Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

When Stray Cats Roam the Streets ; Pet Overpopulation Creates Problems for Strays and Neighborhoods

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

When Stray Cats Roam the Streets ; Pet Overpopulation Creates Problems for Strays and Neighborhoods

Article excerpt

Do you hear that? I asked my husband.

We were spending a care-free, childless evening doing what most married couples do watching TV when I began hearing a loud, constant meowing. A cat was in distress somewhere near our house, and we set off outside to find the source. We looked all around the house, beneath bushes and under both cars, but couldnt find the cat. Our neighborhood is home to several strays, so we thought nothing more of it and returned to our TV show.

But about 10 minutes later, a neighbor, Clay, knocked on our door.

I think theres a cat under your hood, he told me. Clay had also heard the meowing and followed the sound to my Jeep.

We popped the hood, and sure enough, there sat a gray and white kitten atop the battery.

But the sight of three humans with bright flashlights spooked the poor thing, and it scurried further down into the inner workings of the vehicle. Tim, another neighbor, joined in and he and Clay eventually fished the kitten out.

Clay handed me the kitten, so tiny and scared. It was young probably just weaned from its mother. I stroked its soft fur and tried, unsuccessfully, to keep it calm.

The kitten leaped out of my arms, ran around the yard and through the fence before I had a chance to even blink.

This time, it crawled into the engine compartment of another vehicle. Our team tried once again to rescue the cat, but our efforts were futile. The kitten was wedged among the car parts, cables and wires and we couldnt reach it.

We set out some food and a pet carrier with a warm blanket to try to coax it out. It was getting late, so everyone went home.

We havent seen the kitten since. Hopefully it found its way back home, wherever that may be, or another neighbor has taken it in and is keeping it safe.

Stories like this are all too common. According to the ASPCA, nearly 70 million stray cats roam the streets across the country. Often, these strays are dropped off in population centers, or left behind when their owners move away with the hope that someone else will care for it. …

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