Ghost of a Chance
Who really owns the city? Cats. Feral cats, that is.
Trap and remove one (in a live trap, of course), and another will soon take over its territory.
That's Julius in the photo on the right. He is a son of Molly and (probably.. maybe) Phantom, two ferals. They have produced three litters in the past year.
Julius was live-trapped as an adult by two neighborhood residents, Katie and Ellen. He was neutered, and re-released because he is too wild.
Katie and Ellen are also caring for TJ, Molly's daughter from her next litter after the Julius-Jolson-Chance litter (more about Jolson and Chance later). TJ just gave birth to five kittens in her first litter. She and her three surviving kittens are indoors, but she is a biter and may be re-released.
Katie and Ellen have tried to capture and spay Molly, but she is wily and fierce. After Molly bit her Katie had to take the rabies shots.
Phantom too is a beast you would not care to tangle with. We're not talking warm cuddly fluffballs here. We're talking scarred street fighters.
Julius has a brother, Jolson, who became tame enough to be adopted into Katie and Ellen's home.
The third brother, Chance, looked a lot like Julius. One morning a couple weeks ago as I was heading out the door to work I heard a loud thump from a car that had just sped past. Chance came running toward me, screaming and dragging his back legs.
The driver stopped down the street long enough to ascertain that it wasn't anything she could be arrested for, and then left without even getting out of her car. Ellen got him into a cat carrier and to the vet within minutes. But his injuries were too severe. He didn't survive.
I can hear you saying well, it was a sure bet that sooner or later one of the ferals was going to be hit. That's true. At the same time, people drive too fast in the city. That could have been someone's car being hit as they backed out of their parking space. Or it could have been a person.
Katie and Ellen and the other neighbors who donate food and supplies deserve a lot of credit for the time, expense and personal risk they put into helping the cats.
They've worked closely with the Humane League of Lancaster County's Spay/Neuter Clinic and its Trap-Neuter-Return program. Read more at http://humaneleague.com/services/trap-neuter-return-program-2/.