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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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A Cat’s Tale

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First things first, I must admit that I was having a difficult time titling this story, and for some reason (not known to me), my mind was thinking of that Heath Ledger movie, “A Knights Tale,” so voila! Now, I have been meaning to do a story on cats and this one is not going to be about your average house kitty. My aim here is going to be about those cats that are defined as feral. Cats can be great companions, especially if a person is lonely or needs some extra love and attention. This craving for animal affection can sometimes get people in trouble, as some do not get the animal neutered or spayed, and the numbers get out of control.

There are stories on the news quite often about cat hoarders whose animals are feral, as they may have been fed but not maintained.

When I think of a feral cat, I am picturing one that slips around the neighborhoods in the evenings or comes out of the woods just long enough to survey the territory for food or another cat intruding on its “marked” territory. I can speak of this because just the other night, I saw a cat slip into the woods along the back side of our compound. It wasn’t long before there was the unmistakable crying and wailing of “cat calls” before the fight ensued! We also have an acquaintance at church of an elderly woman who speaks of the cats coming around her place just long enough to grab a quick bite of cat food and a sip of either water or milk and off they go again.

A friend, Ms. Diane Liptak, who works with homeless animals, recently wrote to me and asked that I look into the feral cat problem in our county. She offered me some information on what she had seen going on. She said that an employee of a “Dollar” store saw a car pull into the parking lot, the door opened, and two cats were literally thrown out onto the asphalt. She was told that those cats kept returning to that spot on the property, looking to be picked up by the owner. They were picked up but not by the owner. I mention this because this is one of the main ways these cats get introduced to the “outdoor life.” Now, the picture I have supplied came from a brochure that is handed out by animal control officers and employees. It was given to me by the manager of the Hernando County Animal Services. His name is James Terry, and he deals with domestic and feral cats every day. The cat in the supplied picture has a “marker” on its body that I need to speak of. Its left ear has been “tipped” or clipped (on purpose) to show us that it has gone through the TNVR (trap, neuter, vaccine, and return) procedure. All of the cats that are caught are also checked for an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip before anything else is done. The brochure that was put out by Animal Services is very informative regarding this issue and states that County Animal Services will no longer impound cats with “tipped” ears. If you are wanting more information about this topic, you can call their offices at (352) 796-5062.

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I hope that this story has supplied some info that one may not have known about. I learned something new about the cats’ left ear getting “tipped,” so this is something that I will be looking out for! I hope that you all have a good (and blessed) week!

Steve Goodwin is a recently retired Christian conservative veteran (of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division), who still feels that “duty to country” did not end when the military uniform got hung up. He and his wife Cecelia live on the edge of a beautifully wooded tract of land just south of the bypass, and are involved in not only church activities, but also attend school board meetings and local community action events as well.

Steven Goodwin
Steven Goodwin
Steve Goodwin is a recently retired Christian conservative veteran (of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division), who still feels that "duty to country" did not end when the military uniform got hung up. He and his wife Cecelia live on the edge of a beautifully wooded tract of land just south of the bypass, and are involved in not only church activities, but also attend school board meetings and local community action events as well.
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