I feel like i let my feral cats down

moreknow

learning to help ferals :)
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Hi all,
I posted this morning about a pack of dogs killing a kitten and leaving it there, and asked for help on how to keep them away.. Im hopeful that they'll go away soon but still, I can't help but feel absolutely devastated.
I've had this feral cat colony for 4 years, and ive seen cats come and go, but until this last year i decided to actually care for them like they're all my pets. Some stay indoors, some spend nights in my garage, and the skittish cats stay outside. i am tryin to get them all fixed and socialized by the end of the year so i can finally have peace. I have been taking "attendance" everyday, analyzing every cats' behavior, and give extra attention to those cats i feel need it. I take every necessary precaution to keep them safe and healthy but last night at 2am i get shocked with 5 dogs coming into my backyard and attack my cats.. I shot at them with my air pistol, and see the poor kitten laying there lifeless.. I am heartbroken once again, and my anxiety has returned to harm my mental health. Even though this is the second time i've seen one of my cats get killed by dogs, i still cannot get over the fact that he passed away.. like he wasn't even one of the main cats i looked out for since it was skittish, but it did come inside to eat and meow at me b/c he trusted me and i'd pet him when i could, and he was only around for about 4 months or so. Regardless, i cared for him and i just can't get over the fact at how cruel life can be.. i picture myself being the cat in its last moments and it really breaks me.. i've lost so many cats and i always cry about it, but regardless, my mission continues
It would really mean everything to me to have your thoughts shared with me, despite being a 'university guy' as my dad says, i become an emotional wreck when it comes to losing my cats. I really want to learn how to be strong and not feel this way about the cats crossing the bridge :)

God bless and thanks in advance,
Uriel
 
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moreknow

learning to help ferals :)
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Hi :) it's awesome to have a catlover nearby
I believe they are because i see them hang out by a bridge away from any houses.. i already called Harris County pets but they say it may take up to 3 days for them to show up :)
and i am trapping 3 cats tonight to take them to SNAP in Houston, i live in Baytown
I am slowly but surely trying to make things safe and secure for the cats in my backyard since i dont have a fence, i hope i can find the right materials to build a catio
 

Jcatbird

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There are some catio kits out there if you need one. Make sure to use strong materials on the structure to keep things out.
I have been doing rescues a very long time and I am so sorry for the loss. It is hard when we care. They all give us a part of their hearts but you give them a part of yours too. I think that caring so much makes you a great guardian to them. It’s the way you care that makes them willing to trust you. Sadly, we do suffer from losses. Sometimes it is old age or illness and sometimes it is quick. This kitty may not have even been scared. Try to put in your mind that thought and that no matter what, that kitty got the comfort of being fed, loved and human kindness. Realize that so many lives never get to have what that kitty knew. I would gladly have you as my human if I were a cat. Life would be very sweet for whatever time I have. Mourn this one but know that you will go on to be there for so many others. I can tell you that I mourned, still do, each loss too. Still, others need us. We keep going and if you can focus that loss into your work with the others, it might help. You are doing something that many would just turn their backs on. That’s huge. That one will be watching over you. Thank you so much for what you are doing. It takes people like you to make our world better. We need more like you. My heart is with you.
 
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moreknow

learning to help ferals :)
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There are some catio kits out there if you need one. Make sure to use strong materials on the structure to keep things out.
I have been doing rescues a very long time and I am so sorry for the loss. It is hard when we care. They all give us a part of their hearts but you give them a part of yours too. I think that caring so much makes you a great guardian to them. It’s the way you care that makes them willing to trust you. Sadly, we do suffer from losses. Sometimes it is old age or illness and sometimes it is quick. This kitty may not have even been scared. Try to put in your mind that thought and that no matter what, that kitty got the comfort of being fed, loved and human kindness. Realize that so many lives never get to have what that kitty knew. I would gladly have you as my human if I were a cat. Life would be very sweet for whatever time I have. Mourn this one but know that you will go on to be there for so many others. I can tell you that I mourned, still do, each loss too. Still, others need us. We keep going and if you can focus that loss into your work with the others, it might help. You are doing something that many would just turn their backs on. That’s huge. That one will be watching over you. Thank you so much for what you are doing. It takes people like you to make our world better. We need more like you. My heart is with you.
Jcatbird, thank you so much.
I never was into cats until they came into my life 4 years ago. Even though they caused me a lot of sacrifice i think it will be worth it, i cant wait till everything is in order and peace and prosperity comes into my backyard with these cats..
Apart from that, your words were very touching. the last part of your paragraph is what made me cry and happy at the same time.. I feel much more better about what has occurred. Every cat that i ever cared for, dead or alive, has experienced human kindness and love, and I hope to be righteous in this life so that i can see them all again in Heaven. Thank you so so so much for these thoughts, it has really impacted me in a good way 🧡
 
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moreknow

learning to help ferals :)
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Here is a video of one catio done by another rescuer. Notice the tunnel that goes to the inside of the house. Walli Bedroom
I really will try doing something like this soon, only problem is i need to know where to buy them exactly 🤔
I plan on posting another thread with pictures asking for advice on how to set up my backyard to be weatherproof and dogproof for my cats
 
