Feral cats are stinking up the neighborhoods as the wild cat population continues to grow rapidly in city limits of Pratt.
Sometimes I have a strange habit of just sitting in my car when I pull up to the house after a long day at work. I just like to sit there and look around, at the birds, at the trees, at the sky, at the flowers, that is if I am lucky enough to get done with the paper while it is still light outside. The other day I was lucky enough to pull up to my house and just sit there a few moments looking around, and I saw a Siamese-type tom cat strutting down the sidewalk. Then I saw two black cats cut across the neighbors yard on the far corner. Then I saw a striped kitty with a cute pink collar zipping between parked cars, and then I saw the nemisis of my outdoor lawn chairs - a large scruffy yellow tom cat ambling across my front porch, acting like he owned the place. Exactly how many cats are roaming the streets of Pratt, I have no idea, but if I can see five in one block, in just a space of three minutes, image what the real count is!
I have always been a cat person somewhat. Through the years of raising children we all had our favorites, like Frodo - the fluffy Siamese that was cross-eyed, Freya - the loyal little black female that we hand-raised from a baby, Sassy - the big fat dark calico that was addicted to her Purina Cat Chow and wanted to eat constantly, and of course Puff, the big white cat that ate popcorn strings off our Christmas tree.
Cats have been a wonderful part of our family's life, but all off our cats have always been spayed or neutered. Here in Pratt, there seems to be an overabundance of cats, especially those wild ones that are running around shamelessly making babies on street corners and by the McDonald's dumpster. Oh yes, I saw it happening there just last week!
Animal Control spends lots of time chasing loose dogs and fielding barking dog complaints, but what about all those cats? Maybe it's good there are lots of cats around because then we don't have to worry about mice and rats running rampant, right? But loose cats, especially those that look feral, skinny, scruffy and snarly, bring disease and pests to the loved family pets that also reside here.
Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if those male cats would stay away from my front porch chairs, but we have been blessed with a porch-pisser that will not go away.
We used to have a carpet square just outside our front door as a welcome mat, but had to throw it away recently because it reeks of cat urine. And we don't have a cat! The front concrete corner of our house seems to be a favorite "marking" place of neighborhood cats because it stinks, and we often see male cats slinking around the front, stopping at the front corner, and it smells bad - or did I say that already.
The worst part is that I am afraid to sit down on my front porch chairs because I am sure the male cats of the neighborhood have made a stop there during the night. What to do?
We have dogs. They bark every time they hear or see a cat around. They bark a lot, and we scold them for it, but they are just doing their job, trying to scare away the wild cats. I'm not sure if our neighborhood is unique in this town, but there are definitely too many stinking cats running loose.
I'm not advocating a cat-killing spree or a massive trapping effort. I guess I am just hoping that I am not the only one that sees all these feral cats roaming around and maybe someone has a good idea of how to get rid of them.
I'm thinking of getting the biggest bottle of Tabasco sauce that I can find and dousing the front porch and corner of our house. Then I will have to get a case more and spread red fire all the way around our back yard fence. I've heard cats hate Tabasco sauce. I'm ready to give it a try. Because too many cats can stink up a good neighborhood. And I would rather just sit in my car looking at clouds, and birds, and trees, and flowers after work, not cats.