Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Harley's back, and he's eating like there's no tomorrow. Which there may not be, considering that he's a feral cat and a really wild one who won't let us even come near him, let alone pick him up and bring him inside where it's safe and warm. We thought he might have frozen to death or been trapped under a building by falling snow or shut in some shed where he had taken shelter. We hadn't seen him for over a week. But then, much to our surprise, he showed up at our doorstep last night. For months now, we've been putting out food for him when he showed up twice a day. He always tears off to a corner of the yard when we open the door, but comes back to eat once we go back inside.
We've considered trapping him and taking him to an animal shelter, but he's such a wild cat I doubt he could ever be socialized as a pet, which means he would probably be put to death. Would that be kinder than leaving him to fend for himself outside for the rest of his doubtlessly shortened life? I don't know. In the meantime, we give him lots of food when he comes around (hoping he'll thus be less likely to hunt our birds), and he drinks from our electric birdbath. My husband even built him a snug insulated cat house, but he won't even go near it. We think he lives under a neighbor's closed-up house.
We called him Harley because of his harlequin markings, and also because he looks tough and hardened like someone who might ride a Harley. We sure wish he weren't such a loner because we would love to give him a home. Our three house cats observe him through the screens in summer and don't get all hissy about him coming around, but they might not be so welcoming if we got Harley inside "their" house.