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Taking in a Stray Cat

stray cat
Stray cat - photo copyright MAR

Taking in a stray cat can bring all sorts of problems even if one is compelled to do it. What else can one do sometimes?

I don't know what it is, but stray cats seem to find their way to my home. They just turn up, very furtively. They slink in, look around and head for the food. So, what do I do? I let 'em eat it. Then what happens?

Before long I have turned my home into a cat's version of a soup kitchen for down and outs. And then not long after that you've got the question as to whether they can start living with you because that point will certainly arrive.

Timmy is one such case. He is an unneutered boy. Well he looks unneutered. He has jowls (chunky cheeks). He also has a mighty appetite. He'll eat four to five portions at one sitting. This is more, lots more, than my girlfriend eats at one sitting and about the same as I eat, perhaps a bit less. He actually eats more, generally, than my girlfriend! His stomach bulges and he then sleeps - what else?

He now comes in at night and sleeps on my bed, on the little cat cushion I bought for my cat, Binnie. How does she feel about this? She lost her cushion for part of the night. She is a most tolerant cat but I do not want to abuse that tolerance. He was here on the bed last night, stretched out snoring blocking my legs and waiting patiently for me to get up and, yes, feed him some more. Yes, taking in a stray cat creates new responsibilities.

In order to put a brake on cost, I now feed him dry cat food a little more. This also allows him to graze when he comes in at night. But dry cat food alone is not, in my view, good enough. It should be varied with wet and some raw or perhaps well chosen human food. But this costs and, yep, another stray has just arrived.

This time it is a most delightful all black, fine and densely coated, little girl cat with a pixie face. I call her Pippa or Pip for short. She is very sweet and nervous. She slides in unnoticed, eats quickly and clears off as fast. But I love her so I have got to talking with her (you know how it is) and she seems to be starved of TLC. She responds well to a stroke and some care.

Where is that going to lead to? More trouble in a way. More cost certainly but she likes biscuits, which helps. One problem is my girl cat, Binnie. She is upset about Pippa and I don't blame her. She hissed at Pip the other day. She doesn't hiss at Timmy, she just trills at him. There is a kind of natural hierarchy forming here.

Taking in a Stray Cat is good and bad. There are complications. There shouldn't be stray cats. I think I know who Pippa lives with so I will have to deal with that person. The trouble is I have already had dealings with this person and the conversation didn't go too well....

Taking in a Stray Cat to Dry cat Food


Anonymous said…
I will always protect the strays. My son found a beautiful feral kitten on his construction site, which he fed every day, gaining this little guy's trust. After several days of being able to hand feed and pet our friend, he picked him up and put him in a box with food and water. He brought him home that night to me, and we immediately became attached. Two years later, my little friend is a very healthy and happy cat who has learned to travel with me for work. He catches birds, mice, lizards and snakes, which keeps my mountain home "critter-free". I know not every feral cat story is a success story, but I really believe we were meant to be in each other's lives. I know the cats sense the love in our hearts, and when you are patient with their timetable to trust you, the rewards of companionship are well worth it.

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