June 19, 2007

Updates and a brief break from real blogging

Posted in feral cats, real life, update at 2:17 pm by nevavegan

I find myself struggling to finish essays on many topics, so I have nothing in finished form to post today. Some will be pretty heavy topics though, so maybe it’s best to get my thoughts completely together. I do however have some loose ends to tie up.

We finally got in touch with animal control regarding the cat poisonings, though we don’t know what they’ll be able to do. It turns out that Sean had been put through to the voicemail of an animal control officer who was on vacation and that’s why nobody had investigated or called back.

Knock on wood, there have been no further poisonings since Sean spoke to our main suspect and also knocked on many other doors, spreading the word that the poison is cruel and illegal, in fact a felony. When Sean spoke to the main suspect he denied even owning any poison, but dumped out a tray of liquid he had on his porch. Hmmm. We hope that we’ve seen the last of it. I spoke to some neighbors too. It seems few people here have much faith in animal control or in the police. One neighbor told me “Animal Control, like the cops, is just a cushy position people give to their friends, so they can collect a salary. They won’t do anything, but if I find out who is putting out poison, I’ll do something about it.”

The cat situation still feels overwhelming. Sean in speaking with animal control noted that we are about a block and a half from the cats. He said that people get irritated because the cats tear apart their garbage, but we don’t have that problem since we do something strange and unheard of: we put our garbage in a container. Sigh.

There are so many kittens right now, and so many different feeding stations tucked in back yards, behind shed, or even just out in the open on porches and in driveways.

One of the strangest observations we’ve made is the differences from our prior neighborhood to this neighborhood. The last neighborhood was even less affluent, but there were no feral cats really at all. There was a tame stray or two, one of whom now lives with us permanently. But there were no feeders in that neighborhood, and with tiny lawns, close together houses, and no park nearby, I guess a large population of feral cats just never got established.

Also it seems there was just more cooperation and communication among neighbors in the old neighborhood. I remember when there was a break-in, one of our neighbors went up and down the street to warn everyone. There was a similar distrust of the police there, so when there was rash of car windows broken, it was strange to see armed neighbors sitting out in front of their houses all night, but it did seem to put an end to the problem. I guess with the high crime rates there we had this feeling that we were all in this together.

In the new neighborhood we feel a sense of community with our immediate neighbors. The kids next door come over to pet the rabbits, and the people across the street have been very welcoming and helpful. But other than that we don’t know many neighbors and attempts to get to know them have been rebuffed at times.

Funny though that last year we had some people over for dinner and someone opened the back door and left it open and Liam (cat) got out. I was sick with worry and out all night looking for him. During that I met some neighbors coming home very late and they turned out to be great people, but I didn’t know that until I walked up to them at 2:00 AM as they got out of their car to ask if I could search their back yard for my missing cat. We did eventually find Liam (at 6:00 AM) so that story has a happy ending.

But aside from these few examples, our neighborhood has almost no communication and no real sense of community. That makes it harder to address the issue of all these feral cats.