about people like that makes me grind my teeth and I rank them right up there with people who torture and abuse animals.
Based on how wild these cats are, I expect they are the descendants of the first batch of abandoned cats, the ones who haven't been caught and fixed yet. That does mean the neighbours are on the losing end of the battle, so ever the defender of the underdog PeterC and I will be joining the fight.
We've decided to buy a live animal trap and our vet already knows to expect new additions to the family at any time. Until then we are going to try to provide as much food and shelter as we can and hopefully tame the little ones down enough that we can bring them inside to a new permanent home.