Sunday 10 April 2011

Feeding A Stray Cat

I am feeding a stray cat and I am becoming frustrated and irritated. I'll explain why. About 3 years ago he walked into my life through the back door cat flap. He was skinny, underweight and very light. He was athletic and adventurous. And he was and is unneutered.

Today, he is a bit overweight, less athletic, lazy, demanding food that he does not need while giving me ringworm and massively itchy skin because I am allergic to him (see cat allergen Fel D1). He is on my bed about a yard from me as I write this and I itch. He has also acquired two cat abscesses through fighting over territory that I have fixed by trips to the vet.

All my life I have never been allergic to cats. But I am to Timmy, the name I gave him.

stray cat
Timmy - the man after eating 5 sachets of cat food.

He gives me ringworm because he carries the fungus although I can't see it on him. Perhaps he just carries it and transmits it. It seems like that. It means that when he comes up to me in the early hours of the morning for food, I have to put on trousers as he rubs against my legs and delivers the ringworm that way. Or he head butts my arm and gives me ringworm there too.

I have two domestic cats, Binnie and Charlie. Binnie is about 19 years of age and Timmy's presence makes her insecure. That is another downside. Charlie is OK with Timmy but all in all there are a pile of downsides and irritations but I love him and cannot "get rid of him", however you do that. Because I have no idea really how to stop him coming in.

I could put in an electronic cat flap and put activating collars on Binnie and Charlie. That would stop him getting in. But, I don't want to do that because Timmy relies on me now and it is a big complication. Also, it is my fault, entirely. I have created this dilemma.

And this post is about "the dilemma". When you can't turn your back on a cat in need you create for yourself a potential dilemma because at some point in time you have to stop.

And that time has come for me. I have had one cat for many years. That is about fine for me. Then I took on my mother's cat, Charlie, after she died about a year ago. I don't want to care for a third cat who gives me diseases and raids my wallet.

That said Timmy does not stay. He comes, eats, sleeps and goes to where he came from if there is one place. God knows where that place is. I have seen him cross the busiest of main London main roads. One day he'll get hit. But he has survived thus far. That is another downside - the worry.

Feeding a stray cat, you see, can bring with it a lot of problems. Timmy gets the same high quality food as the others and demands it now. When he first turned up he ate all the left overs and rubbish. Now he wants boiled fish and prawns and looks at me plaintively if he hasn't been served it. And if he dains to eat cat food he can eat more than a person at one sitting - 5 sachets of 100 grams each! His belly swells up as if he is pregnant. He gets through a lot of what you see below:

cat food in boxes
Cat Food - don't buy Iams by the way
as they animal test

I can't afford him. I can hardly touch him. I need to get him to the vet to treat his ringworm and to be neutered. But I don't want the hassle, can't really afford it and in any case he hates being put in a carrier and I would hate to have his balls cut off.

Feeding a stray cat? Think about where you are going. It's a dilemma.

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