When you care for feral cats, there is never a dull moment. When you have a shy kitty in your home who is learning to accept people, there is never a dull moment. It has been so far from dull in fact, that I find myself quite overwhelmed lately. Which is why I had a forced break from blogging. Too many cats. Too many concerns. The last few days have been crazy, it seemed like it was just one thing after another with the animals.
We had a spell of warmer weather around here, which brought all the critters out! I came home from work last Thursday to find Little Black AND Mama waiting for me by the garage door. I was surprised to see Mama but didn’t think much of it, after all the weather was nicer than it had been for a number of days. It had been a long day of work and a long commute home, all I wanted was to get inside, eat and relax. Silly Katie; there is no relaxing when you care for five cats.
The girls were bopping around for a few hours before I started to wonder about their presence. The sun was going down, and Mama is never out when the sun goes down. Then I noticed the way she was sitting on the deck staring at their house and I knew there was another creature in their house. I was hoping for just another cat. I couldn’t be that lucky. Nope, instead I got an extremely stubborn raccoon who refused to leave. I opened the house and he ran out under the deck furniture, which is all covered in tarps. Even after careful prodding with a broom all I got was frustration and two scared cats. I left for a few minutes in hopes the raccoon would leave. He refused. I waited a bit before going back out. I eventually got him out after I flipped up all the tarps, went around behind the deck and prodded him till he left. When he finally did come out I felt so bad for him (or her). His coat looked awful. From the quick glance I got it looked like he lost most of the fur in the front half of his body, but not the back half. I got the impression there were patches of fur in places along his front half. Poor baby, I can only hope that it is a strange shedding pattern and not mange.
Even after he was gone the girls refused to go back in their house. It took over a day for them to feel comfortable enough to go back into their house. They may have even changed their mind about coming inside. When the raccoon as gone and I headed back inside, both Little Black and Mama followed me to the door and gave me sad eyes. Since I am still working on Crackers completely adjusting to his new home as well as Muffin, Crash and Crackers accepting each other, I told them they picked the wrong time to have a change of heart. It was a stressful few mornings when I went outside to find neither of the girls, or one but not the other hanging around. It took a few days but they finally both came back. Little Black has been extra diligent about guard duty since then.
I can tell it is going to be a long summer though. Not only did we have a raccoon trying to take up residence in the kitty home, but there have been more and more cats making appearances. Part of this is due to my neighbors cats who roam. There is a brown tabby and a gorgeous Siamese/tabby mix that have shown up and started wandering the neighborhood in the past few months. The tabby showed up last summer. Apparently they belong to my neighbors. These cats appear to be unaltered and roam around the neighborhood at will, bringing all sorts of other cats with them. This is sure to make things stressful and annoying this summer. The number of cat fights has decreased dramatically in the years since I caught Papa and another male in the neighborhood. I know I missed a few cats, and apparently they or their offspring have started showing up. They are attracted by the brown tabby, then realize there are cats in my yard so they come over to check it out. I want to trap these cats and get them fixed but I have no money to do so. Money has gotten much tighter lately and I struggle to pay my bills. I certainly don’t have enough money to pay for spaying/neutering the “new” cats in my neighborhood. It kills me. I don’t know what else to do. Amongst the thousand other things on my t0-do list are look for even lower cost options for spaying/neutering the cats in my area.
So between the neighbors’ cats, the new cats they are attracting,the cat fights that are sure to ensue, the bold raccoon, worrying about trapping all these cats, finding the time and money to do so and dealing with all the neighbors who will inevitably blame the cats on me, I am dreading the warmer weather.
Tomorrow I will share an update and Crackerjacks. That will take another whole blog entry to discuss!