View Full Version : Feeding Strays.

July 15th, 2003, 01:29 PM
John and I love cats, as you probably all know by now. We have four of our own. Three blacks, and one calico. Our three black cats, are all males, and we've nicknamed them the "bully brothers" as when they are outdoors, they constantly patrol the border of our property, fending off all intruders...except for one notable newcomer. Another black male cat.

Since our cats refuse to come in on some lovely summer nights, preferring to sleep outdoors, in the fresh air (who could blame them, remember yourself as a kid..did YOU ever want to come inside at night in the summertime?) we sometimes leave bowls of water, and food out on our porch for them. In the morning, we find them sleeping contentedly on the porch. Finally ready to come inside when we call them for a quick "hello" and nap, before they head "off to work" again.

Recently, John and I have noticed a little "Peeping Tom" so to speak. Another black male cat, who stays at the edge of our property, watching us, and our other cats. When we are outdoors, cooking on the grill, he simply lays down on the stone wall at the edge of our property, watching us. When we lit off fireworks for the fourth of July, he lay in the high grass, watching us. When John mows the lawn, he watches him. He never confronts our cats. Never really approaches us. But..just sits, and watches us. I'm overcome by a feeling that this cat thinks himself one of our family...bearing a striking resemblence to our other cats. He seems so curious. He visits every single day. Even when we do not leave food out for our other cats. We're torn. We continue to leave food out for our own cats when they are outdoors, but...we worry that if we do, this cat might start eating the food we leave out. Which, we wouldn't care about, except that this cat looks well cared for. We think he may have another home, and if so, I worry that the food that is readily available to him, might keep him from returning to his own home. We're also torn, because while we would love another cat in some ways, in others, we know we cannot afford it, financially, and also that taking in a stray cat is often a health risk to the other animals in your home. Especially in a community which has high FIV and Feline Leukemia rates. I've called the animal welfare people, but they seem to think that unless we can catch the cat, there is nothing they can do. And frankly, since he looks well cared for, I hesitate to put out a "have a heart" trap, capture him, and bring him to the pound. It may be that he's just like our little guys. Loving the outdoors, but having a good home. We're already beginning to consider him a member of our family, in an odd sort of way. He's becoming part of the landscape. Is there anything we should do, or can be doing? Should we place an ad in the local papers, stating that he's been sighted frequently in our yard, so if anyone is missing a cat of his description, to give us a call?

Bainidhe Dub
July 15th, 2003, 06:15 PM
I would go with putting a few signs up around the neighborhood or ask around. If he looks like he's well cared for, he may be just like your boys and come visiting to check out the other cats (and maybe you! lol).

July 15th, 2003, 06:35 PM
hmm..I had a large fellow who "adopted" me when I first moved into this house. He had been neutered and was well fed, but he obviously craved the attention and affection I bestowed upon him. He eventually "moved in" and become a much loved and enjoyed member of the family until his death due to cancer 2 years ago. Cats are always their own creatures, and they do look for more than just a good meal. Some are basically just social and like to visit, some find your energy irresistable and crave being near you..if your black cat makes up his mind that you are meant to be his people, well, so mote it be..

Flar's Freyja
July 27th, 2003, 03:37 AM
The ad sounds like a good idea - but you are also aware with what I've been through many times with feeding strays. Even if I've only known them a short time, I still get attached and worry myself sick even if I find them homes! I still miss those cats I gave away last week.