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Our problem wasn't Spring - it's the cold weather!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well - all of the ferals that were "regulars" in the colony were relocated to the barns. Except Funny Face, who came back here.

We've been feeding him daily. No more free-feeding "cat" feeder out back though. We dismantled that. We just keep our eye peeled for him - and if we haven't seen him, we head out late afternoon, and he'll often be there.

But this cold weather, of course, is drawing the "new" homeless cats.

I don't know where these (boys or girls - haven't been close enough to see yet) are coming from - but they were not born this Spring. One of the them looks really old - which for a feral could be three years or so I guess. Poor thing has a massive eye infection - which probaby means a URI. Without help, I doubt he'll survive the Winter here.

We've only seen him once - and we took out food for him, but haven't seen him back. He (or she) needs to be neutered or spayed and treated - and then we'd be able to re-release him or her into one of the barns - where they ARE taking care of the cats.

And just now I was outside to feed Funny Face - and after putting his bowl of food out, just a minute later I heard a FIERCE howl and then a continued low growling. I was so worried he'd been injured. Turns out it was just another black & white kitty - but much too big to have been born this past Spring. One we've not seen before. I took another bowl of food out and placed it up in the woods. Hope new kitty's eating it.

I don't have the trap here!

Looks like we'll have to go pick it up.

When there weren't any kittens this Spring, I really thought we'd seen the end of the ferals here. Of course, I should have known better.... poor things!
post #2 of 5

That is the exact reason why killing ferals doesn't work -- because as soon as the original ferals are gone, new ones move in to take their place.

With that said, I know how incredibly frustrating this must be. You two have worked so hard to care for and find a new home for your ferals and then to have a new crew move in must be hard. Just when you think you are done, you are right back at square one once again.

But...I can't think of a better couple to have this problem! Y'all are the queen and king of northeastern ferals!

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
LOL! Actually, it's not frustrating. But it does make me so sad for them. I wish we'd moved on this sooner so we'd had a little more time to work with the new crew.

I'd like to put the feeder back up to see how many we attract so we can take care of whoever would be the new crew. They can accomodate another six cats in the barns, and I'm pretty sure we'll be able to socialize Funny Face enough if we can be sure he's got a warm place outside (although one of the neighbors who's spending the Winter skirted his unit and put a heater under there for the Winter - hopefully Funny Face will have enough sense to move in there!)

But the problem with putting the feeder back up is we've attracted a family of skunks and a bunch of raccoons. I don't know who made a mess with the food so that the skunks could get at it on the ground, but I think we'll have to stick with the individual meals for now. Hopefully we'll hear them fighting like I did today when we get a new one. And as our front door is one second away, hopefully any fights won't result in damage to any of the ferals before we can get out there.

It's so funny you mentioned that Renae - because it's what we've been writing about on SPA - and it didn't even occur to me as I raced outside today. I just wondered where they were coming from now that the feeder's not there! You're right - it isn't that at all. It's that the other CATS aren't here!
post #4 of 5
Laurie, I have pulled the feeders at night now to try and get rid of the skunk and coon problem as well. I feed until right at dusk- then seal up the feeders for the night. It took a few days, but Mystery and Cyclone and a new black cat are now coming to eat at about 6:00 every night. I also unplug the feeder hole every morning at about 6:00 a.m. and leave it all day. It was making me feel guilty but the food is vanishing, and so I know the ferals are learning to feed in the daytime now- and keeping warm at night in the hay beds we have for them. (wooden boxes mounted on the side of the barn stuffed with warm straw) If you feed in a secluded and secure area they will feel safe enough to feed in broad daylight
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks, MA.

The other problem we've got is the bird feeder. The problem isn't the cats - haven't seen a dead bird since Booger left us. The problem is all they (and the squirrels) spill - and the skunks come out at night to feed on that too! Gary has twice, in the last week, almost STEPPED on a skunk outside.

Now he heads out armed with a flashlight - and remembers to look for them first, LOL! He was so fortunate not to trigger the skunk(s) to spray!!!!!
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