Can you believe it was June 2012 that mom first saw Allie (our feral girl) and caught the alcohol kittens?? (for their first post, click here)
At the time Allie was spayed, the vet aged her about 2 years old, which would make her about 5 years old now. For a feral, that is pretty good. We do what we can for her...keep an eye out, leave the garage door up a crack for her to get to food, water and shelter. There are even some toys in the garage (we know someone is playing - those toys move around). And while we wish we could wrap her up and find her a home and everything, she truly is feral. Mom can get within about 4 feet of Allie before she takes off. Even when she was crated with her kittens, Allie made it VERY clear to mom that she wasn't happy about the situation.
But Allie is spayed and she has safety and food. One of our neighbors has a shelter set up for her too and puts food out as well. And the neighbor said that she has seen Allie lounging under another neighbor's dryer vent in the winter. Resourceful our girl.....
We aren't sure how far Allie roams. And especially when the weather gets nice, mom doesn't see her as often. A couple of weeks ago, mom had seen her on a Monday morning. On Tuesday evening, mom drove to the shelter to volunteer and there was a cat on the side of the road that had been hit by a car and obviously died from it. Mom was almost sure it was Allie. But she couldn't bring herself to go check more closely. Mom said that just wasn't the image she wanted in her head of our girl. We were heartbroken....but we also knew that locking Allie in a house was never an option.
Well, that Saturday evening, mom ran an errand, and there was Allie - sitting just like she is above...across from our garage, waiting for mom to get out of the way. Mom was stunned. And while we hope the black cat mom saw along the road didn't suffer, we are glad it wasn't Allie.
We know she won't live forever.....none of us do. And life for a feral cat is even harder. Though with her being 5 years old now, she certainly has to be street smarter than most. We will continue to provide her with what we can. Mom has sat in the garage before and talked to Allie, but Allie makes no indication that she is going to give mom a chance to get too close.
For anyone who loves a feral, you understand. And we certainly don't ever want to discourage anyone from getting involved in TNR and caring for colony cats. It can be incredibly rewarding.....and getting them spayed and neutered cuts down on fights and disease and overpopulation.