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Feral Kitties

Updated on October 2, 2009

Me and My Cats

She wandered up one day after I moved to town. Sat down and looked me in the eyes. I thought she belonged to someone on the block and when I reached to pet her she backed away as if to say, look but don't touch me.

The next day and the next after that she would come to the porch area where I sat reading a book in the swing and just sit there and look at me, occasionally making a meow sound. She wasn't skinny so I didn't want to start feeding her if she belonged to somebody else.

As the days went by though, I began to understand that she wanted food, it wasn't affection she wanted as she was afraid of me and skitted away when I walked by. She seemed to know she'd found a sucker in the neighborhood.

I put out a water dish and some kibbles and we got into the routine, and by that time, I'd figured it out, that she must be an abandoned cat, as she knew people had grub, and she still had enough meat on her bones where she didn't seem like she'd been born in the wilds. So I decided I had myself a pet even if I'd not planned on having another pet at this stage of my life. I'd always had dogs and cats and even about 50 chickens once, ducks, boarded horses.

I had some experience with this thing we call a food chain, and the survival of the fittest, in relationship to coyotes eat cats, and the coon eat the ducks, or try their best! And so on and etc. It was hard protecting something from something else that was hungry.

Soon I discovered my new companion was pg. I quickly boarded up the undersides of my mobile home as I figured one pet was quite enough to feed, water and worry over. It never crossed my mind that Bullhead City, Arizona has an over-abundance of feral cats and no program in place to trap, spay or neuter, and release, TNR or TSR I think it's called. Phoenix and San Diego do have this program.

Missy, I'll call her. She was bound and determined to get under my mobile and that's exactly what she did. One day I look out the window and there 6 little guys frisking around on my patio.

I grew fond of watching them play despite my anxiety that I might end up being one of those little old ladies who dies all alone in her bed with 1,000 cats all around her. All quite illegal of course as the rules say we can only have two cats.

But these are not really my cats I would sit and reason. They just sort of showed up..All of the cats were gray tigers and one all black guy with yellow eyes I feel in love with.

One day the black one stopped coming around. I wondered why and then I had a dream that he'd found himself a home and he was thanking me for providing for him in his early weeks, and wanted me to know the new owners had taken him inside, and they too, loved black cats. It was a nice dream and I believed it. He was different, in that he was less afraid of humans and could be coaxed indoors with a piece of chicken, so the dream was believable.

I hand painted a sign Free Kittens To Good Homes, stuck it by the mail box and had the whole town laughing at me. It seems, I'm not the only one has cats being born under their mobile.

I contact Animal Control to discover every year, maybe twice a year the town overloads the shelter with kittens. There's not enough space to keep them nor caretakers to care for them and they said that feral cats are too wild to be put up for adoption as they tend to scratch and bite when held. So if I brought the cats in, they said, they would stay most likely only 4 days and then they would be put to sleep.

It seemed to me my cats had a better chance then at survival if I did not elicit aide from Animal Control at all. duh.

We really need the trap, fix and release plan here in Bullhead City. I contacted Phoenix and they said they would do it for $10 to $20 a cat, whatever I could afford, but I'd have to haul all 11 of them (another litter popped up) down to Phoenix.

I live on less than $500 a month. I'm not about to haul anything anywhere. I'm still researching the problem. Catching them is not a problem. I simply go get a roasted chicken, open my door and here they are, then I quietly close the door while their chowing. But have to be real sneaky and quick about it.

What I wanted to share really today is a smile with you all. What I did is take in 4 of the smallest of a new litter because of their calico coloring too, and one gray tabby that was more playful and loving then all the others. That would be Miss Prissy.

I gave the only male to my daughter, who informs me it was hell training him to be an indoor cat, but he is now sleeping in her bed and making contented noises, so I hear.

That leaves me with 3 indoor cats and 7 outdoor cats. After having them in the house with me for several months, I decided to open the front door and see if when they went outside, they would turn instantly wild again.

They tiptoed ever so carefully to the porch nervously and into the yard to smell the plants; they ran back and forth from the house to the yard. I thought they'd run away.

