The day I moved in, I noticed a note on my door noting that there were a few stray cats in the area and that Shelly* and her friend Carrie* were long time rescuers and were hoping to finally get these cats rescued and into good homes. I spoke to Shelly one day and she noted that one next door neighbor was an older gentleman that would leave food and water on his stoop for the cats. At some point, my front porch also became home to a food and water bowl. Prior to me moving in, there were also little shelter boxes placed next to a vent from the basement in the winter so the cats could stay warm.
Shelly stopped over to feed the cats before work, during lunch, and after work. Mind you, she lives 10 minutes away and Carrie doesn't even live in Des Moines. Carrie has been rescuing cats from the neighborhood for years, 25 cats or so, so I figured this operation was totally legit and they'd have these cats rescued in no time.
Boy was I wrong.
After coming home to this scene one night last week, I just couldn't help but laugh.
|Cat, cardboard trap, big trap by dumpster, someone laying on the|
ground on the other side of the dumpster.
And yes, I realize my dash needs cleaned. That's not the point.
And then I offered up my entire front porch for their traps because I'd heard one of the cats meowing the night before. So for about 4 or 5 days, this was the scene.
|Um yea, that cat food was INSIDE the trap but is now outside??|
I'm thinking they didn't actually have these set to trap anything....
And then I came home to this on Wednesday. Carrie had parked herself on the sidewalk in front of my house with a trap set up on the porch. This is the picture my neighbor sent me.
All I could think was, "Oh my god, what in the world have I gotten myself into?" Well, the neighbor that sent the photo came over and asked to speak to me alone (as I was chatting with Carrie). As soon as we got inside, my neighbor said, "That lady is crazy. She is not rescuing these cats, she's feeding them. She's been feeding them for years, they are not trying to rescue them, they want these cats to live in their natural habitat and they are not trying to find homes for them." Oh, okay. Well, I wish I had known that before I'd offered up my space.
Oddly enough, that very night, both cats were captured. I'm very suspicious of this because my neighbor has actually called the police on them many times before because she knew way more than I did. They've been trying to catch these cats for MONTHS, like before I moved in - YEARS before I moved in and then all of the sudden when the one neighbor talks to me, they are magically caught within hours of our conversation?? Sounds incredibly fishy to me. So I'll leave you with the recap from the neighbor, whose husband saw it all go down:
Ryan actually witnessed the first cat being caught yesterday. He said that the old lady flung both arms in the air and screamed with delight! Her old male companion came running out of the car and he also had both hands in the air. Then they couldn't figure out how to take the cat home, so I believe they called Shelly and spent an hour trying to get the cat in a portable cage. After this they all hugged each other and the drama was over.
So the cats are gone - or at least I think they are...one of them was pregnant and I'm pretty sure I heard a meow coming from under my porch this morning....
UPDATE: I wrote this post on Thursday and as of publishing today (Monday), I can confirm that there are kittens under the porch. I'm going to try and get them out and to the Animal Rescue League. If you saw under the porch, you'd know why my trying might not be enough. It's a mess under there and full of old trim, columns, and probably a whole lot of other stuff I don't want to know about.
*names have been changed to protect the identity of these "rescuers"