Sunday, August 9, 2009

Early History - Part 1

This blog is going to be about a colony of feral cats that I care for, along with stories about the three kitties we live with.

About 6-1/2 years ago I was driving to my gym when I saw a little black cat cross the road. I was somewhat surprised because my gym is in an industrial area and I couldn't figure out how a cat would find its way there. Boy was I naive!

Some time later I again saw a black cat. Eventually I noticed a couple of cats eating not far from the side of the road on a grassy boulevard. I realized these were homeless cats. I stopped to watch them while still sitting in my car. I decided that since I was at the gym three times a week, I would stop on those days to leave some food too. Barely a week later I found myself going every day to leave food and check on the cats.

It was now November and the weather was starting to get rainy and miserable. I contacted my local humane society and learned that if these cats were feral they would be put to sleep, so that was not an option. I tried to find homes for these kitties but without any luck. I was only just beginning to learn about feral cats and that they often can't be socialized, at least not like the kitties I was used to living with.

Well, if these kitties couldn't live in a home with people then I had to make other arrangements for them. Namely some kind of a shelter for their food so the bowls didn't fill up with rain. Someone beat me to it. A board was placed leaning against the fence. This provided a bit of protection from the weather and kept the food sort of dry. And of course the cats would come to eat it right away so most of the time rain wasn't an issue.

There appeared to be three adult females, two tortoise shells and a solid grey plus three young cats about 5 or 6 months old. All the young cats were black so telling them apart was impossible. What I did find interesting is that their faces looked exactly like their mother, the solid grey kitty.

One of the little torties was quite friendly. She would rub against my legs and allow me to pet her. I named her Eloise. The other tortie I called Tess but no touching allowed. The grey kitty I learned from someone was called Hoppy and she kept a sizeable space between us. This dear little cat only had 3 legs. She was still able to get around very well and whatever the cause of the lost leg it had happened some time before. I didn't try naming the 3 kittens since I couldn't tell them apart.

Sometime around Christmas I noticed that I hadn't seen Eloise in a few days. I don't know what happened to her. A few years later I learned that one of the gym staff members had been feeding the kitties and had taken some of them home, so I have my fingers crossed in hopes that Eloise was one of them.

One cold late January morning I arrived to feed the kitties and found a note. The note indicated there were a few cats living near the northeast corner of the gym's parking lot. Could someone please feed them. So off I went in search of the other cats.

to be continued. . . . . .

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