Oct 22, 2009

Feral Cat Photos Of The Day - 3 Orange-Buff Tabbies, 'Farm Cats'

3 Buff/Beige/Orange Feral Tabby Cats


Dumping cats... You can only see two heads because the third cat is tucked-in pretty tight. They are probably close relatives or even littermates; these now-grown orange tabby cats stick together, which is a good thing.

The orange trend in this particular feral colony started a few years ago with a cat that was probably dumped. I'm sure it was former pet because it was friendly.

I live in a rural area near dairy farms; which is why I have access to so many feral cats in case you wondered. Many of the cats in these colonies, however, are regular housecats. People often dump cats when they become inconvenient. They probably choose a farm area because they believe some myth about cats having great lives on farms.

People think (or want to believe) "Oh, a dairy farm. Lots of milk, the kitty will be fine. Just fine..."

Well, this is the post where I tell you the sad truth. That whole "dairy" thing is just a myth, my friends. The truth is that  a modern commercial dairy is a terrible place for a cat - especially a house cat that has never lived outdoors. This isn't the 19th century! Modern commercial dairies are mechanized, stainless steel-lined factory operations. Hardly a drop of milk is spilled and what does find its way into the stainless steel run-off gutters is heavily contaminated with cleaning fluids and other chemicals. No milk for kitty.

Instead, what your pet will find is an inhospitable climate and a colony of very hungry cats competing for the one and only resource the commercial dairy offers: field mice.

If your cat is not a top-notch hunter, it will slowly starve to death. If it is a hunter, it has a chance. There aren't enough mice to go around, however, so even a good hunter will find itself constantly on the edge of starvation.

That dairy doesn't sound so great after all, does it? It isn't....


Former pet, dumped at a farm, lucky to be saved by me

This old tuxedo kitty looks pretty good in the picture above, if not terribly happy. She was an older cat who was obviously an indoor animal and pet. When I first found her in the feral colony a few years ago, she didn't look like this. She looked like a skeleton with fur on it; very close to dying of starvation. I won't show pictures like that but I have to look at the sickening results of dumping on a daily basis. If you are a cat lover, be thankful that you don't have to see this.

Her owners might have needed to move and had trouble finding a place that took pets. Or maybe they just got tired of her. Or the owner got a new boyfriend/girlfriend who didn't like cats. Who knows?

She happened to find her way to the feral colony where I feed twice a day. She was lucky in that sense. I saved her from starvation. It was a close call, however.

She recovered but clearly didn't really comprehend how to live with feral cats or in the outdoors. She was very friendly and cuddly but I couldn't find a home for her and I had all the pets I was allowed to have.

I hope the former owners read this.

Notice that I said that  she WAS a friendly and cuddly cat. She disappeared one day, not long after this picture was taken..  Most likely she was dinner for a coyote. This is yet another problem with the dairy myth: Predators know you like to dump animals around dairies, too, and they know it's a source of an easy meal. ....She probably didn't know enough to be afraid of such things.  I saved her from starving to death, but I couldn't save her from everything.

There was a time when she was someone's beloved pet. But not beloved enough, I guess.

Here is what I have to say on the subject of inconvenient pets: If you have to move and are having trouble finding a place that takes pets; look harder.

If you can't afford a place that takes pets, consider living in your car. At least you'll be with your kitty and she will be spared an awful fate..

Dumping a house cat is like sentencing it to death by slow torture. And the stories you tell yourself about how they are going to have a wonderful life on a farm is just a fiction you have created to sooth your conscience.

It makes me sick.