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Column

What’s with all the cats?

I have two cats – Spencer, a 2-year-old ginger tabby, and a 1-year-old miniature panther named Loki. Spencer is Loki’s dad and the two of them are thick as thieves.

They have me well trained. If I forget to fill the food dish before I go to bed, I get a cold nose and a gentle prodding in the middle of the night, but for the most part they’re lovable and crazy and quite entertaining.

Spencer and Loki are strictly indoor cats. Spencer has been neutered. Loki has not, yet, but I think it’s high time I make the appointment.

Lately, there has been a little calico girl at my door every afternoon. The first time I saw her, she was incredibly thin, but lately she has been putting on weight. I’m concerned that the weight isn’t from being fed, but rather from what may be growing inside her.

That’s all Creston needs. More stray cats.

What is with all the strays and feral cats in Creston? Since November, when I moved here, I have heard that the shelter is full of cats, and Creston Animal Rescue Effort has taken as many as it can handle. I think that Janel at Dog Gone Rescue may have taken some. The efforts of these groups deserve our praise, but they haven’t put a dent in the population of strays and ferals in town.

I know CARE has been trying to do a program in which it catches as many as it can, neuters them and releases them back outside. However, I’ve heard it was put on hold because of limited funds. It can’t be easy to fund a program like that when you rely on the generosity of people and fundraisers.

It would be wonderful if all the stray and feral cats could be rounded up and placed into foster homes with people who would be willing to work on socializing them. This obviously doesn’t fix the problem because even after they’ve been socialized, Creston is left with a bunch of homeless cats who breed and produce more homeless cats.

The sweet little calico who visits me is loving and affectionate, which tells me she’s been socialized to humans, and may have been someone’s pet at one point. I’ve tried to find her humans by posting on one of the Creston swap pages on Facebook and messaging her photo and my information to CARE and asking them to share it.

However, she’s still hanging out at my house and nobody has come forward to claim her. I don’t know what to do at this point.

Perhaps it was a mistake, but I’ve been feeding her because if she is pregnant, she’s going to need the extra energy and food to care for her little brood.

How can I find out if she is indeed pregnant? Because she isn’t my cat, I don’t feel like I should be responsible for her. However, since it seems she has kind of chosen me to be her human, it’s left up to me to take care of her (and any other little fuzzballs that may come).

Her possible pregnancy increases the problem of stray and feral cats in Creston. It exacerbates the efforts of CARE. Those wonderful people are trying to do everything they can to alleviate the problem, but they can only do so much.

The strays and ferals in Creston drive home the fact that people need to spay and neuter their pets, especially if they go outside and interact with other animals.

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