Monday, October 06, 2008

Stray Cats

They are a bit hard to get a photo of... but here are the 2 stray cats that live here. I am almost positive that they are from the neighbor down the street - who tried to give me a kitten earlier this summer. I declined. 1st off, School Boy is very allergic to cats. 2nd off - I have a commercial kitchen and the last thing I want is a cat on the counter! So, I turned down 1 kitten and now somehow have 2 stray cats!
The thing is - they turned up because SB has a small child's wading pool in the back kitchen garden. It is soft sided and the cats were trying their hardest to figure out how to get a sip of water without falling into the water. So - I gave a small bowl of milk to SB to give to them. Poor things shook and trembled the whole time they drank it. SB stood at the window and watched them, absolutely delighted that these 2 cats had appeared from nowhere. I explained to SB about stray cats. And after a bit he said to me... "Momma, you know I have some recycling money saved up for toys? Well, I don't really NEED lots of toys, but those cats need food. So, can I spend some of my recycling money on cat food for them?" What's a Momma to say to that?! I was thinking that we should get them a bag of food anyway - it is just so sad to see such skinny creatures on your doorstep. So, a bag of cat food was purchased and the rest is history - those cats aren't going anywhere now!
The good news is that my community has a program - you can call someone about your stray cats and they will come get them, get them fixed - and then return them to you! How about that!!! Actually, the more I tell people about these 2 strays - the more stray cat stories I hear. Turns out that lots of people in the area have a stray or two that they always feed. Some people even have small cat boxes made for the cats to take cover in during extra cold weather. These cats currently have a towel out on the veranda, in a spot away from the wind. They seem to like that just fine.
They are getting tamer - the screen door snapping shut will scare them into a quick scurry away, but when I open the kitchen door early in the morning - there they are - waiting and meowing away in the pitch dark. When it is sunny they like to lally-gag around a few feet away from where ever I may be. And sometimes when I sit on the step I can even get them to stand next to me while I pet them. That black one especially likes to be pet and will start purring away - if he gets brave enough to come and get pet. I could hold him, but he startles so quickly that I could also end up with a lap full of claws - so I let him be. And his coat - very thick and luxurious now - after a few weeks of good food.
And no - SB doesn't have to spend all his recycling money on cat food - we are already well into the 2nd bag of food. But I will let him contribute a little bit, it makes him feel very important. He really loves his stray cats and is very diligent about feeding/watering them every day. He has been trying really hard to get a good photo of them - he took the photo of the black one with the flowers. Now that I've got the chip cleared off (of the other 100 photos that were blury!) and the battery re-charged - he can have the camera back again tomorrow. He might get a close-up photo of that black one yet in the next batch of 100 or so photos!


swooze said...

What a great lesson for SB. Yes irresponsible pet owners are the worst! I will say that by allowing the cats to stay they wll keep others from moving in so you shouldn't get an increasing population.

I agree with the not holding bit. I have seen feral cats freak out when being held and they sure can do a lot of damage!

sewprimitive karen said...

You are wonderful to feed the kitties. The tortoiseshell looks like my Rembrandt, also a stray.

Sue R said...

Pretty kitties, and you are very good-hearted to care for them.

Cape Codder in Montana said...

We had a stray barn cat that started looking so good, someone who came by decided to adopt her, so now she lives inside. . . cat heaven. In the winter she had a heating pad set on the very lowest setting on her perch. Since we have heaters in the horse water as well, with electric fences and all, we didn't notice any cost increase on the electricity, and the cat loved the heating pad.