Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stray in the Neighborhood

I'm in a bit of a dilemma, and wondered what your thoughts might be. We've had a stray hanging about the street for the past month or two. She'll come close, run around me, crying in a loud, baby-like meow. Eventually, she'll make her way back to the forest across the street where I believe she lives. I fed her for the the first time yesterday, hoping to gain her trust so I can trap her -- winter is coming, and I'm not sure our stray will survive the elements.

That's my dilemma -- should I live-trap this cat, then take it to the OSPCA? I phoned them yesterday, and they will check for a microchip, see to her health, then put her up for adoption -- if she's adoptable. If not, then she may be euthanized, and I couldn't have that on my conscience. Now, the cat did let my daughter pat it the other day after she'd sat for 20 minutes, giving the cat time to get up the nerve to come close. That's hopeful, isn't it?

I don't have a picture of her, but here's one of the elusive bunny who visited my yard during the summer. Actually, she's so elusive, she's even hard to find in the photo, so you might want to click to enlarge:

Rabbit on garden path


NuclearToast said...

Raggs has a retinue of strays she feeds outside her back door. Between the cats and the raccoons, she goes through a lot of food. I would say just try to feed her for now, and establish your house (in her mind) as a safe zone where she can always eat. You don't know if she's really a stray, or feral, or just a wide-ranging pet. (Of Raggs' "strays", at least one is a pet and at least one is feral.)

Lynn Sinclair said...

As much as I'd love to continue feeding her, I'm concerned that, come winter, she'll meow at my door -- and how could I let her remain outside in the harsh Ontario winter? Considering my track record with strays, I'm unwilling to take her in.

And something I didn't mention in the post -- she may be a lone feral/stray right now, but what happens if she has kittens? We'll have an entire colony.

I know, I know, it looks like I've already made up my mind about this, but my other option is to stop feeding her. Neighbors have seen the cat with dead chipmunks and birds, so I know she's eating.

jan said...

I'm a sucker for strays too, but sometimes we just don't do them any favors in the long run by continuing to feed them. I think you know the best course of action.

Heidi the Hick said...

What do they mean by "If she's adoptable"?????

Healthy? Cute?

I shudder to think... our ol boy was at the pound for half a year until we came along. Imagine if he'd been considered unadoptable.

Other than, I guess we'd never know?

Does she look healthy to you? There's a lot to consider here. It's not winter yet and she'll be okay for awhile. My parents had a few strays last winter (while they still had Spooky) but none of the cats stayed around. If you're putting out food she'll likely come back.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Thanks, Jan. I've agonized over this -- much more than I should. But do you know what? The cat hasn't returned! I think I heard her meowing one night, but I can't be sure.

This could mean that someone/thing has done something, that she actually does have a home, or that she isn't on any set schedule and she'll come back when she feels like it.

I hope it means that she really does have a home.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Heidi, I think by "adoptable" they meant that she isn't too wild or mean or whatever. She does look healthy.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Just 2 hours after writing that comment about not seeing the cat, she came around again. I've fed her, she seems even more skittish than usual. Isn't it horrible of me to wish she were someone else's problem?

Heidi the Hick said...

No, it isn't horrible to think that, because it shows that you care. If you were uncaring, you'd ignore the cat. But, you worry about her well being. If she was someone else's problem, you wouldn't have that extra problem.

So you think she's healthy but not tame? She doesn't belong to anybody? THat is a tough situation, because if she's wild she'd be considered unadoptable. I don't know, but I'd keep doing what you're doing, for now at least. In a couple of months it'll be time for a new decision.

Good luck. Remember, this is the kind of thing that makes you the good person you are. (and reminds me why my parents always made sure all the barn cats were tame.)

Lynn Sinclair said...

Thanks, Heidi. Complete update on the cat in my latest post.