|Purred: Mon May 28, '12 11:40am PST |
|First off, thanks for your responses. We appreciate any feed back that we get.
Our neighbor is a single, somewhat elderly woman and as far as we can tell she lives alone. She's not very sociable. We notice her home and can see her TV on when the cats are outside, so we know that even when she's home the cats are still outside cats.
I guess as to some of the responses: We know it was the cats in the trash because we've caught them in the trash multiple times. While it could be other animals, the cats are the only ones we've caught. We have been keeping a lid on the trash, but somehow they're still getting in it.
Cats are nothing if not very resourceful. I wonder if they're getting fed, or whether they're just bored at night and smell the food in there.
As for me picking up poop because it's not all that toxic...I don't ask her to come over and clean up after my dog(s). I always carry poop bags with me when we walk and when my dog or the dogs I'm watching do their business, I consider it MY business to keep up after them. Even when they use the bathroom in MY YARD I still clean up after them. Just because her cats aren't on a leash doesn't make her any less responsible for the waste they create, especially when it causes us a disgusting inconvenience when the dogs roll in it, or eat it.
Really gross story: My dog got into some cat poop before we had a chance to clean it up (and those of you who have dogs understand that cat poop is a treat for dogs due to the high amount of protein it contains), and then later in the night my dog threw it up all over our bed while we were sleeping. Yeah. Pretty horrible.
Was our neighbor there to help wash our sheets at 3 am? Nope, she sure wasn't! It's different if YOU are the one that has to suffer the inconvenience of someone else's neglect.
And yeah, I guess we'll have to keep our vehicle windows rolled up (we've done that ever since to prevent the spraying) but that still doesn't take care of the claw marks and cat paw prints that mysteriously appear on our vehicles over night. Again, I used to have a cat that I kept inside, so I know cat prints when I see them. Racoons have thumbs (or thumb like appendages) and possum prints look alot like rat prints.
As for checking our engines for errant kitties, hadn't even thought of that. I guess that's probably one more thing we'll have to deal with doing.
While I appreciate that trap and release is probably what most of you would recommend, we probably wouldn't trap the cats, pay to neuter them, and then give them back to the lady only for her to keep outside. It might prevent some of the annoying issues like the loud mating and such, but that won't stop them from using our yard like a litter box.
As for cats being good neighbors, we haven't seen any benefits to that, yet. We still have plenty of rabbits, ground hogs, squirrels and raccoons in the area, and we still find mice droppings in our shed and barn. Unfortunately, these cats are just as much of a pest as anything else out here.
You must understand, having a cat or two as an outside, country pet is one thing and we understand that. I realize that just because I am a responsible pet owner, that not everyone will be. But, having several (read that up to 10 at least) that roam outside is something completely different.
Again, I used to have a cat that was beloved to me. He was a GIANT maine coon mix I got at a shelter who recently passed of a variety of health problems, and its hard for me to see someone just so negligent that they would leave their cats outside to the elements, especially when we live so close to a very busy state highway. I kept my big buddy inside, but even so he was licensed with the county and fed a special diet for his kidneys.
And maybe our neighbor is overwhelmed and needs some help. We don't know her situation, because she keeps to herself and doesn't speak. I think my husband is going to try to introduce himself (even though we've been neighbors for a while) and sort of politely feel out her situation before we make any moves on taking the cats to the humane society.
We'll see what happens. We don't want her to be hostile towards us, but we both feel its important that she's aware of what the cats are doing, especially since she's the one that seems to feed them.
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