After enjoying the yard a bit they came back in and went under the bed, their favorite sleeping place as if to say, we're staying, and there's nothing you can do about it!

I had this theory, that if you love something, you set it free. If it doesn't come back to you it was never yours in the first place.

Mine came back, so I guess they are mine.


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    • LaughingRain profile image

      Alysia McAlister 8 years ago from Arizona

      to Mike about catKarma. I decided instead of karma, I would just say I am mother nature in action. lol. sounds better than having this responsibility and feeling overwhelmed by worry about them.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      Here's my take on the HubNugget Wannabe from when I was nominated. Hope that answers your question.

    • LaughingRain profile image

      Alysia McAlister 8 years ago from Arizona

      what is a hubnugget wannabe? I am so fresh here I am still testing the water I guess.

      thanks for all your comments and responses, it does seem like you all are fine quality writers to me.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      Laughing Rain. Love your name!

      First of all, a great hub and a heart touching story.

      Secondly, I hope you manage to get the attention of just the right people to get those catch a release programs in place in Bullhead City.

      And last but not least, congratulations on you HubNugget Wannabe nomination, and GOOD LUCK.

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 8 years ago from Texas

      Congrats, on being selected as a Hubnugget Wannabe... Good Luck!

    • LaughingRain profile image

      Alysia McAlister 8 years ago from Arizona

      HI Missalyssa, well I see I'm not alone in my concerns and I'm sure somewhere somehow I can eliminate the potentiality of 1,500 cats all at my door looking for grub!

      all I have to do is write 2 letters a week to the powers that be. I watched Shawshank Redemption last night and that's what the hero did. took 6 yrs though, and I don't have 6 yrs, and I will be moving away someday with just the 3 I've adopted as housecats. when I do move though, at least I know I gave them a chance to survive awhile.

      and cats are good at bugging people for grub, all they have to do is find someone like you or me.

      I can't figure how mother nature does not produce some mice around this town for them?

      maybe they are here to make people care?

      well, lol, last night I saw one lone mouse in my dreams, and it was moving ever so slowly, I just knew it was get eaten. thanks for all the great comments. I feel much better.

    • missalyssa profile image

      missalyssa 8 years ago

      Great story and what a wonderful person you are to care for animals who are in need! Cats are difficult...I have 1, but 4 more have adopted me.

      I live a bit away from town, and the neighborhood is TOUGH for cats. Several cats have tried to adopt me (as I leave food in the open garage), but the 5 I have are apparently not accepting new members at this time. I luckily have a vet who lives just down the way, so all of the cats who haven't been claimed are fixed (knock on wood). Very interesting and worrisome. Hope it all works out and a program is implemented in your town!

      Good luck and good work!!! And congrats on the nomination! you deserve it! I too worry about becoming the crazy cat lady because - even though mine are "barn cats" I couldn't leave them behind!!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Laughing Rain, I love your nickname and this touching story. Congratulations for your Hubnugget Nomination! Be sure to vote and promote and enjoy the Hubnuggets.

    • LaughingRain profile image

      Alysia McAlister 8 years ago from Arizona

      there's an orange lady cat out there, with 6 toes on each front paws and a fluffy straight up tail. they all have certain personalities. This one is too polite to put her head in the food bowl. She waits until all others get their share, then she eats. today she walked over to a gray tabby, laid down and rubbed her head on the face of the other lovingly.

      hmmm...I wonder if I shall capture her? I just have to find a vet for some of these cats, then I can let them back outside and they will live longer lives.

    • Mike Dennis profile image

      Mike Dennis 8 years ago

      Meow Meow Cat Woman, lol. Interesting HUB. Maybe you got a bit of feral cat karma. I love all animals but only outdoors. Only the PLANTS get to stay indoors.

    • LaughingRain profile image

      Alysia McAlister 8 years ago from Arizona

      yea, you're welcome L. it's like pets own us, we don't own them. wish everybody could give a pet a home, pets are good for the soul.

    • LRobbins profile image

      Laurel 8 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for sharing such a touching story and a good message. I am also a cat lover and have 2 cats that I got from the Animal Shelter. They bring me immeasurable joy into my life everyday.