Feral Cat Day

Every day these two sweethearts take their spot on the old Red Line stairs behind our house. They sleep curled around each other, protective, comforting, the sole remaining siblings of a litter of six. They’re beautiful, inspiring in their devotion to each other and to their mother — who is always nearby. And sadly they’re completely wild. They’re the feral cat litter we didn’t manage to trap this summer. So every day for six months, I just hope to see them, that the raccoons — or whoever got their brothers and sisters — hasn’t gotten them.

It’s Feral Cat Day. If you, like me, have a nearby cat colony, don’t just feed them. Try to catch and spay or neuter. Kittens like these are a joy — until you hear them getting eaten by a raccoon. Or you see one skinny ragged mother getting chased by all the neighborhood toms for her nth litter of the year. Or you hear their fights every night.

Last week I trapped the black and white kitten. Unfortunately, after spending two days in our bathroom, she got out just as I was taking her to the shelter to get fixed. At six months old, she’s genetically just like our pet cats, but she might as well be another species, so wild has her nurturing been. I’d have kept her if I could. But it’s too late for her.

Alley Cat Allies has a lot of useful information about how to capture, nurse, and handle feral cats. Like any nonprofit, they need money. So for Feral Cat Day, maybe make them a donation. Or visit your local shelter; they could probably use blankets, or volunteers — or loving, adoptive parents.

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