Jump to content

I would like some advice -


Anjuli_Bai
 Share

Recommended Posts

About 15 years ago my kind hearted neighbor left food out for a feral female cat and kittens (regular house cat variety).  Needless to say this started a history of one generation after another.  When my neighbor died, the cats, including kittens (about 20 in all ) were starving.  They were humanely trapped but since they were totally feral - the authorities euthanized them.  However, one female managed to evade capture.

 

So, now we have a female with four kittens (about 3 months old) and completely feral.  I like to put a shallow bowl of water out (it hasn't rained for months) for the birds to bathe and of course, I am sure, other animals come to drink, including the mother and kittens. 

 

This morning before I could get out to fill the bowl, I saw the kittens lapping the last drops of water.  It then occurred to me - am I perpetuating the problem which my neighbor inadvertantly started 20 yrs ago? 

 

It really bothers me to see them looking for water.....but.....what to do?

 

If I trap them (I do have a humane trap) - what would I do with them then?   The Humane Society won't take them, Animal Control will euthanize them.  If I release them in a wild area - this is a dry land area........and the coyotes will kill them.

 

What to do?

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frankly - that would be quite an expense.  I'd have to find a vet who would have to sedate them much like a wild animal.  I am sure they are full of fleas, worms, etc.  Plus the operation and then follow up care such as removing stitches, and support until well enough to be set free.   I'm not even sure a vet would participate.  And, then I'd have to release them back to the same problem - thirst, possible starvation.  I don't have the physical facilities to take post operative care of them, especially a facility necessary to contain wild cats. 

 

I haven't supplied food - only water. 

 

I just filled the bowl with water - it's hard not to..  Maybe I'll do so intermittantly so they will not rely on it. 

 

Oh dear.

Edited by Anjuli_Bai
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know there is a Registered Charity here in the UK called the Cat`s Protection League,who will pay for a cat to be spayed or neutered if the owner of the cat is on a low income.[i think it only costs about £28 though]. I think they will also take in strays and  neuter them if someone notices a stray hanging around .Don`t know if there is a similar animal charity in the States.? Perhaps you could telephone a local Veternary Surgeon nearby and just ask some advice. I`m sure he or she must know what can be done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think maybe the kind and most practical thing to do would be to just leave out a bowl of water out each day. I`m sure the cat will eventually wander elsewhere once it realises you are not going to feed it. But a bowl of water will potentially help other wild animals too. I "Follow" on Twitter and Facebook an organisation called the British Hedgehog Society, who give out useful tips to the public, one of which is to ensure there is fresh drinking water in a shallow bowl left in your garden for hedgehogs to drink out of [and of course, cats, birds, and anything else, too].It would be terrible to think this cat going without water, so by "doing your bit", you can give yourself peace of mind.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you are right - I will just provide water. 

 

Thank you - all of you - for your help. 

 

On the bright side, it is fun to watch the birds bathing.  They literally line up, but it's not by "who came first" - it's based on size - the bigger the bird the sooner he/she bathes.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love feeding the birds. Always make sure Blackie the cat is indoors first. I always buy a large bag of wild bird seeds for them,but only in the winter. It is quite expensive and I reckon they can look after  themselves in the spring and summer. But I love to put a row of seeds on my front garden wall. I don`t know if it`s the same Robin each year, but he is not one bit afraid of me. It probably sounds mad, but I actually call out to it; "Little Robin" ,and make chirping noises. Then I go indoors and out he comes. But after a few weeks into my putting the food out, he will start eating it while I am still outside, and i`ve even had him sitting on the wall when there`s no food there, looking in towards the living room. He does it often when I wake up fairly early. It`s as if he`s saying to me, "Well,are you going to feed me today then, or what,woman?"!!  One of life`s little pleasures.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to hang out feeders for the hummingbirds but fairly quickly found it simply was impossible to keep up with them.  They could empty several feeders in a single day.  They would also fight over it - they are quite aggressive. 

 

By the way, the hummingbirds can't bathe in the bowl - even a couple inches of water is too deep.  But I did see one bathing in a few drops of overnight dew which had accummulated in an upturned leaf of a rose bush.  What to me is a small rose leaf - to a hummingbird is a bath tub.  It all depends upon your perspective of the world.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We feed the birds too all the year round except July-September. They mostly seem to disappear at this point in the year into the hopefully abundant hedgerows and also go off to moult.

One of the rewards is the parents bringing their babies into the garden. The most fun to watch are the starlings. They seem to do all sorts of things just for the fun of it including winding each other up and apparent squabbling. The babies do make an awful lot of noise though and make me laugh after they've fledged about a week.....as at first they follow the parents everywhere and then start staying around and begin to try out feeding themselves which they soon learn to do....but nevertheless still squawk their heads off if a parent arrives who then feeds them as well. They are very inquisitive and we have had to rescue several who have flown into the bedroom to investigate it!!

For some reason we have a lot of green finches and chaffinches here and they get through the sunflower seeds really fast too especially in the spring when feeding young. Luckily we have found a supplier(Bartholemews) who deliver to local pet shops and who as long as we are prepared to drive to their depot sell enormous bags of seeds which is a cheaper way to buy them.

 

The two birds who seemed to have disappeared since I moved here are sparrows and thrushes. I really miss the twitter and chatter of the sparrows in the hedge and have no idea why they have gone but the green finches etc remain.

Also I miss the thrushes who when they were here could drive you mad on some spring mornings right outside the window but rather that than the silence from them now.

We still have our very singy little wrens though.....how can such a tiny bird produce such a penetrating sound!!

 

Sorry to hear about your dilemma Anjuli......it's almost impossible here in the UK to imagine no rain for such a long time I think just leaving the water is a good idea too. I hope they manage to survive anyway.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a few slices of stale bread yesterday, so I cut it up and put it on the shed roof. Within a couple of minutes there were hordes of starlings (at least 40 of them) all having a great time, and also, I was pleased to see, several sparrows too, fighting their way through the mob!

