to address some concerns brought up in the comments section of this blog..
the cats were there before i moved in.
they were always in the side yard by our house. however, the cat lady fed them next door in the parking lot, so they would usually
now i have been nice to them. i have fed them (although i do that next door as well). and i have 2 cats that come in and outside. so, for example, this cat named flaco is always around because he and kitten like to hang out / be miserable together.
if i come to my front door, catherine will come over so i can pet her.
so yes, i have attracted them to come into our yard more often than they did before by being kind to them.
and i have helped feed them, but unfortunately the cat lady is very poor - she's living in a total ghetto apartment with her husband and dog. she gives them food and means very well but doesn't have all that much.. so i make sure the cats have enough by giving them food as well.
to be honest, they haven't even been in our yard hardly at all that i've noticed lately. but i can't stop catherine or itchy/scratchy from bounding over in the grass when she sees me.
in addition, they like to go under our houses. we have crawl spaces. so they take shelter under there when it rains or storms. now the landlord has sealed up those spaces so they will probably not be around for that anymore.
if i moved, they may stay in the yard next door and maybe the landlord wouldn't be a jerk about the whole thing. but they still run around the neighborhood, exploring.. the neighbor claims one of them sprayed his car..
the point is that now these very sweet cats do
have a way out. the poor black one gets wounds - maybe from fighting; he's not fixed. so then he limps around on three legs for weeks. both the boys had scabies when i moved in.. mamacat was getting pregnant one litter after another before i intervened.. and what happens when they get older? or a cat5 hurricane comes? or, like one of the fluffy kittens down the street, they cross the road at the wrong time and some jerk who's speeding runs them down? does that sound like an ideal life to you?
and if i stay, there is no way i can let them go hungry. even if it means giving extra food to the cat lady every day to make sure she
can feed them plenty. but there is no no feeding the cats
. i discussed this with maury. they may catch food, but they wouldn't survive long. we're not in the wilds of africa, you realize. the best they could do is lizards, bugs, and the occasional bird. not to mention, that would make our local wildlife suffer. maury told me about an area in jacksonville where the ferals are starving to death and
you cannot find even one bug
because they've eaten everything
. (no TNR programs there.)
so maybe i have made a mistake by being kind to the cats. the thing is, the lady's landlord doesn't mind the cats there. nor do her neighbors. nor do 1/2 of my
neighbors. i have just lucked out with having a neighbor that hates
cats and a landlord who is for some reason threatened by cats that are scared of him
. i had no way of knowing that me feeding and petting the cats was going to result in this
. and not only do i think it should not have come to this, i think it's a horrible thing that people are upset that the cats exist
. it's not their fault they live on the streets.the cat sanctuary is only a good thing.
these boys are young and healthy-ish now, but give them a year and who knows where they'd be..
and no, no more cats will come take their place. there is another colony down the street that we feed down there
. they don't follow us back. and those i would like to TNR so that colony will stop growing anyway.
i never would have dropped these guys off at a shelter, even a no-kill. like you said, they're happy "outdoor" cats. but if you came to our neighborhood.. we live in basically the ghetto. last night my neighbors were arguing outside, calling the cops, peeling out of the driveway pissed off.. cars speed down our streets.. cars speed through the lots.. i've seen two dead cats on the side of our road in the past 6 months. and that's just what i've happened acrossed. the boys weathered hurricane katrina behind a bush
. do you think that's any kind of life for an animal? especially when compared with this sanctuary? where they are "outside" but also cared for and loved?
if you can't tell, i'm a little annoyed by the implication that any of this is my fault. if being kind to stray, homeless, hungry animals is a bad thing in your eyes, i don't think we have anything more to talk about. somebody needs to care. had the cat lady not started to feed them a couple of years ago, they'd either be someone else's problem or dead. hardly seems that either of those options are something we should consider acceptable.