This past Saturday, I was grocery shopping and, as usual, a large portion of my shopping was being done in the pet food section. A woman who saw my cart filling up with dog and cat food told me she buys cat food every day. As we spoke more, she told me that she is feeding about 30 cats around her house. I offered our services to help trap the cats, but she refused. I reminded her that the 30 cats are very quickly going to be 60 cats, then even more. Again, she strongly refused.
She said that a while ago, she found two newborn kittens with the umbilical cords still attached. She brought them to the shelter, and we put them in with a nursing mother cat who accepted them. She called the shelter several days later and was told that the kittens did not survive.
We have so many cases like this that I could not remember which instance she is talking about. I do know that orphaned animals are already at high-risk of dying when they come into the shelter, simply because they have either been without a mother’s care for a while, or the mothers themselves were not able to take care of them properly.
What was so discouraging to me is the fact that the woman refused to let us help her trap cats, spay/neuter the ones she wants to keep, and bring the others to the shelter. We have gone through this many times in the past. People do not like to accept the reality that there are too many cats. However, if they keep feeding large numbers of cats, without having them spayed or neutered, they are contributing to a far greater problem.
Many years ago, an elderly woman was feeding stray cats. We reached out to her to offer our help, and she refused. The problem grew until her neighbors called us for relief and help. Still, she did not let us trap the cats on her property. A few years later, she died, leaving many cats to fend for themselves. There is still a cat problem in her neighborhood.
That happened in another area of town. A woman fed about 50 cats, refused help, and then the property she lived on was sold. She had to move, and we had only a few days to trap as many cats as we could. The residential area was turned into a retail area, and the cats spread into surrounding areas.
Yes, it is a tragic fact that we have to euthanize hundreds of cats each year. It is a sad reality made even sadder by the realization that, if people spayed/neutered the cats they are feeding, or if they allowed us to trap a few cats, they would not turn into a large number of cats.
(We’ll be at the Community Market for the Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, November 17, from 9-3. We have lots of tees, sweatshirts, gifts for animals and animal lovers, as well as homemade crafts. We’ll also sell raffle tickets ($1) for the beautiful wreath that Gingerbread House donated to us.)