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This week marked our first large snowfall of the season and the city shuddered to a grinding halt. Traffic has been increasing from bad to worse each day, and people are already swearing as they’re shoveling snow for the sixth time.  The temperature plunged to a lovely seasonal -15 or so, and the howling wind has been adding to the ambience.

The weather also brought a homeless kitty to our doorstep. Whenever I see a cat outside near our house, I immediately rush out with a bowl of food. I can’t help it, it’s like a Pavlovian reflex. Often the cat is collared and belongs to one of the neighbors.  In that case he has a snack and moves on. Occasionally it’s a stray, that pounces on the food like it’s going out of style and sometimes we even manage to get him over to the local vet which passes him on to the Humane Society.

This fluffy orange cat appeared sporadically through the summer, and has never let me approach him. Now that the weather is crap, he waits for me to come home every day and devours a whole can of wet food, and a handful of dry food besides.  He won’t get near the food if I’m outside though, he’ll just sit ten feet away and look at me reproachfully  as if to say ‘dude, my meal is getting cold’.  I’m not sure when he begins his vigil, but the snow is usually melted under him by the time I come home from work. After a meal he cleans himself, waits twenty minutes or so, and wanders off.

Now that the weather is so cold I’m quite worried about him, so tomorrow will be operation trap the cat. We’ll leave food on the porch in a cat trap and see if he bites. With any luck we’ll come home to a scared orange cat in a cage.  Then our plan is the usual – foster him and let some shelter adopt him out. He may just be glad to be out of the cold.

Here is an awful photo of my cat watchin him eat through the window. He is just a dark shadow bent over his bowl of food. What really ticks me off is that he’s definitely not feral. He seems quite cautious around me, but I’ve seen him approach local kids in  the summer, and he’s somewhat socialized.  Which means he likely had a home once.  

Do you help any critters survive the harsh winters?



10 comments to Homeless

  • Oh, how sad. I hate to think he may have been abandoned. People do terrible things like move and leave their pets behind to fend for themselves. I say if you can’t care for an animal properly, and be fully responsible for it, DON’T HAVE ANY PETS! They’re not disposable items.

    How kind of you to watch out for him. It pleases me to know that there are caring people like you that give these animals a chance. I’d be worried about him too with the type of weather you’re having. I hope you are able to trap him, and that he gets a chance to find a loving – permanent – home. Poor little critter…

  • admin

    Yep, I will never fathom people who abandon animals. I understand that sometimes you have to give one up, but you couldn’t be bothered to take him to the SPCA??? He is not neutered either, which is another form of cruelty as the animals that propagate outside seldom lead long lives.

    Anyhow, he seems quite healthy and young, so I’m crossing my fingers that we can nab him. And I know you feed quite the zoo yourself, Martha, from chipmunks to birds, so as long as there’s people around willing to lend a hand to help a paw, some animals will be okay.

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  • admin

    Thanks, me too.

  • How nice of you to take care of a homeless kitty. I would have to leave any cats outside because, Jack, our dog would rather have them for breakfast. He goes insane whenever there’s a cat around and I can only assume he’s not wanting to play with them. Hope you’re staying warm!

  • Jean

    Every winter I feed a variety of cats. Some I was able to catch and quite a few I was not. I remember a beautiful Turkish Van that I even got close enough to touch. She was a skin and bones bag of scabs. Broke my heart. But when I tried to pick her up she took off and although I did see her again, I was never able to get close again. So sad. But then there was the one time on a bitterly cold day that I seen a cat on the steps of a boarded up house in Calgary. I called to her and she came running. Her ears were both frozen off and she was very visibly pregnant. I took her in to the local vet. Lost one, saved one. We do the best we can. One of my funnier stories is the cat that I fed for weeks. He was so beat up looking. Finally I got close enough, grabbed him and took him in. About a week later he was back at my house nibbling away at the food. So, I guess he wasn’t a stray after all! I wish people would put collars with names and numbers so I could call. But alls well that ended well.

    Keep us posted on the orange baby!

  • admin

    @Marly – you’re probably right about Jack, although in many houses the cats eventually rule the roost. But better safe than sorry 🙂

    @Jean – I know you’re a tireless advocate and caretaker for the furry friends. So far no luck on the orange kitty, he’s too smart for the trap, but he’s still alive and coming to eat, so maybe I’ll find one of those nets we can use…

  • Joy

    I am a cat lover .. my cats are completely indoor creatures .. noone can ever win one over to letting cats roam free speech .. EVER ! It is too dangerous a world now .. cats need to be safe let alone loved.
    I hope you can catch this little one before something bad happens to it .. it would be so sad.
    GOOD LUCK ! I have my fingers crossed you can rescue the little furball !

  • admin

    Thanks Joy,

    So far no dice, but we’re developing a long-distance relationship.

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