Someone has been making cryptic posts on Craigslist telling people to check out our web site. They don't say anything else. The same person (or is it two people? One anti-TNR and one pro-TNR?) has been posting all sorts of short statements against Trap/Neuter/Return, letting your cat outdoors, giving kittens away etc. I've emailed nicely in response to the anti-TNR posts and received no reply.
Unfortunately, due to this--or the fact that shelters in our area are all turning away cats (more on that later)--at least four cats have been dumped in my area: two young black cats with white on Halsey Valley, who cried at me and then took off at a dead run when I tried to help them, and an adult cat and a kitten dumped here in front of my barn who I only know exist due to their tracks:
You can see how the kitten was probably handed out of a car door and landed in the snow.
Right by the barn door. Unthinking people somehow assume the cats they abandon will just run and take shelter in the barn where they dumped them. They usually don't. They run in confusion, or they huddle down in the nearest wad of high grass.
This kitten ambled about in confusion for a bit:
And then began to trot away:
This is what the kitten was heading into:
And this is where I finally could no longer find tracks, looking back toward my barn:
I've put food in the barn, but I don't have much hope that a kitten that small (the tracks were tiny) is somehow going to turn around and retrace her steps. I'm hoping someone saw her and picked her up, although I did not see any human tracks where a car would have stopped and person had gotten out, when I lost the kitten tracks.
Somewhere some person is relieved they no longer have to worry about the cats they didn't want. Instead, now I am sitting inside in the warm, thinking of cold abandoned kittens every night as the temperature drops. I'm scanning the fields for the first two kittens, and driving the back way at night looking for eye-shine for the second one.
The adult cat may have found my barn. Or perhaps the tracks I see now belong to Bandit, the next-door cat. I'm setting some traps and we'll see who we catch.
I'm sorry to share a downer posts, but I plan to post a link on Craiglist so people can see what actually happens when cats and kittens are abandoned at farms.
This is why I never criticize people who post kittens and other pets on Craigslist. At least they aren't dumping them in the snow, as so many other people do.