I spent the past few weeks trying to come up with ideas for a post. Nothing seemed a good follow up to my four part post on coping with the loss of a pet. I was starting to get worried when life threw a topic right in my lap. Funny how life works isn’t it.
There is a garage about a block down from me that houses an unknown number of feral cats. It also probably houses some raccoons and at one point a skunk. It is home to my beloved Poosh, a feral who managed to get his way out of a drop trap when I was relocating his family. You can read his story here, or at least find all the links to his story. After he got left behind and I heard his pitiful crying I feel like he is my personal responsibility. I have only seen glimpses of him the last few years though. I stopped feeding because he wasn’t eating the food I left. Someone else has been feeding over the years, I can see plates and bowels left by the garage. So I know he is getting food somewhere. There are a few times I have caught sight of his tail disappearing into the garage or seen him sitting out in the sun on a quiet day.
This mysterious feeder is also making it difficult to trap. No one wants to come for my tasty trap food when their bellies are full of tasty food that is not in a trap. I also don’t know how many cats are actually around, since no one was coming for my food. Because of this mysterious feeder I have not been as active caring for the cats in the garage as I have in the past. Which was convenient with my 10 hour work days and irregular work schedule. I would walk or drive past to check up on them, make sure there were no signs of anyone is distress, make sure there were no signs of obvious new cats to try and trap.
Yesterday I drove past the garage on the way to work. Something I do most days. I noticed a big ol’ bright orange sign saying the garage has been condemned and is slated for demolition. I stopped the car, backed up a bit, sat in the middle of the street in my car and stared at the sign cursing. I was late for work so that was about all I did. My brain started going a million miles a minute as to what I need to do for Poosh and perhaps Cow, if s/he is living there. Not to mention the other animals in there. My first concern is to make sure they are not in there when the garage gets demolished. My second concern is that none of them get taken to Animal Care and Control, where they will be euthanized. My third concern is that if Cow or other cats who I have not caught are living there, they are are caught they are not technically protected by the Cook County Ordinance, since they have not been trapped, sterilized etc. Which of course leads me to strategize how I might get them all trapped, when I can’t coordinate trapping with feeding, not to mention my 12 hour work days.
I contacted Tree House Humane Society, my colony sponsor to see what ideas they had. They suggested I put of a poster alerting at least the construction workers that there are animals living in the building. I hope to also contact the person feeding them through this poster as well. They also suggested canvasing the neighborhood again, this time going door to door and actually knocking on people’s doors. I don’t know if that will happen. Not that I don’t want to do everything I can for the cats. It’s just my schedule doesn’t leave me much time to go around to people’s houses at a time when they might actually be home, nor do I think anyone in this neighborhood will actually help me with the cats.
I am in the process of getting the poster made and laminated with hopes of hanging it tomorrow. With luck I will get some responses. Otherwise I am going to have to devise a few alternate plans.
In the mean time, please send some positive energy, prayers or whatever you have towards the kitties living in that garage. They are the ones who are about to have the rug pulled out from under them, so to speak.