Another way to handle feral cats

Dear Editor,

I am not a zoologist, but according to Bob Mount of Auburn, I am a felinophile. I am at the same time an ornithophile, in fact I am a lover of all God’s creation. 
I fear that Mr. Mount, in his recent letter to the editor to the Shelby County Reporter, titled “Feral cats should be declawed,” did not fully utilize his degree in zoology. First and foremost, nature, all of nature, is pure in its order of survival.

If cats were not meant to devour birds, they would not be able to do so. Having stated the obvious, I would ask Mr. Mount, just how he would expect feral cats to feed without their claws?

Surely a zoologist knows that a cat hunts and uses its claws to feed. Also, declawing a cat is a painful and debilitating method of keeping your furniture from being clawed. I also believe “house cats” stay indoors.
Perhaps a short tutorial on trap, neuter and release is in order. I will use my situation as an example.
Four years ago my husband and I began to feed the feral cats in our neighborhood. We also procured “Care Snare” humane traps. In our cul-de-sac alone, we trapped 26 cats within a few weeks; they were immediately neutered, ears tipped, vaccinated and chipped, then released back into their territory, a storm drain at the end of our street.

We continue to feed ferals in our garage and even have a mockingbird that feeds along with these ferals. Over the years we have seen the feral cats grow old and disappear, either passing away by nature or as a link in nature’s food chain.

What we are left with are four feral cats who wander in and out of our garage, eating as they want, allowing a bird to come and eat from their dish. What we don’t have is a plethora of feral cats, reproducing a mile a minute, spraying to mark their territory, killing every bird and small animal it can catch.

Instead we have feral cats who keep other ferals out of their territory. Otherwise, by now, we could have an untold number of feral cats in this small community. Trap, neuter and release is a proven way to deal with the strays and leftovers that litter our state.

I commend Montevallo for stepping up to provide this more than worthy cause.

Carla Smith