We love cats, but had decided to not have any at Shabbafarm. The road is insane outside the main gate (yes parents, that would be the eerily deserted road with tumbleweeds blowing down it when we viewed the house road, just to be clear), and even though the cats will have 250,000,000 cubic miles of farmland to explore out back, you just know they are going to crap across the road. And play chicken with 70mph Slovakian truck drivers ramped off their skull on Red Bull and Costa shots.
And then came Treasure.
We rescued one of the two feral kittens on our land. My wife found them hunting on the paddock, and when she approached, one was too weak to move further. It had a bad case of cat flu, and was spent, but its sibling was too fast and got away.
What do you do? Im a great believer that if an animal survives through adversity, it deserves to live. I lived in Botswana as a child, and we found our ex neighbours cat Henry (whose owners had returned to he USA) lying on our tin roof, with a dislocated pelvis. It had decided to fight a baboon- never a great idea- and the baboon must have thrown it into the air, and Henry must have landed badly on our roof. Henry had survived the blazing heat for days by crawling to the gutter and licking the dew off the mulch. When we located him by his weak cries, we took him to the vet, who wanted to euthanise him. We said no. Henry went on to have a happy life, but walked like John Wayne after that.
Our captured kitten is now doing well, after some meds and check up by the vet. We were told by the nurse she was about five weeks old and female, so we called her Treasure (after one of the chicks that didn’t make it)
Just been back to the vet, and I have been told she’s more like eight or nine weeks, and she is a he. He said “Who told you it was a she- the nurse?” Awkward workplace LOL. I suppose Treasure can be a unisex name, as long as he doesn’t hang around gyms and cage fighting clubs.
Re: the feral sibling, I’ve only seen it once since, about two weeks ago, and it was living in an old rabbit warren. The mother hasn’t been seen in ages. Im guessing the mother is dead, or has abandoned them; as winter rolls on, I doubt the feral sibling will survive (if it isn’t already dead) Now is the last window to act. I borrowed a humane cat rap from the vet, and baited it with cat food.
Then I bumped into my neighbour. She said that there are millions of feral cats around here, and they congregate at the cottage up the road- where the Feral Cat Feeding Lady lives.
But of course. Every hamlet, village, town and city has one.
You know-its fine, but these
things feral cats need to be spayed and neutered. I’m paying vets bills and hiring more hardware than “The Lost World; Jurassic Park 2”, and then you hear somebody has opened a homeless feline theme park up the road. I would be doing more than flipping feeding them. Isn’t that slightly…insane? Like, loads of cats boiling through your Rhododendrons, hissing and defecating and stuff, and she doesn’t think “There is rather a lot of them. And little helpless kittens as well….my oh my“. I suppose she didn’t see “The Mad Death” in the 1980’s…..
I hope it doesn’t fall to me to be the resident cat trapper and testicle snipper. I came here to do touchy feely cuddly animals, but its dawning on me that things might get gory and practical soon. The trap idea got me thinking- what if we catch more than cats? Foxes? I actually like foxes, and in another life I was a Hunt Saboteur. But they can’t live here, with my chickens. If I catch a fox I shall probably drive to a forest miles away and release it, or maybe somewhere nearer, like a UKIP office.
Rabbits? Well they are all over my laaaand and, when the crops are planted, will become Public Enemy Number One. I shall probably kill and eat them. Rats will be killed on sight. Not sure about what to do with Badgers, or Mink etc. It all has to be done, but not sure what it teaches the children, especially children with big feelings that sometimes turn violent.
Answers on a postcard.