Town outlines plan for overabundance of unleashed cats

Bill Holden is not about to let sleeping cats lie – and he’s well aware of the overabundance of unleashed cats roaming the Town’s streets.“First off, I’m not even sure they are feral,” said Holden, the mayor of Melita. “They might be strays or a mix of feral and strays.” (Feral cats are animals who have never had interactions with humans.)

Mayor Holden said they are currently working with other groups to develop a plan to address the stray cat conundrum. “We are looking at different ways to handle it,” said Holden. “We are not in the cat-trapping business so we will have to look outside for help.”

article continues below

An August 17 post on the Town of Melita website explains in detail the Town’s plan of attack. (www.melitamb. ca)

They acknowledge the problem and list the steps the Town will take – from live traps and cat licences to adoption and relocation of captured cats.

It also states that, “Residents who have been feeding stray cats will be considered owners and will have to assume accountability of said cats.” Add to the mix neighbour- to-neighbour complaints of stray or feral cats getting into their gardens or leaving excrement in their yards and suddenly it becomes more personal.

“Do consider us that have vegetable gardens. Cats e-coli is most disgusting!”, wrote one person who left a note for Vivien-Phyllis Swehla under her outside broom handle, accusing her of letting her cats run wild.

“I’m not taking the blame anymore that they are my cats and having notes sent to me saying they’re my cats,” said Swehla. “These cats are starving, thin ears, tail half gone, scat full of worms. I know as I have to clean it up in my flower bed. In town, people talk to each other but never go to the Town office and put a complaint in (about all the stray/feral cats).”

For Mayor Holden, the best way to deal with this issue of countless cats is head on: “We are not ignoring it,” said Holden. “As I said before, we are looking at ways to take care of it.”

© Melita New Era