Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Back Yard Genocide




I feel awful.


Remember those feral kittens/cats that were camping out in our laundry? Well, predicatably the female has had kittens in between our fence and the neighbour's shed. (This is not her but the look in her eye is identical)


A week or so ago, Himself spotted them playing in our garden; four beautiful balls of fluff gamboling under the watchful eye of their very young mother. Of course if we tried to approach them they disappeared back between the shed and fence as quick as a wink and there was no way we could reach in there and grab them.


So here was the dilemma: lovely cats but becoming wilder by the day. Any hope of finding homes for them soon to be lost if they couldn't be handled and 'domesticated' quickly. The prospect of more breeding: inevitable. They were unable to be grabbed by human hand and I had no time to sit around waiting for them to come to a lure, like a tin of cat food in a box . What to do?


On Monday, Mum and I went down to the RSPCA and hired a cat trap. By 5pm Monday afternoon we had the mother in the trap. She thrashed about like a wild thing until we put a blanket over the cage. The RSPCA didn't open until 10am Tuesday morning. The condemned prisoner was left, covered up, outside on our back porch. At about 10pm she started crying. It was awful.


Now I know in my heart that she can't be just left to breed; she is way too wild to try and domesticate; but the sound of that crying broke all our hearts. We shut the window and turned up the TV.


I feel like a resident of Germany in 1944.


I was only following orders.......

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Post Script: Tonight we have bagged the father and he is much wilder and more aggressive.

It is now his turn to sit on Death Row (aka our back porch). I still feel awful.


7 comments:

JoLyn said...

When you said feral cats you really meant it!

We had the same thing happen...a wild mother cat and her six kittens in our window well. We turned the project over to my sister in law who lives next door. She trapped the mother same as you...and planned to give away the kittens. When she gave away the first one, it broke her heart. It's been ten years, and she still has five cats!

Amy Jo said...

If I didn't live several thousands of miles away I'd take a kitten!

SSG said...

awh, but you're trying to help, so it can't be bad, and they'll forget it later... maybe? I don't know how cats minds work! I've only seen feral cats in Spain, and feral dogs in India. We have wildcats in Scotland but they tend to stay hidden. Off to the library... xx

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

:-( :-( :-( We had tons of stray cats living in our old neighborhood. This one neighbor took as many as she could one by one to the vet and had them neutered/spayed and got them their shots. Then she set them back free in the neighborhood. I don't know how she had the time or money to do that. And I know there were still more cats she didn't get to, because there are still new kittens being born in that neighborhood.

It's amazing to me that she was able to do that. I barely find time to pack my lunch in the morning. But she didn't have kids (or they were grown if she did) so I suppose she wasn't spending every last cent on gymnastics classes and summer camp and school pictures and poster board and dentist bills and and and...

Arizaphale said...

SSG: you dear sweet Scottish lass. I am sure they will forget about it later. And Bambi's mother didn't REALLY die in the fire and the Dog Pound really does find nice homes for ALL its stray dogs.....
(sorry mate but I hate to have to be the one to tell you that they're being put down...I know...I am cruel....)

Maggie said...

Awww, you poor thing -- what a hard thing to do! But you know that you were doing the right thing, don't you? Are you going to keep the kittens? Or find other homes for them?

Kevin C Jones said...

Feral Cats and their progeny should be treated just the same - I got what I thought was a docile kitten (it was deaf) which went wild later like all the others in the litter.