Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Free Cats

Four years ago my Brother-In-Law brought free cats to us from St. Louis.  He had trapped these feral cats, had them fixed and vaccinated, and dropped them on us.  I took stock recently and it hasn't turned out as good as we would wish, but these feral city cats have had a good life, and some of them are still with us.

We could keep them penned up only until hot weather arrived, but they all hung around for the free food when we turned them loose.  We could not touch most of them.  Only one of them, Shorty, remained wild.

Pansy and Woody, the tuxedo cats met bad ends.  Pansy was picked off by coyotes and Woody swallowed something that perforated his esophagus.  Our vet had to put him down.  Mean Jean and Brownie, the two black cats in this picture are still with us and are enjoying life in the country.

Cancer took Big 'un.  The vet tried, but we didn't know how bad it was, and this sweet little cat had to be put down a month after surgery.  Shorty was a big black long-haired cat that would not be tamed.  He would come up for food, but he roamed the countryside and the neighbors saw him frequently.  He stayed in the barn rather than the garage, and he would come when I called.  He just wouldn't let me get close enough to touch.  Well, Shorty was hurt; possibly in a fight with a coon, possum, or a bad Tom cat.  Last week his face was swollen up, an eye was infected, and he was lethargic.  I still couldn't get close enough to catch him.  I did what I had to do so he wouldn't suffer a slow painful death.

On the bright side, Mean Jean, Brownie, and Mama Cat are all living the good life.  Had they remained in St. Louis as feral cats they would have lived a hard, short life, probably with a painful, lonely end. Cats end up costing you the same whether they are free, or you buy them, and they steal a bit of your heart along the way.

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