Feral Cats on City Property Doomed

Posted on July 19, 2011


        I ought to save my outrage for the Kingston City Laws and Rules meeting tonight at 7 pm at Kingston NY city hall, but I’m too PO”d to shut up.

       For  many months I have volenteered my time, energy, and expertise in the CATS, the Mayor’s Task Force on Kingston’s burgeoning feral cat population.  I have sat patiently through endless discussions of “protocols” and “mission statement” and the placement of commas on doorknob hangers.  At every meeting I would say, “You can’t push a string.  Shouldn’t the city show a good example by spaying and neutering the feral cat colony ever-growing at one of the city’s own buildings?”

        At every meeting, somehow my comment got lost in the duscussion of the Mayor’s charge to the task force.  City Clerk Arlene did tell me two cats from the colony had been caught and neutered.   Obviously not the little yellow kitten who was pregnant at 6 months of age.  Obviously not the little boy kitten who took a shine to me and followed me around rubbing on my ankles and purring and eating cat treats out of my hand.  I knew better than to name him.   I named him anyway.   His name was Winky, for “Winken, Blinken and Nod.”

          I have not been back to the building where the feral colony was since July 4, for reasons that I’ll deal with in another post.  I missed Winky.   It seemed to me he had potential as a pet.   Aweek ago….

    ….a week ago today….

    ….pardon me while I dry my eyes……a week ago today….just about this time….I took a carrier and cat treats to the city building.   Winky ran to me, ate hungrily from my hand.   I threw the treats into the cage.   He ran in, and didn’t even object when I closed the door on his tail, his lovely, extra long agile tail.   His spaying was scheduled for Friday.  He seemed content in my cat cage, eager for unlimited food and affection….Friday I was booked to volenteeer all day with the Animal Hospice of New York Parking Lot Sale.  I rushed Winky to the Kingston Animal Hospital and asured him…..

    ….just a minute, let me get a tissue…..

       …..assured him he could eat his fill in the evening, that he couldn’t eat before he visited with Dr. Rugg.  I told the receptionist I would be back for him when the sale was over at 5.   I rushed back to get him as soon as the sale closed.

          The vet tech came in with an empty cage and tears in her eyes.

           Winky had tested positive for both Feline AIDS and Feline Leukemia.   The protocol was immediate euthenasia.

         Winky’s sister (twin, same coloration, same litter) is pregnant by Winky.

        He had sex and fought and swapped fluids with every cat in the feral colony and most of the neighborhood pets.

        They all have to be caught, and tested.   Including his six-month old pregnant sister who was almost taken to a cat sanctuary to give birth, except I couldn’t catch her.    If her blood and afterbirth had contaminated the sanctuary, all the cat there would have been doomed.

         The CATS task force was formed as an alternative to mass euthenasia.  Instead, the city dragged its feet until an entire colony and all the neighboring pet cats are going to face either a lifetime of being contagious fatally to every cat they contact, or ..the end of all nine of their lives….

         I bet the doorhanger are going to be gorgious.   They had better be.   They just cost dozens of cats their lives.


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