So as some of you know, there’s a couple of feral cats that’s been visiting my garden and eating my birds and my frogs.
This displeases me greatly, since I didn’t design this garden to be an ecological sink, like some kind of horrible avian Roach Motel, and I have been trying to live-trap the damn things with no success.
Had to stop trying to trap for the season because it’s gotten so hot that if they’re stuck in a cage outdoors for hours, the cats may well expire of heat exhaustion, and while I have no qualms about taking a feral to the pound, I have a lot of qualms about it dying one of the more unpleasant deaths at my hands. So the cats are back, although they run like hell when a human comes (so I’m pretty sure by now that they are ferals rather than strays.)
Went out in the garden this morning to fix the soaker hoses, not thinking about much of anything, and there is an explosion of fur as one of the cats, who has been lurking around the birdfeeders, takes off at a run…and hits the chain-link fence like an idiot and runs its damnfool head into the fence and is then stuck.
I grab my gloves and run up to discover the cat is in the process of strangling itself in the chain-link. (I’ve heard of this happening with wild animals on fences with a good run up, but it hasn’t happened here in over a decade–everything is undergrowth and trees and vines and you generally can’t get a good enough run at the fence to get stuck. But the cat managed.)
Well, now I’m sunk, because I can’t pull the cat back out without probably breaking its neck, I can’t go and get the wire cutters and cut the fence open because it will kill itself before I get back–its tongue is already hanging out and things are Not Going Well–so I do the only thing I can think of and grab the fence and try to haul the wires apart and hope the cat’s got enough presence of mind to go back instead of forward.
(If you’re familiar with the construction of chain link, you’re aware that this was just this side of useless–I couldn’t get my fingers hooked through the wire around the cat’s neck, all I could do was haul on the wires near it and try to compress them enough to give it a quarter inch or so more to work with. This had my hands awfully close to the cat’s head and I figured if it got loose, there was a 50/50 chance I’d get a really spectacular cat bite, which would be an exciting trip to the E.R. for the rabies shot and the really good antibiotics.)
Well, luck was with both of us. It got loose and my gloves protected me from any random flailing. I had a vague hope I’d get enough time to grab the damn beast before it got far–it probably injured itself, and I still hope to get it off the streets–but it was out of there like a shot, over the gate and into the woods. A ninja could maybe have caught it, but I am nobody’s idea of a ninja.
The cat is NOT in good shape, incidentally–leaving aside any neck injuries it may have just sustained, it’s nothing but fur and bones and there’s some kind of huge scar or mat along one leg that I didn’t get a good look at–and I would very much like to trap it, both for my birds and so it can get either medical care or a good home or a better end than nature will provide.
If you must have outdoor cats, people, for the love of god, spay and neuter them. This sort of thing is unconscionable and it’s entirely the fault of lazy-ass humans and swear to god, it’s things like this that are going to drive me to start drinking before noon.