Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time

Stirring tales of eating, cooking and foraging in my never-ending quest to provide, great-tasting (local and organic whenever possible) EATS for me and my boy(s).

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Cat Who Came To Dinner: Feral Cats Chez Nous

Believe me when I tell you I had nothing to do with this, at least not a first.  It was A. who became fixated on a feral cat in our neighbor's yard who had given birth to a litter of five adorable gray and white kittens.  I have to say, they were awfully cute, especially when they began to frolic about, romping in the underbrush.

A. mentioned that the mama cat looked awfully scrawny and asked if I had anything around to feed her.  I found a tin of very old sardines which were, in fact, our "honeymoon sardines" from Belle-Ile-En-Mer and I offered them up to nourish the mama, knowing that we would never be brave enough to eat them ourselves.  

A. put the sardine on a stick and he and Izzy climbed up to lean into our neighbor's yard, where the cats were residing.  The mama cat was clearly interested, enough to eat the entire tin.  I guess those sardines weren't rotten after all.

After an offering of white anchovies went untouched, the next thing I knew, A. and Izzy were off to the bodega to purchase some cat food.  A. strategically placed a tin in our yard and pretty soon the mama was snacking on our back wall.  Every so  often, a bold kitten would come over to inspect the offerings.  Mainly the food went to the mama, who needed all the sustenance she could to keep nursing all of those kittens.

The following morning, Izzy awoke and whispered in my ear, "Time for cat breakfast." Never mind getting ready for school or work, nothing could compete with feeding the cat.  Why was Izzy late for school?  He spent too much time feeding the cat!   Cat breakfast and cat dinner have become all consuming for Izzy and his papa.  And with all of this new found attention, mama cat has been getting bolder and bolder.

This morning, she chanced an entry into our kitchen.  Since it has been so hot in our kitchen, I have been keeping the back door open.  When I stepped out of the room for a minute, she took her chances.  I found her under the kitchen table.  I was so startled that I startled her an she ran out.  Which is a good thing because I don't know if it is such a great idea to dine with feral cats.

Which doesn't mean we won't continue to feed her well. Today I presented her with the head, skin and bones of a fabulous smoked trout. She dragged the intact skin over to her babies and they all feasted upon it, leaving nary a morsel. She then came back and finished the head on her own.

 I am not exactly sure how this cat tale will end. I have been researching feral cats a bit and I do like the idea that they keep our neighborhood vermin free. The kittens are so cute that I am somewhat tempted to domesticate one (our neighbors have already taken the runt who they found crying and trapped in a fence). There are others who believe that I should trap them, neuter them and return them to my yard. We are not sure how to proceed but will keep on feeding them for the time being.


Stacy said...

We once tried the trap and neuter plan. It didn't work out well at all. We caught no cats, even with the local cat lady helping out. I think we tried during the wrong weather or something.

I would definitely recommend doing that if you are going to continue feeding them though. The cats are very cute I know, but very quickly the population can get out of hand.

Izzy's Mama said...

Stacy: What happened to the cats when the plan failed? Did you feed them? Did they still hang around your house?