The Cat's Meow
Recently we contributed a letter to the Pioneer regarding our appreciation to the High Desert Humane Society for the wonderful work their volunteers do in retrieving, treating and transporting feral cats and their offspring to be altered and adopted. The total number of cats they were able to retrieve from our yard was seven cats and five skunks. Some of the cats were tomcats from the neighborhood.
Since the article came out three weeks ago, our neighbors told us that their problem with cats has disappeared. It seems that feral cats adopt neighborhoods not just individual households and they can be very determined to procreate.
Now on with the story. It seems that one mother cat, not much more than a kitten herself, had repeatedly been able to enter the cage, eat the morsels and exit without triggering the trap door which would have trapped her inside the cage. She was successful three times. Finally on the fourth time she was trapped and was taken to the volunteer's home where she was to be kept pending her transfer for altering. We had become quite attached to this little mama kitty and had told the volunteer they could return her to our home after altering because she was so attached to us.
The following morning we were suprised to see her waiting at our back door for her usual feeding. We were sure this must have been one of her siblings that looked like her. So we called the volunteer and told her surprisingly there was one more cat that looked just like the mama kitty. The volunteer checked the holding room and discovered that the cat was gone. She called us back and told us that mama kitty was gone and that must be her at our house! Mama kitty was able to "break out" of the holding room at the volunteer's house and push a window screen loose to escape. She came all the way back to our home which was quite a distance. It appears she has adopted us.
Without her kittens she is much less on guard and has allowed us to pet her without running away. When the volunteer transports the next group of cats for altering, she will return and her home will be with us. She will be a member of our family but live outside in her adopted home.
When I was growing up in the Midwest, all of our animals, cats, dogs, and certainly skunks lived outside but we had shelters for them, particularly in periods of extreme weather. We don't know how many litters of kittens our mama kitty has had and other than her last litter we don't know what happened to them. We're told wild and feral cats have a heavy mortality rate and it appears inhumane not to do everything we can do to control overpopulation by altering cats at appropriate times.
If you want to help with this situation or have a problem with cats, you can call Sandy at 475-3314 or Marlys at 475-5099. You can make a tax-deductible contribution of money, cat food, cat litter, pet carriers, towels, cages or you can call them and ask what they need.
We will also keep the readers informed about mama kitty's adjustment to her new home.
Bob and Kholeen Jackson