I am sorry to report that recently I tested a young barn cat from a horse stables outside of Neenah, and he was positive for Feline Leukemia Virus. This farm has dozens of free roaming cats and kittens, none of which are vaccinated against anything. This kitten was brought to the Fox Valley Cat Clinic by a good samaritan because he was acting very sick, and indeed he was. He was sufferring from Feline Infections Peritonitis along with being FeLV+. And yes, this poor little guy did die.
I was so saddened by this series of events, that I contacted and enlisted a local cat rescue group to help me with this bad situation. But, even though we were willing to trap, leukemia test, and spay/neuter all of his cats and release the healthy ones back to his stables, and find donations to pay for it all-in hopes of stopping the spread of this deadly cat disease, the owner of the horse stables said ABSOLUTELY NOT. He was totally closed to the idea of strangers on his property, and was not concerned about the health of these cats, as "they were not his responsibility".
I realize that I am preaching to the choir, but this attitude is beyond my comprehension. Please forgive my frustrated venting, but apparently in this situation, that is all I can do. I know all who read this will understand. Maybe tomorrow we at the Fox Valley Cat Clinic can save the world (one cat at a time :)
Dr. Maureen Flatley
Living in the country has its charms. Unfortunately, stray cats are an uncharming fact of life if you live in the country. Most of these cats are feral, and take off when I approach. That was Crabbie The Calico's first response 15 years ago.
But she hung around thru the summer of 1996, and proceeded to have a litter of kittens under my grainery (much to my chagrin). So I tamed the kittens once they started to explore their larger world, handled them, socialized them and placed them into good homes. And then live trapped Crabbie and spayed/ vaccinated/ leukemia tested her and released her back into my yard.
And she still hung around....
So I started to feed her, and occasionally gave her a pat with leather gloves. Crabbie started coming when I called her (for food). When winter came, my husband (who is a real softie) made up a bed for Crabbie in our garage -fleece blankets, heated water bowl, private litter box. Crabbie could come and go as she pleased, but chose to spend most winter nights munching from her private foodbowl in the insulated garage. She started sitting on our kitchen porch if she wanted the garage door opened. She would be sitting there when I came home from work. She continued to spend time under our grainery with a variety of wild critters over the years: rabbits, wood chucks, opposums, and ofcourse other strays.
This is Crabbie Cat's 15th year as our outside feral cat. She now runs to us when we call, loves her head scratched, gets daily canned food, tolerates topical flea protection, and sleeps on our deck in the sun when all is quiet in our yard. She just finished her annual tranquilization/ physical exam/ vaccinations/ grooming/ annual labwork at the Fox Valley Cat Clinic, and she is in amazing health for her age. This is the first year I let her wake up from her tranquilizer in a carrier in my house (but away from my house pets). It was too cold in the garage for an old lady cat. I may not be able to save the world, but for one feral calico- Life is Good.
Dr. Maureen Flatley