Regular readers know Abishag and Ira live in the editorial office. Seis and Ocho have their own room. Grayson, Uno, Spot and Slim occupy the house. Outside, the semi-feral cat colony. And while you can never have too many cats – there are too many cats. None get the care, attention, food, toys and love that they should. Spay and neuter costs are daunting, and the matriarch of the colony, too wily and feral to catch, is going to have kittens – again.
So my unsolicited advice is to harden your heart and say “No.” It’s terribly painful. A stray cat is pitiful: hungry, maybe hurt or ill. I’d love to save them all. But the strain on the finances is minimal compared to the worry – coyotes, cars, contagious diseases. Leilani has fallen victim to unknown but apparently fatal circumstances. Lil’ Dickens (aka Charlie, Charles Dickens) is ill. Willy Wonka got badly beaten up in a fight and had surgery on his foot plus ten days of liquid antibiotic twice daily. Pete has an eye that continues watering. Rachel had to be rescued from a precarious perch atop a fence – and then called back from sitting on the side of the road with 55 mph sporadic traffic.
I’ve never had this many cats or this many worries with them before; it’s a new experience.
So think, my friend, before you succumb to that adorable kitten or injured stray cat. See if a rescue group in your area will help. Having cats means taking on full responsibility for their well-being, 24/7 and then some. Loving cats, especially outdoor cats, means your heart has more breaks than Evel Knievel’s bones.
If you can bring one in safely (quarantined before its vet visit, please) and merge it with your furry companions already in residence, then go for it! And may you be blessed for the compassionate rescue. But if you already have inhospitable resident cats, then call in the professional rescuers for any strays. Your tender heart will thank you someday.