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Perspective: When feral cats show up

Katie Andraski

It’s magical when feral cats show up at the farm. We bless them because we’ve had rats so fat and tame I could grab one as she ran up the rafters.

This year two gray and white cats arrived. They acted like a bonded pair. We named them Fluffy and Slick. None of our neighbors claimed them. We set out food, the expensive kind. Soon Slick sat with our kitchen window in her line of sight, signaling it was time to fill her dish. Or if her dish was full, she’d sit by the door as if to say, can you hurry up? At night Fluffy lounges in the yard, waiting.

One day Bruce saw Slick trotting across the yard with a vole in her mouth. She ducked into the shed. “They do that when they have kittens,” he said.

“Oh boy,” I thought. “What are we going to do with kittens? No way do I want a cat colony.”

Well, four kittens showed up--two gray and whites, a solid gray and a tabby.

Drat, we should have trapped the parents and had them fixed. But it’s hard to know if drop-ins will stick around. And it has been joyous to watch the kittens play, even though they scatter when they see us.

I’m grateful to TAILS, our local spay and neuter clinic, for setting up an appointment and for saying just call us if you can’t trap her. Anyone need a barn cat or two?

I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.

Katie Andraski is an author, blogger, and retired composition teacher at Northern Illinois University