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moreknow

learning to help ferals :)
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There are some catio kits out there if you need one. Make sure to use strong materials on the structure to keep things out.
I have been doing rescues a very long time and I am so sorry for the loss. It is hard when we care. They all give us a part of their hearts but you give them a part of yours too. I think that caring so much makes you a great guardian to them. It’s the way you care that makes them willing to trust you. Sadly, we do suffer from losses. Sometimes it is old age or illness and sometimes it is quick. This kitty may not have even been scared. Try to put in your mind that thought and that no matter what, that kitty got the comfort of being fed, loved and human kindness. Realize that so many lives never get to have what that kitty knew. I would gladly have you as my human if I were a cat. Life would be very sweet for whatever time I have. Mourn this one but know that you will go on to be there for so many others. I can tell you that I mourned, still do, each loss too. Still, others need us. We keep going and if you can focus that loss into your work with the others, it might help. You are doing something that many would just turn their backs on. That’s huge. That one will be watching over you. Thank you so much for what you are doing. It takes people like you to make our world better. We need more like you. My heart is with you.
i keep re-reading this message, i cherish it so much
 

di and bob

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I have gone through the same heartbreak with my dumped strays and ferals. Most found lying on your busy road, but some killed by coyotes and dogs. Of course, it hurts, they each have their own little personalities and it is soul-shattering to think after their hard life, it ends this way.....
But we have to push forward. You mean so much to each and very little one there at your place. None of us can just give up because it hurts too much, so somehow we go on. All of us are not guaranteed a tomorrow, there is an end to each and every life. Yes, it hurts to lose those we grow to love that way, but think of what you meant to that precious little soul up until that point. They knew someone cared, they were happy and got fed. So many never know that comfort. Their tiny hearts are at peace because of what you provided for them. Of course, you will mourn, they squirmed their way into your heart and a hole is formed there when they leave. Time is the only thing that helps with grief, and in time and with more added loves, that hole will fill. Each and every love is irreplacable, each new love will reside beside it and make it even more special. Just as you would want for them if you were the first to go, so they want for you. To not dwell on the death and the sadness it brings but to go forward into life and seek its beauty and the satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference in the little lives that are around you. And let that comfort you, you can gain comfort by comforting them.
I moved out into the country and there are coyotes all around here. we have an old garage and leave the garage door open about 8 inches to let the cats go inside. I plan to build a shed with an open end and build a corral inside with the wood fence around it just wide enough for kittens and cats to slip through to hide. Their heated huts can go inside that too for the winter. Do you have any outbuildings at all to make an opening just big enough for a cat to slip through? That would help. Or maybe get some scrap lumper and build a little house they can get into with a back opening too to escape?
Sometimes no matter what we do, bad things happen. It is nature's way to keep the population in check. It is millions of years old and will go on long after we leave. The thing is to make a difference while you are here, and you are doing that, I salute you......RIP all those little ones who are taken way too soon. You will never be forgotten, you will always occupy a secure place in a loving heart. May the good Lord bless and keep you, until you meet again!
 

zed xyzed

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Bless you for caring for the ones that are forgotten and left behind. Looking after them can unfortunately bring so much heartbreak when you can't save them from all of life's perils. It take a good person and a strong heart. I am sorry you lost one of you cherished friends in such an awful manner. My heart goes out to you.
 

catsknowme

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moreknow moreknow You have received comforting words from some of our finest members. With each loss, cat rescuers add another fiber of recovery and inspiration to their tapestry of strength. I am so sorry for the kitten - those dogs are a terrible danger to the public & I hope that AC captures them soon.
 

solomonar

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Pack strategy - that is for dogs, wolves, coyotes. They hunt using precise group tactics - hard to believe a cat in a flat space could resist.
I am very sorry you passed through such a terrible event.

Some practical ideas:
- plant trees - no matter how good hunters they might be, no dog can climb a tree
- build narrow-entrance shelters (using boxes or whatever) - they can also be nice landscape-maker features
- keep your own dog - the more powerful, the better (he will defend the cats, at least by keeping the alien dogs away)
- plant species with thorns around the main vulnerable entrance points - they can equally discourage the dogs and provide shelter for cats (who are smaller than dogs, usually)
- leave your non-washed clothes near the vulnerable areas (this is a weak strategy, but give it a try)
- install sensor lamps (weak measure, but could work)
- secure all garbage bins outside, do not let water on the soil (these measures are to avoid dogs attractors like free food and fresh water).
- if no fence and no catio possibilities, then install DiY shelters (strong enforced cardboard boxes if no other possibility) - they may not resist a dog pack, but they can at least save time for you to show up - every little counts.
- keep a bunch of stones on a plate near your entrance and start throwing them whenever you see a dog (don't worry, I doubt you can wound them)
- write a petition to the mayor to collect the stray dogs (if this is possible in your area)

My heart goes with you, keep your soul warm and your hopes alive!
 
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