Today I received a call from a social worker who is involved in elderly protective services. An elderly gentleman was admitted to a nursing home and there were cats left behind in his home. The social worker had put out food and water when she had gone to the home to help the man get to the hospital. Now nearly a week later and no family member has shown up to help with the man or cats! So I was asked to come get the cats and take them to a local shelter. Have you ever tried catching a mad, hissing, howling cat? The sheriff's office had dispatched an officer to help, but even with his nice long reach we could not catch the critters. We chased, herded, and prodded the poor cats, but nothing helped. We could not get them into the carriers. They climbed the wall, the blinds, the shelves, and anything else that would get them out of our reach.
Rather than continue to stress to poor scared cats, we decided to remove all the food and return in a day or two with a live trap. Perhaps if they are hungry enough they will enter the trap and we can get them out of the house with far less stress. Unfortunately we only saw two of the four that were suppose to be in the house. A third cat was found dead in the living room. The fourth one is missing in action. I hope we don't find another dead cat when we return. There is so much stuff in the house that a cat could hide and we would never find it.
There are three or four more cats that live outside in the shed. We will also trap those once the inside cats are safe.
I guess I need to get trained on how to use a catch pole. I have always thought it is so stressful for the animal. However, chasing these cats around the house was far more stressful than a quick catch and placement in a safe crate.
The main reason for this post is to make everyone aware of the need for elderly people to make arrangements for their pets. If you have elderly parents, talk to them about the pets in the home. Make decisions now about what needs to happen to the dog or cat. Do not leave it up the strangers to come and take your pets away.