Wilma had surgery to remove her damaged teeth and also a hernia in her abdomen. She’s recovering nicely. She has domesticated herself and it seems she would love to live indoors. But in her present home, there are dogs that really wouldn’t do well with her presence inside. So a foster or, ideally, a permanent home for her would be wonderful. Contact ABCR or me if you have a place in your home or barn for a lovely cat.
Turns out she was already spayed, so she had been lost or abandoned. I don’t know which, but there are a lot of Wilmas in our city. They need help. There are also a lot of truly feral cats who likely will never allow themselves to be tamed. They too need help.
It’s not just helping the cats. It’s helping us. Cat lovers are usually very distressed about stray or feral cats around their house. Cat haters certainly don’t like cats hanging around. And unneutered cats produce kittens, usually twice a year. So that one cat that’s taken up residence in your back yard is going to produce more, and those kittens will also reproduce. You start out with one stray moggie and before you know it, you’ve got cat city.
Trapping wild cats and having them fixed is a time-consuming and costly business. I know, I’ve done it. So is trapping and killing. And if you do remove those cats, either by finding them homes or dispatching them permanently, in all likelihood more are simply going to come and occupy the territory. That will happen whether you feed them or not. Homeless cats need somewhere to settle and your backyard might seem as good as anywhere to them. So better to keep those you know, and are neutered, than constantly have a new ones moving in and establishing their claim.
St. Thomas needs a TNR programme – trap, neuter, return – for wild cats. Other cities have such programmes or services in place and we have just as many feral cats as anywhere else. Wilma’s person counted the cats in the gully near their house a month ago: 103 that she saw. That’s before this spring’s litters of kittens are born.
St. Thomas also needs a programme to subsidize spay and neuter costs for dogs and cats of people who cannot afford the full price. Again, many other cities have such subsidy programmes or low-cost clinics offered so many times a year.
It seems cheaper to just have the kittens or puppies than to have your pet neutered. It’s not; it just spreads the costs over a longer period of time – once or twice a year for as long as the animal lives. It’s cheaper for all of us just in costs to the city of caring for, or killing, unwanted pets.
People have contributed to Wilma’s medical costs, but her rescuers are still footing over half the bill themselves. If you can help, please contact ABCR or me. And let’s start helping all the Wilmas by setting up a spay/neuter subsidy fund. We’ve seen over the past year, with the Caring Pet Cupboard, that our community will help people feed their pets. Now let’s move on to the big task: preventing unwanted puppies and kittens.