I am honoured to write this slot for the wonderful Pauline Dewberry and hope that you enjoy it.  I will be writing about my love of cats and how this led me to adopting and taking care of a colony of feral cats.  I hope to tell some stories, provide information on ferals and generally share my love of cats with you.

DollyI love cats.  In fact, for as long as I can remember I have loved cats. Dogs feature in there too but cats have been, for a long time, close to my heart.  I really should have checked with my husband before I married him whether he felt the same.  I was lulled into a false sense of security there, when on our first holiday, cats seemed to like him.  They made a beeline for him and totally ignored me, adorer of cats! One even crawled up on to his chest as he lay out in the sun.  He didn’t bat an eyelid or indeed bat the cat away, so although he didn’t mention cats when I expounded their virtues, I assumed he was, at least, fond.  Sadly, as time went on, I realised that this was not the case.  He doesn’t like them or dislike them; he is just indifferent to them.  They hold no interest or attraction for him.  He cannot understand how or why I love them so much and in truth, neither can I.  But it still remains, that I do and will forever.  It’s an intrinsic part of me.

Bubbles_ScribblesI knew, in marrying my husband, the likelihood of ever having a pet cat was zero.  However, I hoped that with time, I would eventually persuade him.  I hoped that if he saw how happy I was in the company of cats, he would eventually agree.  Sadly, my fawning over the cats of friends and family and my greetings of strange cats in the street had the opposite effect.  So I was over the moon to see, when we bought and moved into our house four years ago, it came with cats that lived in the garden.  Sad, bad, bedraggled cats, but feline friends all the same.

It started off that there were a lot of cats but a neighbour had some of them taken away.  This upset me and Molly_Scribbles_Peppy_Dolly_Boris made me decide to adopt and take care of the remaining cats.  They could have the shelter of our garden shed and we bought kennels for them to live in. We decided to have them neutered so that they could not reproduce and could enjoy their lives. The main cats were duly christened, Bubbles, Scribbles, Molly, Dolly and Boris.  I managed to borrow a humane cat trap and we set to work trapping the cats and having them neutered.  Thankfully my next door neighbour shares the costs and our local vet gives us a charity rate for treatments. Some of the cats were already pregnant but we felt we had no choice but to curb the population. Five cats and three or four visiting cats was quite enough.  However, before we managed to have Dolly done, she gave birth yet again so we now have Peppy and Trixie as well. There were other kittens, but they seemed to just disappear.  I don’t like to think what may have happened to them.

Thankfully my four year old son follows in my footsteps and loves the cats too.  He was responsible for naming Bubbles, Scribbles and Trixie and he tells me that when he grows up, he wants to be a vet so he can help all the little cats too. People who see our cats comment that they do not look like ferals.  This is a lovely testament to the loving care that they now get.  See below some photos of our lovely feral feline friends.

Bio:

 
Claire Hegarty B lives in Ireland with her husband, son and adopted feral cats.  She is on a career break from her job in Tourism to care for her son and mother. In her spare time she likes to write, pet-sit and practice yoga. She writes four blogs, one of which is to showcase the feral cats she cares for and to highlight the plight of their peers.
If you'd like to visit her blog, check out the following:

 

One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)

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