Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - Nov. 3,
The tigers among us Sunning on a shelf by the window, leaping down from
the work bench upon hearing the refrigerator door open, grasping at the drawstring of
my house coat, stalks my wild, slightly domesticated cats. Inside those lithe
muscular bodies beats the hearts of hunters, dreamers along with distinct memories of
surviving on their own in the wilderness.
If youd asked me a few years back, Are you a cat or dog person? I
wouldve been one of those people that admitted, Im a dog
person. I enjoy the companionship of dogs, hiking, canoeing, running and
playing with dogs. I didnt see myself as a cat person.
That all changed when a little starving, near death, black kitty came into my life.
I carried her around for nearly three weeks, for she was too weak to walk on her own.
I hand-force fed her. The vet knew I would be in promptly every other day for her
glucose shot. Everyone said I must be prepared for the worst and one vet advised me
that perhaps it was time to let her go.
Well, I figured as long as she was not willing to give it up, then I was not willing
to give up on her. That theory paid off handsomely. One morning as I was eating my
bowl of cereal with lactose free milk (for those that will scorn milk for Kitty)
Kitty raised her head and gently licked at the bowl. That morning we shared our first
bowl of cereal together.
Her recovery from this point on was rapid. Each morning Id pretend to eat my
bowl of cereal while a second bowl with strained chicken awaited me on the counter.
Within a couple of weeks Kitty began thriving, filling out, actively playing,
although rarely leaving my side.
Some people say cats simply tolerate humans. No one can deny that cats are certainly
independent and could and live on their own. In fact, feral cats number in the
millions in the United States alone. They revert to their wild instincts to survive.
Statistics concur that free-roaming cats take a big bite out of native
wildlife in North America.
Nationwide, rural cats probably kill over a billion small mammals and hundreds of
millions of birds each year. Urban and suburban cats add to this toll. Some of these
kills are house mice, rats and other species considered pests, but many are native
songbirds and mammals whose populations are already stressed by other factors, such
as habitat destruction and pesticide pollution. (John S. Coleman, Stanley A.
Temple and Scott R. Craven, 1997, Cats and Wildlife A Conservation
Other recommendations: Dont dispose of unwanted cats by releasing them in
rural areas. Cats suffer in an unfamiliar setting, even if they are good predators.
This practice enlarges rural cat populations and is an inhumane way of dealing with
Our house is home to two previously unwanted cats. We feel fortunate to
share our lives with these warm, loving beings. As caretakers weve been
affectionately afforded the opportunity to say with a smile, Were cat
With wild hunter hearts, dreaming distinct memories of the wilderness, the tigers
among us are only one cozy chair away from being back to nature.
Perhaps you own that special chair for a homeless kitty to curl up upon. There are
numerous organizations that will help place a homeless cat such as: Humane Society of
Pinellas County, 3040 State Road 590, Clearwater, FL; Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals of Pinellas County (SPCA), 9099 130th Ave. N., Largo, FL
33773-1441, 586-3591; Pinellas County Animal Services, 12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL
33774, 582-2600, TDD 582-2636; Friends of Strays, 3660 Gandy Blvd. at U.S. 19 N., St.
Petersburg, FL 33781; and Second Chance for Strays Inc., 1543 S. Highland Ave.,
PMB214, Clearwater, FL 33756, 535-9154.
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.