Saturday, March 24, 2012

One stray cat quickly becomes a colony

By David Horst 

We didn’t seek to become one and we’d rather we weren’t.

Somehow, we’ve become a certified feral cat colony up on the sand hill we call home.

It started innocently enough. This multi-colored cat from somewhere in the neighborhood moved into our barn. She had two babies. We had them fixed. They and their mom disappeared almost right away.

Mom came back carrying another litter. Before very long, her babies started having babies.

I can see how a kindly, older woman is discovered to be living with 50 cats. If you aren’t willing to send feral cats to pretty certain death at a shelter, and can’t spare the $100-plus a vet typically charges for spaying or neutering, it can happen quickly.

We’re not up to 50, but, unaddressed, it wouldn’t take long. The experience gives meaning to the term “exponential growth.”

The old farmer’s way of dealing with excess cats involved either a .22 rifle or a gunnysack and a pond. We don’t have that in us.

Instead, we fed them, gave them toys, old dog beds and a heated water bowl. I just don’t understand why we can’t get them to move out.