A stray cat has been hanging around these past few days. Poor thing looks like it hasn't eaten in days and it is nothing but skin and bones. It probably smelled our cats' food bowls and came over to eat, which I don't really mind, but the cats sure didn't appreciate it!
After a little hissing and spitting and being put in it's place by some of the other cats, it cowered in the corner of the garden. It seemed friendly enough, meowing at me when I came near and let me pet it and look up it's rear end-- oh a boy cat!
I put out a separate food bowl for it and watched him eat, then by night-time, he disappeared. A sigh of relief would come over me when he was gone, because really, 5 cats is enough and I don't want any more cats hanging around, possibly passing on diseases or spraying the children's toys. The 3 cats we have outside are all "fixed" and up to date on shots and we have rescued all 5 of our cats from certain fates at one time or another. We take responsibility for our cats and wish others would do the same.
Day after day, though, the cat came back. I watched him poop where the kids play with bare feet. I watched him hide under the car and watch our other cats warily watching him. As much as I love cats, I really, really don't want another cat to care for. And this one looked unwell. Sores on it's neck, bare spots on it's back, skinny, bony thing. I feel for the guy, unwanted and scrounging around for food. It is not his fault that someone didn't spay or neuter his parents and created more kittens that no one wants.
We called an animal sanctuary down the road to see if they would take him off our hands. They would, with a donation of food. So we bought a bag of food and the next time he came around, I picked him up and put him in a carrier and Hubby took him away. Part of me feels bad, but I also know my limits. Our money is tight as it is, and with a human baby due in a month, we don't need another mouth to feed, or pay for another cat to get fixed and up to date shots.
Please, get your dogs and cats spayed or neutered. There are enough animals in the shelters without homes. If your pet has babies, find responsible homes for them or get them fixed before giving them away. There are programs you can find that will help pay for the costs of getting animals fixed. We once adopted 4 stray kittens at the same time and a program helped us to get their shots and fixed them for less than $100 for all of them. Look up the local shelters in your area for more information on those services.