Monday, May 27, 2013

Country Roads

I decided to take the day off yesterday.  David is playing Bridge at the Canadian National Bridge Tournament For Geeks, this week and I'm finding myself remembering what it's like to not have to wait and free to do whatever I want.  So I drove about an hour into the country to visit a huge antique mall. 

Like many men, going to an antique mall would've been hideous for David so I  was pleased to be able to putter through it by myself.  As  I drove through the country roads with the sun roof down, the sun warm on my face and singing whatever was on the radio, I stopped suddenly at a  "Free Kittens" sign in front of a farm driveway.

"It's your day off.  Keep driving, Beth."  My inner voice pleaded with me to continue on, but my "inner cat rescuer" put her foot on the brake and pulled into the farm.  I  could see the cats and kittens from inside my car.  All feral - eyes dilated with fear and distrust.  They disappeared into various corners around the house and barn. 

I could've knocked on the door and asked more questions, offered my help to get the cats trapped and fixed.  But I didn't.   I probably have a list a mile long on my desk at home with people asking for help.  Do I want to add another?   I put the car in reverse and left, leaving the cats and kittens, along with a dust trail from my car behind me. 

It only took me 1 hour to get through the 3-story antique mall.  My heart wasn't in it any longer.  I have to admit that the whole situation at the farm ruined my day.  The guilt was heavy on my shoulders and my heart.  Those little faces...  I could still see them scampering away from me.  What would become of them?  Did they have any chance at all?

If I had known the area better, I  would've found another way to the highway in order to avoid that farm and the "Free Kittens" sign.  Oddly enough, I didn't see the sign or the farm again. 

Sadly, I was relieved. 


Anonymous said...

Aww. Definitely not your job to save every cat in the world, though.

I'm curious as to TNR - I know that generally, adult feral cats can't be tamed and should just be TNR, but at what age do rescues or any other groups that deal with feral cat colonies decide that the kittens should be part of that? How old is too old to be rescued? I'm just curious because I once had a cat that I raised from a feral kitten and I almost never hear about feral kittens for adoption anymore. I'm not sure of the organization I adopted mine from; someone I worked with knew the foster mother and I just went to her place. But do most rescues that work with ferals take in the kittens to be socialized if they're under a certain age, or just TNR the whole feral colony?

Caroline said...

OMG, I knew how this story was going to go in that I knew you would pull into the driveway but I'm surprised you had the guts to drive back out. That takes Moxy! Farm ppl look at pets differently than city ppl, they also don't tend to have alot of extra income and some just squeak by. I feel the country vets that treat their cows could offer to neuter their kittens at cost but I also know that country vets are worn off their feet too! If things slow down at your rescue (not likely I know!) I guess you could always drop off a flyer advertising your rescue service. Offering to neuter and vaccinate would probably be the best help because farms have the room to keep cats just not the neutering means. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first person who said you cannot save them all. All you can do is your best and when you are full up you are full up esp in kitten season. I also know the trap and release program is not available for rescues only the SPCA. If it was that would be the solution for the farm. Trap the cats and fix them for $35. esp if the farmer is willing to feed them and allow shelter in the barn. It would be no time and the number of cats left would dwindle.