Group hug! See the little butt sticking out of the left side?
We continue trying to "manage" our cat population. Oh, they're all being fed and all have a dry place to call home, but we have not been able to catch all of those who are capable of reproduction, nor are we able to afford what it takes to "fix" the problem. So just when we think we have got it controlled, another batch of babies are challenging our resources.
Two are in the vet today but there are five who needed to be there months ago, and seven more coming of age soon. We will be borrowing live traps from the Spay and Neuter group for our feral colony and they will help with the majority of expense, IF we are able to catch them, but these kitties are smart.
We have one male and female who remember VERY well that we tried to catch them over two years ago and they will no longer let us get near them. I think they hate it when we make friends with the babies.
They have also learned to stay away from live traps and let others test the safety of things before they step in. Smart little buggers.
If we could stop all reproduction today, we still have some tough decisions to make. A momma (who has been fixed) and her family of three are going to HAVE TO go back outside soon. They are beautiful, long-hair orange cats that we brought in when several of them caught a cold and were in danger. The same thing goes for CT (crooked tail) who was so sick he was falling over. (he's fixed now as well)
They are all well and been inside for 4-5 months but they can't stay. WE have too many inside already. My quandary is that I hate to see them go back outside where they will get dirty, stickers in their hair, ticks, etc. and eventually have a much shorter life than if we continued to protect them inside.
CT thinks he wants out, until he gets out and then turns around quickly and wants back in. Momma (Fluffy) won't even get close to an open door and her family have to complete the neutering process and heal before we encourage them to "be free".
Our oldest is 20 now and she is the only "intentional" cat we have. All the rest are strays, were adopted because their original owner could not keep them, or offspring of the strays. Yeesh, it is getting hard to keep track.
Then comes the issue of adopting. We want people to adopt them BUT it is hard to pass our interview process. Why do they want a cat, can they take more than one so they have each others company, can they take care of them, etc.. We are tough parents!