Sunday, June 14, 2009

A needy family

Sometimes generalizations become vividly clear and easy to understand. This month, according to PETA, is adopt-a-cat month. The most casual reader among us knows that shelters are filled with cats and in some areas, feral cats can be targets for elimination, rather than TNR (trap, neuter, release).

OK: a zillion cats need care and homes. Knowing such things, some of us probably look at our own companion cats, know we’re doing our best and conclude, “I can’t do anything more.”

But then, we see an unexpected sight that tears at our hearts. A garden tour in Trenton’s Mill Hill section yesterday provided that sight. And it sticks in the mind.

Rounding a corner while looking for the next sign signaling a back yard ready for visitors, we saw a shuttered house with furniture and junk filling the yard. Standing (briefly!) on top of a high point was a fuzzy little gray kitten: bright eyes, ears perked. Then s/he was gone.

Seconds later, two gray kittens appeared in a different spot of the littered yard. Then, along the inside rail of the fence walked a black, long-haired and green-eyed cat – maybe “mom.” And who knew how many other feline family members watched from under cover.

The sight of cats without a home – and maybe food too – stopped me in my tracks. I understood. I felt the urgency. Then, regretfully, I realized there was nothing I could do.

Sure, maybe I could figure out a person or an agency to contact, but I’m betting (1) these cats have been reported already and/or (2) they’re un-catchable, un-trappable. If in fact that was the mother, obviously she hasn’t been spayed, and before long any kits will prove they weren’t neutered either.

What to do? Except keep thinking about that family, and feeling lousy at being unable to help.

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