When we lived in the city, we rarely encountered feral cats, although there were plenty of them. Living in the country in Blanco has taught us a lot more about living with animals, for they are an integral part of the landscape in our neighborhood and on our property. The Blanco County Cat Coalition has been tremendously helpful to us in this regard. Our feral cat population has been under control for two years now, thanks to the Coalition’s help with spaying and neutering and instruction on how to use our own traps. This has been very important to us recently.
When our dear friend and neighbor died last spring, we had promised to take care of his animals, meaning to find them good homes. This promise was reassuring to him and to us. Our decision to place his dog, May, with a family of ranchers self described as “dog lovers” turned out badly when they shot the dog. We think now that they took May for her expensive dog house. We were determined that nothing should go wrong with Kinkster, our friend’s cat. Kinkster, named after Kinky Friedman, is a beautiful 12-year-old female calico with three legs. The 4th was lost a long time ago to a snake bite or to a coyote.
We fed Kinkster through the summer at her familiar habitat under our friend’s house. When the property was sold, our agreement with the new owner was that Kinkster would continue to live there, in the hope that prospective new tenants would want her. When we went out of town for a week, other friends of the Coalition, Adrienne and Andy Larsen, fed Kinkster in our absence. All of us fell in love with her.
Then, late one night in September, we were given notice that a new tenant was moving into Kinkster’s property and that his pit bull didn’t like cats. Laddie and I had to act immediately to attempt to intercept Kinkster and hopefully save her life. This was made difficult by the circumstances of people moving and the presence of the dog. Kinkster freaked out, of course. She took off on her 3 legs and we were not able to transfer her by hand to a carrier.
We were distressed, but, because of all of the instruction we received, we had plenty of experience trapping cats ourselves with our own traps. When Kinkster wouldn’t come, we took away her food bowl and baited 2 traps with tuna. We checked them daily and found her one hot day, somewhat dehydrated, but alive and well. We took her home, where she lived in one of our bedrooms until we could find her a home. Kinkster is now at home with Adrienne and Andy Larsen, where she plays in their garden with their dog, Jackie, who happens to love cats.
Laddie and I are 66 and 65 years old. If our adrenaline reserves become depleted, they don’t restore themselves as quickly as when we were younger. If we had not had our traps, this situation could have turned out badly. If Kinkster had been killed, we would have been unhappy. Instead, we were able to be proactive.
Our affiliation and experience with the Cat Coalition strengthened our ability to do the right thing; to keep a promise to our good friend and protect a beloved pet who has only known love and does not need to know otherwise.
All of us have probably been touched in some way by the Coalition. It is truly a network of kindness in our small town. By association, we are all connected to it.
I am a member now and participate in their activities when I can. Their kindness towards animals counters the other experiences I’ve described. I strongly encourage you to join or participate as you are able.
The Cat Coalition is of great help to all of us, and is a great group of people. We would love to have you join us. Please see the website at www.blancocountycats.org for more information.