When we moved into our house, we knew the neighbor was a hoarder. What we didn't know was she hoarded cats. Feral cats. They lived outside in a covered porch where she fed them and they raised their families. The postal delivery person told us the neighborhood estimated she once had more than 50 cats. I thought there were only a half-dozen until one day I spotted them lying on the steps and realized that the one I called Tabby was actually six different tabby cats that looked exactly alike.
Living next door to so many cats was annoying. We don't have cats ourselves but we like them. Only there were too many and they used our yard like an outhouse. Then they decided it was where they preferred to birth their young. Usually several litters appeared annually.
So why didn't you get these cats fixed? you are asking. Well, the woman next door kept claiming she would trap and neuter her cats, but of course she didn't. After she died, her daughter made the same claim, but did not act on it. When the daughter sold the house next door, leaving the cats to hang out on our property, we decided to trap and fix.
Easier said than done.
In south Florida, where there are no harsh winters to reduce populations, there are millions of feral cats. They live on the beach, in suburban neighborhoods, and on city streets. Volunteers feed them, or they are left to their own devices, killing songbirds and lizards, rats and mice. The size of the population makes it difficult to find a humane trapper willing to come to your house. They're very busy. Once they do come, the job is hit or miss. Have you ever attempted to lure smart cats into cages?
We trapped several ourselves using sardines (they love them) and took them to a mobile unit to get shots and neutering. Then we trapped those same cats over and over (they thought it was worth it for a sardine meal). None of the other cats were interested in the cages, so we turned the job over to a licensed trapper. It took him two weeks, but he got the job done. No new kittens have arrived since.
Last night a cat was yowling around our yard, on the hunt for a mate. Fortunately, the local females are prepared.
Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes pulp fiction, literary crime, and psychological thrillers. Her stories have been called "gritty realism," "oh so compulsive" reads, and "bizarre but believable." Her novellas and novels have been released by publishers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Salt Publishing in the UK released her satirical crime novel about a school shooting in 2017. Visit at www.mickeyjcorrigan.com