Although today was an almost perfect day...the weather, the company, the location, I did have an experience that has me troubled.
Driving back from a business appointment this morning, the hubby and I stopped at a lovely family farm market to check out the fall harvest. We walked along the rows of pumpkins and exotic shaped gourds. The proprietor was very friendly as we talked about her bounty and I complimented her gardens.
But it wasn't those icons of fall that kept my attention. I noticed everywhere I looked, there were felines of all sizes and colors. One especially caught my eye. She was a pewter colored kitten with bull's eye markings, probably no older than 10 - 12 weeks and she was very busy rubbing around my ankles.
"That's Molly," the woman said. And she began to explain the existence of her cats. Most of them are drop offs that just continue to breed and breed. At this point she figures there are somewhere around 40 cats of various ages around the homestead.
She and her husband feed them, but offers no medical care or spaying or neutering as the food bill alone is around $200.00 a month. She continues to explain they are all barn cats and nature just takes it course with coyote, hawks owls etc. thinning them out over the winter. What the animals don't get disease will.
Of course, I already have Molly in my arms nestled against my chest. She is snuggled in tight and purring. I noticed she cannot open her right eye. It is full of green pus. I bring it to the woman's attention. She says again, "We don't dr. them." I suggest maybe just cleaning it out and putting a little neosporin ointment on it might help. "It might," she responds. I don't hold out any hope for Molly getting any care for her eye.
Molly isn't the only cat with eye problems, there are many seemingly winking at me. Most of the cats appear to have something wrong with them. One has some kind of tumor. Another is so infested with worms he is starving to death. I am heart broken at the physical state of these kittens and cats. They may be barn cats but it is obvious some of them are very ill and are in desperate need of medical care.
She tells me not to get attached to her cats. They will not give them away. WHAT?
But her philosophy is, "if God brings them to us, we are going to feed them." I'm not sure God wants to own the human dumping of helpless animals, but that is another post.
I want to say to her they need more than food. I want to say to her it would be more humane to put them down than to let them have full bellies but suffer through disease, harsh weather or be ripped apart by the talons of a bird of prey or the teeth of a coyote.
I want to say save yourself $200.00 a month on cat food and buy a couple boxes of .22 cal cartridges. It would be way cheaper and much more humane.