Ever live in the boonies? No? you may not get this post, in fact you may be inclined to call the nearest Humane Society on me when you're done.
Because I have cats, you know actual pets, who spend a good portion of their time in my house, take their meals in my kitchen and snuggle up on my bed when I am out earning their keep, our home also attratcts a good deal of "feral" cats. You know crazy strays. I'm not quite sure when they became so numerous, but there are quite a few. We realized it may be an issue when one day last summer.
My son had some friends over and they were snacking on pizza and wings on the deck. Being men, they just left everything on the table out there when the shindig was over. About 4 am I am revived from my slumber by what sounds like a pack of wolves skittering on the deck. I stumble up the stairs, carefull not to trip over my 2 house cats who are cowering on the stairs, to the door to see no less than 15 cats fighting over pizza and chicken bones, you know at the table.
I had decided then that maybe I should stop leaving food for my cats out there, obviously I was attracting attention. But the cats couldn't stay away, our garbage is just too tantalizing. All those picked at plates that find their way to the trash, it's like my youngest is trying to feed them. Of course to blame it all on one person is just not fair, we are a house of carnivores and what the coons don't get the cats will.
I told the story of Charley one of the strays who decided to join us ( of course as soon as we named him he disappeared, loong story). Now I have a chapter to add.
During the last 2 weeks the weather has gone from unseasonably mild to actual winter. Cold, lots of snow and frozen garbage. At one point someone left the garage door open and two more visitors wandered in. They wouldn't come out of hiding behind Mt Crapmore, and being an animal lover, I couldn't stand the thought of them being cold or hungry. So i put some food in the garage for them to eat and figured they would escape at the next opportunity.
I was wrong, seems my house cats showed them the "here's how you get into the ceiling" trick, and I haven't had a decent nights sleep since. I know they are coming out of the ceiling, they eat the food. I even saw the one stalking me under the old coffee table thats down there. And there are kitty prints all over the sports car. Come nightfall though those little buggers are prancing all through the ceiling. Hissing and fighting with each other. Guttural growls from every corner. It's like some kind of turf war going on.
Only guess what? IT'S MY TURF!!!! and I would like to get some sleep.
You know I totally just realized, if you had told me 18 years ago that I would have feral cats living in my ceiling and keeping me up at night I would have had to have you institutionalized. How the mighty have fallen.