It seems it’s always something around here. We have neighbors who let me know there is a situation behind our houses on the edge of the woodland and river path. They spotted five tiny kittens in the empty lot. No mother in sight. This is a sad, but all too common scenario. Behind us is a “sanctioned” feral cat colony. I’m not sure why it is sanctioned, but it is. There are volunteers who take turns feeding the cats. It is not only in the woods behind us, but also along the river in two or three spots. They have built shelters for them, conglomerations of bits of metal sheeting and boxes with bedding. And food dishes. Anyway, people often bring, and dump their kittens and cats thinking they will get fed.

I went out for my walk this morning and I spotted the cats. I was happy to see the Momma cat. She is so small she’s not much more than a kitten herself. She was nursing the two remaining kittens. I don’t know what happened to the other three babies. I saw no evidence of them. I had brought a plate of wet food which I feed my own cats, along with a small jar of milk. I wasn’t sure if the babies could eat solid food. Anyway, I mixed the food and the milk and slid the plate under the fence. Then backed away. The kittens ate EVERY MORSEL. They were ravenous. When I came back after my walk the kittens were playing and so cute! So I plan to go out again later with more food and milk to give them a good boost and hopefully they will survive. The mamma has access to the food someone leaves by the fence so she should be fine. Here’s a picture. Mamma is on the left.

I try to walk early, before this awful heat gets worse. I learned a new word, afa. Nice and short. It means muggy. And it describes perfectly this weather. I was even stopped along my walk by a woman complaining about the umidità. You can guess what that means!
Along the river this morning I snapped a pretty picture.

14 thoughts on “Abandoned

  1. Wendy

    Hi Nancy! I have a bag of cat food, it is for adult cats, but ours won’t eat it. Can I drop it off to you for the stray cats?

  2. Nancy Hampton Post author

    No, people don’t spay/neuter here. Even most pet dogs are left intact. It’s more “natural” they say. And Italian men have a real problem with neutering males ✂️ . It’s frustrating.

  3. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Yep. Especially a hunting dog. You should see how those poor creatures live 😢

  4. Rebecca Phipps

    A lost dog will migrate to a place where someone feeds feral cats, which is what I learned when my brand new little rescue dog escaped my house after being with me for only about 36 hours. After six days of desperate searching, there he was, not far away at all and barely getting by on cat food that a nice man leaves out for feral cats on a daily basis. Many, many poor little feral cats around here. So, if your dog is ever lost, check the places where some nice soul feeds feral cats.

  5. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Norman. Here, in rural Umbria, animals are disposable. Except for pet dogs, and some pet cats, people don’t think about animals as feeling, thinking creatures. They don’t spay and neuter. Even their own dogs. They don’t think it’s natural. Italian men in particular are against neutering, males in particular. Bothers them. There are not vets who volunteer time to neuter. And there are no organizations who trap and release as in a “civilized” society. I will compare it to rural America. People there treat their animals about the same as here. We have a lot of very old fashioned and traditional people here. They don’t see a need. The cats will live in the colonies. And they will die of a disease. And they will procreate. As it’s always been here. Sad but true. I did share costs to neuter 4 cats with a friend. I try.

  6. Norman Oldfield

    I don’t know how it is done in Italy, but in the US, usually a rescue group (or individual) take responsibility for a feral colony, They can provide food and shelter (plastic storage bins with an access hole works well). New additions are to be spayed/neutered. Rescue groups usually work with a vet who may donate their time to provide low cost spay/neuter. Their ears are tipped to indicate they are already fixed. The colony population gradually shrinks or stays the same. This is for the hard core feral. Adoptable cats don’t get ears tipped (makes them less adoptable). We adopted two (not feral) kittens from a rescue group in Italy last year. The momcat was little more than a kitten herself. The most effective way to humanely control overpopulation is TNR (trap neuter release) or adopt. In either case the important thing is getting them fixed. Maybe you can find a rescue group near you that can help with low/no cost spay/neuter. Unless they are already fixed. Sounds like they appreciate your feeding them.

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