I DO NOT EVEN BELIEVE IT. Not FIVE minutes after I posted that blog post, Pig showed up on the patio.
She still will not eat.
She will not come to me.
I cannot leave food out, because two seconds after I put something under the bush for her, the monster strays were in the yard.
This is almost worse than if she were dead. I have to watch her slowly go feral and die.
I cannot get rid of these cats and if I don’t, she WILL die. I don’t know what to do. I guess I will call the shelter and the vet in the morning and see if there is anyone who can help me either get rid of these cats NOW, or catch her.
Being single and alone sucks big time.
Psycho Kitty has disappeared.
She was harassed out of her yard by strays–a mother cat and kittens who took up residence in my neighbor’s crawlspace. When last I saw her, she was hiding in the culvert pipe and would not eat, nor would she come out. I checked again Sunday afternoon, and she was gone.
I have called her Psycho Kitty as a pseudonym, but I will share her real name with you. She was called Pig (prior owner called her Miss Piggy, but I shortened it). I often called her Piggy, Baby Girl, Bawlbaby, and Piggins.
This is a picture of her on her thirteenth birthday, 5 May 2016. That is her purple British mouse, one of a packet I bought her at my auntie’s vet office in London. It may have been her last birthday.
Photo: Elizabeth West
This is not a feral animal (or rather, she wasn’t; if she is still alive, she may be now). Pig has had two owners–me and a former neighbor. The previous owners took care of her shots and fed her, but they didn’t bother to socialize her. She has always been timid as a mouse. They dumped her on me when they didn’t want to care for her any longer.
I didn’t want a cat at that time, but I realized no one would likely take her because she was so scared, and she was strictly an outside cat. So I adopted her. After a great deal of coaxing and love, I had a sweet little baby who would come when I called. She would demand attention from me. She played with toys I bought. She loved being brushed. She even let me put her on my lap and pet her.
She loved me, and I loved her. She could be very annoying, and it cost money to have her taken care of when I traveled, but I found a good pet sitter and took her to the vet regularly. I bought her special food. She has been well cared for.
Photo: Elizabeth West
Pig’s previous owner had her spayed. I had no worries about unwanted kittens. Unfortunately, other people have no such concerns.
The feral cats next door have starved and driven my cat out of her yard. They drove my neighbor’s cat indoors (lucky him, to have a cat who likes being inside). It has been a nightmare akin to having wharf rats move in. I’d actually prefer the rats, because at least a pest control company will take care of those.
In her memory, I make this plea to you, interspersed with a few cat facts:
- Please, please, PLEASE spay and neuter your pets when they are young. (Dogs too.) Cats can start to reproduce as young as 4 to 6 months, and they will. It’s a biological drive. Neutered animals may still have loud kitty sex outside your window at 2 a.m., but they won’t be able to infest your yard with kittens. According to this website (http://www.knowyourcat.info/info/reproduction.htm), “It has been estimated that in a 12-year lifespan, without human intervention, a single female cat could be responsible for as many as 3500 descendants.”
There is no good reason for pet cats to reproduce. They don’t long for babies the way humans do, and it is not against God or nature to neuter them. Unless you are a reputable, licensed breeder, I beg you–spay and neuter.
- Please do NOT feed strays. Do not leave food out for your animals–cats don’t need to snack all day, and I guarantee you they won’t eat it. The strays will. Also, don’t feed in one place hoping to distract them from another (in desperation, this was tried and it does not work). If you leave food out, you will also attract skunks, raccoons, and possums, all which probably live in your city. (If you’re in London, it would be foxes.)
Pig was fed twice a day and given only what she would eat. There were no leftovers, and until these cats moved in, we had few problems.
- If you see a neighbor feeding strays, please talk to them and try to convince them not to do this. Please realize that feral cats are not cute. They are, in effect, wild animals. Cats are very close to their wild origins, much more so than domestic dogs.
a. They do not need you to survive.
b. They carry various diseases that can infect other animals, including feline distemper and rabies (which can also infect you and has a 99% fatality rate).
c. The lifespan of a feral cat is usually only about 2 or 3 years, and it’s not the best life.
If you don’t spay and neuter and / or if you foolishly abandon animals you grow tired of, then you cannot call yourself an animal lover. Cats who are well cared for can live up to 15-18 years. If you’re not prepared to make that kind of financial and emotional commitment, then you should not have one.
Only known video of Pig playing with toys
My sweet, timid kitty is either running wild and scared, or she is lying dead somewhere and I can never find her or say goodbye to her. I may have lost her forever, and these horrible awful animals who drove her away are still frolicking through my yard until they’re weaned and gone. Pig did not deserve to have to starve alone away from her loving home.
Dear Pig, Momma loves you.
I miss seeing you at the gate when I pull up after work.
I miss you coming to meet me at the car like a dog.
I miss your bawling at the kitchen window for me to come out and then running around like a crazy thing when I tried to play with you.
I miss you setting the belly trap and I know you were laughing when I fell for it (ouch).
I miss you yelling at me in the car after we went to the vet’s office (and you were a good girl while you were there–they all thought so).
I miss your excitement when you got a can of Fancy Feast or a little broth envelope.
I miss giving you a treatie at night before you went to bed.
I miss you.
Godspeed, little girl.
Photo: Elizabeth West