Friday, May 13, 2011

Beset by cats

via Shutterstock
I’ve previously mentioned the two not-our-cats who tend to roam the backyard area of our home: “Bob”, the big orangie who I’m nearly positive is currently owned, albeit as an outdoor-only cat, but seems on a quest to become one of our family members and “Brindle”, a pretty much feral, although I think with time, food and love might someday let someone get a hand on him. Both of these cats have been around for years. They have limited interaction with our brood, thanks to Darby making a regular patrol of the area. Though I don’t think it’s in Darby’s DNA to ever actually hurt a cat, he does like seeing them flash across the yard as he chases them.

Now our not-our-cats population has increased by two. A couple of weeks ago a cat-sized hole developed in the back fence that separates us from our non-pet-owning neighbors. What once took a couple of coordinated leaps to migrate from their yard to ours is currently an easy stroll and some new cast members seem to be taking full advantage of the situation, much to my chagrin.

There’s now a medium-haired obviously unhomed cat who appears people skittish, though I’m betting not food skittish, if given half a chance, and a solid black shorthaired cat who seems on the younger side. The black cat may be owned since, like Bob, he appears to be in good flesh and coat. Regardless, apparently Bob has been sharing the news that we are the soft-touch family and our yard, once you figure out the dog’s schedule, is a pretty sweet place to hang, because these two have become the newest semi-fixtures.


I’m desperately hoping that once we get the fence replaced next week our newest additions will go back to wherever they were hanging out before finding the stroll-hole. Otherwise I’ll have some hard options ahead of me. My old cats are none too keen on sharing their lives with any additional inhabitants and Darby’s house-dog-not-yard-dog status means he’ll never be in the yard long enough to truly run them off. Taking them to Animal Control means all-but-certain-death, but leaving them here means I’ll eventually end up supplying grub, complete with having to create some sort of feed station for them (and don’t let my husband see that last part, ‘kay?) because I can’t take seeing suffering thrown-away cats. Granted, Bob and the black cat aren’t thrown away, but if you have food, they’re happy to dine al fresco and there’s no way you can feed the one truly in need without Bob eating first --- trust me on that.   

Never have I asked so much from a few pieces of wood nailed together…


Judi said...

I don't know. Now that they know there's food and where it is, not having a hole to walk through might not be that much of a disincentive. After all, Bob and Brindle have figured out to jump the fence. I'm sure the two new ones will figure that out, too. Decisions, decisions...

Vicky said...

Yes, but Bob and Brindle were coming her for years after Ben (my husband's dad's dog) died and left the yard unattended. Technically they were here before us. Not so with the new guys.

My concern is that perhaps there was a feeder here in the neighborhood who moved away or died. There are several seniors around here, one of whom lived behind us and died a few months ago. All I know is that it's hard. I don't my cats feeling unable to go out in their yard, and the girls already almost do in the mornings until Darby comes out because Bob freaks them out, even though he doesn't make a move towards them, so intent is he on putting on a show for us, but I also don't want to see unwanted cats suffering.

The youngest cat I have is twelve, which I think says a lot about how I've tried very hard to stay within the limits of what I believe we can properly care for. I don't want to be responsible for more than three, but Brindle breaks my heart sometimes. Having a conscience blows sometimes.

snoopy@snoopysdogblog said...

Those cats sure know the best place to hang out on the block.......:)

Mum had a cat one time and discovered he was getting fed in 3 homes including theirs - the others thought he was a stray and even had pics of him lying by their fireplace! :)

Hope you're all having a fun weekend,

Snoopy :)

Vicky said...

Snoopy, I think that's Bob's M.O. - he's such an unrepentant mooch that I'm guessing he's getting fed by half the street. I don't worry about him nearly as much as a couple of the others who lack his people-manipulation skills.

Tell your mom to give you a hug for me!


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