Ramble On

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Buster Barn Cat

Last year, after one of the neighbors encouraged two young feral female cats to hang around the Hawksbill Cabin neck of the woods - there was a great surprise one weekend when suddenly there appeared two litters of four kittens each.  One of the litters had taken up residence under the garage (which I often refer to as the barn) and the other was under our pool deck.  Suddenly we had ten feral cats running around - I figured that was a good start on having 200 of them.

We found a local organization called Cat's Cradle in Harrisonburg, which has a mission of helping catch feral cats, spaying or neutering them, and releasing them back to where they came from.  (Here's a link to their web page:  http://catscradleva.org/).  We called them in and eventually managed to get the two mothers and six of the kittens fixed through the program.

Of the two we didn't get - we later found that one was a victim of a hawk (we've had some red tails back in the hollow the last couple years, along with the Coopers and Sharp-shinned hawks we frequently see), and one simply disappeared.  We just figured that nature had taken its course, and that we had taken care of all the feral cats.

We ended up adopting one of the kittens, a neighbor took another, and a home was found for a third - so there were now five feral cats around.  We've taken to feeding them and work with a couple of the neighbors to provide for them outside...and we haven't seen any traces of mice inside of Hawksbill Cabin in return for this.

A new cat - a feral tom that I call Buster - has started showing up over the last few weeks.  He is very friendly and vocal, comfortable around Mary and me, and will even accept being picked up (the others won't).  I think he may be the lost kitten, and that he was taken in by some tenants up the hill - they moved, and maybe abandoned him.

Buster hung around on Sunday and Monday while I raked leaves.  He found some good vantage points to observe me from - the brick terrace (I saw him sit in my chair), the window sill (outside, Sashi sits inside), and even the roof of the pool cabana.

Buster's a character, and I'd love to see him get adopted by somebody.  I'm even willing to help with the introductory vet bills for shots and neutering.

Contact me here with a comment if you know somebody interested.

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