I recently moved into a little bungalow in the middle of an old part of Canoga Park. The block holds three large groves of eucalyptus trees–holdovers from when the property had not been subdivided and had been part of local ranches–and a good amount of overgrown open space, and as such plays host to all sorts of fauna adapted to living on the loose in suburbia: Raccoons. Possum. Rats. Mice. Hawks. Owls. Parrots.
I am allergic to cats. I never cared much for cats. I was a Dog Person.
Then I moved into this house, and realized it came with Yard Cats.
Cats are pretty highly modified from their wild counterparts. Their constitutions are not as hardy as, say, bobcats or ocelots. They survive ok on their own, going feral and clawing their way through a short and hungry life, but they aren’t built for that. They were bred for a gentler kind of life.
Click through for the saga of Meowlers, my little ball-less wonder, and the wonderful service that is FixNation.
* Ok, only karmic profit…and no, not much fun, but a good deed nonetheless.
Meowlers was the second cat to show up on my doorstep, but at first he wouldn’t even let me see him. He’d bolt if I so much as poked my head out the door. Over time, though, he became friendlier and friendlier, allowing me closer and closer. Finally after a few months we got to the point where I could pet him.
He was a vocal little fella, so we named him Meowlers. He seems to just meow to check in. Meow, hi, how are you? Meow, where’s dinner? Meow, I’m rubbing on your leg. Meow, what’s that up there? Meow, it’s good to see you back from work. Meow, goodnight.
With the whole allergic thing, I have to strictly monitor the cats and make sure they don’t get into my stuff. They wander in the house and flop on the floor, but are not allowed near the bed. Meowlers has now transformed from a fraidy-cat into a very domestic house-cat who, reluctantly, spends his nights outside, so I can avoid having the sneezles all night long.
A while back I awoke to a terrible sound outside the house in the dead of night. Here’s what happened:
I decided that losing the unnamed, unknown kitten in such a horrifying way was the final straw.
What would I do if this happened to Meowlers?! I’d never forgive myself for being so selfish as to keep them in the yard, feeding them, and not looking for a safe home for them. I resolved to get these cats fixed and find them homes (homes where they could climb on the bed and stay in at night), as much as it broke my heart to give them to others and not see them again.
FixNation is a nonprofit organization that will spay & neuter your cats & kittens for free (and will accept donations if you can pay). Their goal is zero homeless cats & kittens in Los Angeles.
We resolved to begin trapping the cats one by one & taking them to FixNation. But this would prove more daunting than we had anticipated…
…to be continued…