Caring for a feral cat offers some lessons in life.
Posted in , Feb 19, 2015
Today's guest blogger is Lori R. Cohen. She regularly blogs at The Dog Park.
Feral cats are ownerless cats, born outdoors and living wild. Normally they keep far away from people.
We adopted Mama Cat and her three kittens after finding them outside in the rain. The kittens were only 10 days old and became typical house cats. Mama, however, retains some of her feral nature.
Every morning I come downstairs and feed them. Once in a while Mama lets me pat her fluffy head. More often than not, however, she backs away. She has good reason not to trust me.
Three times, I grabbed her and forced her into a cat carrier–once to bring her to my house and twice to the vet’s. That last time, when she got spayed, she wouldn’t let me near her for six months. Then, she slowly started to allow me to touch her again from time to time.
Mama Cat shows no desire to go back to her wild life. When the door opens, she hides. In her little cat brain, she knows she’s now warm, safe, fed and dry. She just doesn’t realize that I am the orchestrator of her much-improved life. She just appreciates the blessings without understanding the source.
How many times do bad thing happen in our lives, and we curse fate without realizing there might be a hidden benefit?
I think of the time I wanted to go to a particular university, but I didn’t get in. Then I got into a similar program at a different university and came to realize that the program was the better, the faculty kinder and the circumstances happier than what I’d thought I wanted all along.
Just as Mama Cat cannot see that I only want to love and protect her, we sometimes forget that everything happens for a reason. And even when we’re cozy and warm, we might look only at the negatives. We should remember the source of our blessings and be thankful for them.
More About Feral Cats
It is nearly impossible to “tame” a feral cat; they are very fearful creatures. The best thing we can do for them is try to reduce their population.
If you live in a neighborhood with feral cats, speak to your local shelter or city council about starting a trap-neuter-release (TNR) program.
TNR programs trap feral cats, sterilize them, then release them back on the street. While these cats still face a difficult life, they do not have the added burden of caring for kittens, and in the long run, there will be fewer cats running loose and wild.