To feed, or not to feed? That is the question. October 5, 2012Posted by ourfriendben in critters, homesteading, pets.
Tags: outdoor cats, stray cats
Silence Dogood here. It’s been several years since an outdoor cat showed up here at Hawk’s Haven, the cottage home our friend Ben and I share in the precise middle of nowhere, PA. But yesterday, as OFB was taking our beloved black German shepherd, Shiloh, for a walk in the backyard, an orange cat shot out from under our studio, raced across to the deck, ran across the deck, and vanished under it. (OFB managed to dissuade Shiloh from following suit.)
For the cat to make directly for the deck, rather than fleeing across the yard, indicates a familiarity with our property and suggests that it must have been hanging around here for some time. Which of course brings up the old question, should we feed it or not?
Here at Hawk’s Haven, we appreciate the work outdoor cats do to keep the local mouse population down. The fewer mice in the yard, the fewer will try to flee to the (comparative) warmth and shelter of the house when cold weather sets in. But as we’ve discovered, setting out bowls of catfood and water can attract other critters, including more cats, ‘possums, skunks, and raccoons. Nothing like looking out on the deck and seeing a giant ‘possum or pair of baby skunks eating the catfood!
So we’re torn. To feed, or not to feed? That is the question. What would you do?
‘Til next time,