The Stray Cat Blues

They are second class kittizens and nobody wants them. The whole cycle started because someone was too stupid or careless or cheap to spay the momcat. So they were taken for a drive and dumped off somewhere …. far enough away from home that they would neither be recognized nor find their way back.
Those who survived the traffic and the coyotes and foxes and the hawks and the owls and the eagles managed to have their litters in a cold little corner somewhere. Few of those kittens survived such a harsh beginning, falling prey to the weather or the natural predators.
It is luck of the draw for the ones that survive. Those that find their way to the wrong yard or neighbourhood are scooped up by animal control. Others are drowned or beaten or smothered or shot.
Others think they hit paydirt because someone seems kind and feeds them. Instead of finding a way to have them spayed, they are left to reproduce until there are sufficient numbers for animal control to step in and kill the lot of them.
A very lucky few find their way into the sanctuary of a tended cat colony. Even then their fate is dependant upon the good will of the neighbours. Let one of them try their luck at a neighbour’s bird feeder or not understand that well tilled piece of dirt is nor there for their convenience….. they can still meet the same sad ending.
People turn a blind eye to their fate and deliberately choose to overlook one very important thing …. these are living sentient breathing things and deserving of our protection. They became homeless and their offspring grew up feral because of people.
We created the problem and now its up to us to create the humane solution. Wait a minute …. there is a humane solution isn’t there? TNR, right?
So what’s the big hold up? Why aren’t all the stray cats and ferals spayed and neutered and vaccinated?
Money may not be the root of all evil, but in this instance it comes pretty darned close. Not everyone has the resources to spay or neuter every stray that comes by. Not every TNR group or even every SPCA branch has the resources.
So what’s the solution? I was looking at Team TNR’s stats from last year and part of the answer is right there. When municipalities fund a modest annual sum to their local TNR groups, every year the number of strays and ferals does decline.
What else? In the Cape Breton Municipality, they are trying to provide funding for people who will take in strays. Not of course for their upkeep, but for the initial “start up” expenses of ownership
And? Clearly the Public Prosecutors in this province need their own course in Humane Education and need to be taught that Animal cruelty to feral cats is still animal cruelty
Anything else? The compassion to get past the “not in my backyard” syndrome to be more tolerant of properly tended cat colonies and even wild ferals. Ferals and strays will never be safe until it is socially unacceptable to either kill them or turn them over to someone else who will.
I’m always saying that it is my great hope that my granddaughter’s generation will look back and wonder how we could all be such barbarians. At the end of the day, they will probably see us as hypocrites who felt we had the right to decide when life counted and when it was acceptable to throw it away.

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