Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cats

I’m not a huge cat person.  Cats are nice when they are someone else’s – I just wouldn’t want to own one myself.  I don’t like that they walk around on tables and counters and I have this thing about litter boxes in the house.  I know it’s weird – I have no problem cleaning up dog poop and chicken poop outside (and hopefully someday llama poop!), but when an animal does it’s business in the house… I don’t know – it’s just, ewwww  yuck2

Anyway, the past couple of months I’ve noticed a couple of cats hanging around property.  It looks like it might be a mother and her baby – one is about half the size of the other.  I haven’t seen a collar on either one, but I haven’t been able to get very close either - they both run when they see me.

I have a few thoughts about the situation:

First and foremost, I worry about them getting pregnant and having more kittens (assuming that they are both female).  There are enough stray animals in the world – I don’t need /want a bazillion stray cats all over the neighborhood.

I do however, have a mouse (or mole or vole – whatever) problem.  Oddly enough, not around the chicken coop – which is where I would have expected it – but in the front of my house and out on the back forty of the property.  After the snow fell this year, it was really evident by the number of trails all over the place.  I have seen both cats hunting and catching the mice (or moles or voles or whatever they are).  I do like that.

But then again, at my last house, my next door neighbor had cats that she let run outside.  They used to poop in my garden beds all the time and that was just the grossest thing ever.  Nothing like going to pull weeds around the flowers and sticking your hand in a big piece of poop.  Disgusting.  At least dogs don’t hide their droppings.  Anyway, now I’m worried that if these cats stick around, I’m going to have the same problem in my garden around here.  Although I am planning on fencing it in this year because of the Stupid-Evil-Garden-Eating Rabbits, what if they decide that it’s worth the climb over the fence to use my garden beds as litter boxes?  I don’t want to go through that again.

Because they seem to be feral cats, I don’t think that they could ever be adopted by anyone as a house cat.  If they were taken to the SPCA, I’m sure that they would be euthanized.  I’m thinking that the best case scenario would be if I could catch them, get them fixed and then let them go about their business.  But I don’t think that I would ever be able to catch them – unless I tried using a trap.  But I only have one live animal trap and I don’t have the $$$ to buy another.  I would want to get them both at the same time – you know, just get everything done at once…   How much does it cost to get a cat fixed, anyway?  That would be another problem…

What to do?  What to do?   sigh3

3 comments:

Becky said...

My neighbors used one organization that provided loaner traps - this might be them:

http://www.operationpets.org/feral_cats.php3

The one they went to - If a kitten seems loveable they may try to adopt it out; if a cat has a fatal contagious disease, they euthanize.

stephanie of stopbouncing said...

To reduce the chances of breeding (at least on your property) try to eliminate the places where cats could make out; i.e. dog houses, boxes that a normal cat would use a shelter, etc.

If you would like them to eradicate your mole/vole/mouse/dragon problem but don't want a handful of mushy poo, try using a deterrent around your gardens/chickies...

Jill said...

@ Becky: Thanks for the link - there was great information there for feral cats. I'll have to wait until I find a job first though before I think of this project... $58 a cat is not in my budget right now - but at least I have a plan to work with!

@ Stephanie: Dragons :) lol!

If the fence I'm going to put around my garden this year (to keep the stupid rabbits out) also keeps the cats out, then I won't have a problem with them hanging around - as long as I can get them fixed!

I think that it's really odd that I haven't seen any signs of rodents around the chicken coop at all. I've heard stories where it's a common problem. But then again, I keep the area pretty clean...

I think when the weather breaks again, I'll start setting out traps out front (covered of course so the cats and chickens don't get caught!)...