 

By the way - what is the collective noun for starlings?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to put out food for some strays and they kept coming around and ruining my front flower beds! Eventually I stopped putting out the food and they went elsewhere. It was tough, but they need to be able to survive by themselves, so I think it's probably best not to feed them. Funnily enough they didn't seem to drink.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  I kind of like "a murmuration of ballerinas."

 

 

 

 


Sorry to hear about your dilemma Anjuli......it's almost impossible here in the UK to imagine no rain for such a long time I think just leaving the water is a good idea too. I hope they manage to survive anyway.

 

One needs to learn how to interpret the weather forecast for this area:

 

When the official forecast says:

 

Chance of rain - that means - no chance

 

Rain likely - not at all likely

 

It's raining in Los Angeles and coming south to San Diego -- it's not coming

 

Rain today - well, maybe tomorrow - if at all

 

Heavy grey storm clouds -  clouds don't mean rain

 

Heavy rain and possible flooding - no way José - doesn't matter what those expensive weather satelites say

 

It's raining in San Diego County - well, this is a huge county stretching east for a 100 miles - so sure it may be raining a 100 miles away in the mountains and technically in the county but does my garden no good at all.

 

It's only raining in my space when I walk out and actually get wet from water falling vertically and its not a fountain.

 

The only conclusive test is when one sees the look or horror on the face of the neighborhood cat.

 

By the way,  we do own umbrellas but San Diegans only really believe they are truly needed after three days of rain.....and since it almost never rains for three days....the surf boards never come in and the umbrellas rarely go up.

 

It is a beautiful part of the world, however, with the miracle of no mosquitos - or very very rarely.  A blessing for me.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually Anjuli using your above piece if you just substitute the word sun for rain but perhaps in the "heavy grey storm clouds line add "clouds don't mean rain but certainly no sun"

And "oh yes Jose " in the next line .......you've just about got the UK to a tee!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

San Diego County encompasses seashore, inland valleys, mountains (Cleveland Nat'l Forest) and Anzo-Borrego desert - all very different climates and topographies. It also stretches just south of LA to the north - to Mexico on the south. 

 

Sometimes as I read the posts on this forum, I have to remember that you are all in the same time zone because I'm so used to thinking of two thirds of my country being in different time zones. 

 

This is also true of places.  Probably all of you have been to London at some time or another and are therefore familiar with various stores, landmarks, traffic patterns.  However, here, comparatively few people have been to Washington D.C. or New York City or  or .....and thus we can't assume that we share the same familiarity as you do.  For instance, when someone mentions a ballet shop in London - you all - or many of you - know about it. 

 

There are plusses and minuses for both large land space and smaller land space.  One is roomy but the other cozy - a more closely shared experience.   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a rueful smile when reading your interpretation of the local weather forecast, Anjuli.

 

We have family in the States, and they have a slightly different take on the weatherman - when he says there's bad weather coming, they board the house up and run for the hills!

 

Living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast they've learned the hard way :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

San Diego is in a strange little weather pocket.  If you look at a map of the North American continent, you will see that Reno, Nevada is actually further west than San Diego - even though we are at the ocean's edge and they are well inland.  The continent curves outward and so LA is much further west - jutting out into the ocean.  This curve protects us from most storms that come from the north.

 

Those storms that come up from the south, usually come up around the Sea of Cortez (Mexico) and by the time they reach us are mostly just streaky clouds. 

 

So, we are a bit too far south for the northern storms and a bit too far north for the southern storms.  What storms we do get usually pile up against the mountains to othe east and stay there. 

 

We get very little extreme temperature change, too.  I only saw it snow here for 5 minutes in 1966 - but we do get snow in the mountains - so when we want to play in it - off we go in the family auto.  In the city, it almost never goes below 45 on the coldest night.   In summer there are usually 10 days or so of hot weather (90-95) - the rest of the time it is usually around 75-80 in the summer.  So, it neither gets very hot nor very cold.  People are on the beach every day no matter what.

 

It is also a dry climate - very little humidity and even when it is humid - it is nothing like the East Coast such as in Philadelphia where I grew up. 

 

It does make for some easy living - very little change in wardrobe, no extra measures for heating/cooling the house.   I don't have AC - only a couple of fans.  For heat - a couple of moveable floor heaters.  Less wear and tear on clothes, cars and tempers.

 

Yes, seasonal change is less obvious but we can go into the mountains for fall leaf color - without having to rake them up in our gardens. 

 

There is something to be said for the beauty of seasonal change - but there is also something to be said for the ease of weather seldom being an issue. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm even amazed at the small climate changes north/south.......north marginally colder and less light.....and east/west.....east quite a bit drier than the west...here in the UK for such a comparatively small island.

 

It's interesting just how much one may be unconsciously influenced by physical terrain of ones environment. In UK you are never that far from the sea even if you're not a seaside dweller like myself.

 

Recently when some friends were over from Australia.....another huge land mass......we were talking about a possible visit from myself and the possibility of actually crossing the whole of Australia. As I was thinking about this and being right in the middle around the famous Alice Springs bit I suddenly felt quite claustrophobic......I'm sure that was the feeling.....which seems ironic in all that space etc but I think it was a sort of panicky feeling about being so far from the sea!! It actually felt quite scary. So I am sure this is because I live on an Island. Others may not of course feel this but the sea has always been important to me for some reason.

 

It could be because when I was a small baby I lived up near Redcar where there is an enormous stretch of beach and my mum used to walk there a lot with me in the pram apparently so perhaps the sound of the waves has got into my deep consciousness or something like that anyway.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...