A pro-kitty crowd of almost 100 people showed up Tuesday night to share opinions with Fort Worth Code Compliance on feral cats.
Most people favored a kinder, gentler approach to handling the wild critters. About 5,000 cats a year end up at the animal shelter. Few make it out alive, and feral cats are almost always euthanized.
The city is considering a trap-neuter-release (TNR) policy that could stabilize the populations of feral cats and reduce the number being euthanized.
Crowd members urged the city to adopt the policy.
“Why are humans wanting to kill everything?” a woman said. “We need to trap, neuter, and release.”
“These animals are a part of us whether you like it or not,” another said.
Residents who abandon pets are the ones creating the feral colonies; it’s a people problem, not a cat problem, others said.
But not everybody was purring pretty.
A few people complained that feral cats were a nuisance that needed to be snuffed. Pet owners who follow city rules don’t always appreciate stray cats getting into trash, peeing and pooping willy nilly, attacking domesticated pets, killing birds and squirrels, or spreading disease.
“I have three feral cats who think [my house] is their toilet,” a woman said.
A gray-haired gentleman ambled up to the podium and kept his statement succinct: “When a cat comes into my yard, he’s a goner,” he said.
The crowd sat stunned and silent. As the man returned to his seat, he walked past faces that either glared at him or stared in drop-jawed amazement.
“Just hold your applause until later,” he said.
Cat lovers are probably more apt to take time out of their Tuesday evening to attend a public meeting on feral cats. But that cat-hater’s sentiment might be more representative of the masses.
A Fort Worth Star-Telegram story that announced the public meeting drew plenty of remarks in the comment section. Most weren’t exactly warm and fuzzy.
“Judging from comments here, I guess my earlier comment that cat hating is an integral part of the local culture was right on,” one said.
“Kill on sight, that should solve it,” said another.
Two more public meetings are scheduled on December 10 and December 15.