We're going down a path we probably shouldn't go down, but we can't stop ourselves. It's just the way the problem presented itself and our crazy desire to do something about it.
We had neighbors. They sold their house earlier this year. We didn't really know them except that we had talked a few times because our yards shared a boundary. They had dogs. They also had a few feral cats that they let eat, sleep, and breed in their barn. They moved and left the cats. Nice, right? For the past several months we've noticed this black cat prowling around under the bird feeder and hiding in different places outside our fenced yard. It runs whenever it sees us. It's cute, it has a bit of a bobbed tail. We don't want it hunting our yard, especially since we spend a lot of time trying to attract and feed the birds. Mmmm… what to do?
We already have a cat. Bonsai doesn't go outside the fenced yard, and he's not a hunter. He's old and really doesn't have much energy to do anything. He gets special kibble for his chronic constipation. Everyday, for a treat, I give him a half of a small can of Fancy Feast Sliced Beef in gravy. Oh, he just loves the gravy. I add warm water to it so there's even more gravy, and it's more delicious. He laps it all up and leaves the beef, which I throw away everyday. But just the other day Roger said to me, "Why don't you give the feral cat that food?" And so, the idea was hatched to feed the feral cat in the hopes that he'll get enough to eat so he won't have to hunt the birds and lizards. Lions don't chase the zebras when they're full. Makes sense. Right?
So, for the past few mornings, I've been taking the leftovers out and putting them in a plastic dish on the compost pile. The black cat must keep an eye out for that, because s/he shows up right away to eat it. Roger set up a motion sensor camera in the compost bin, so we see exactly who's eating the catfood and when. It's always all gone before nightfall.
Our goal is to domesticate this feral creature and find it a home. We have also considered getting a large "have a heart" trap, trapping it and finding someone who wants to rehabilitate and socialize it as a pet. Are we totally crazy?
OTOH, we did see this fox walking right in front of the house on Tuesday. It could take care of the feral kitty cat problem in one delicious meal. Life in the country is pretty wild.
What would you do?