I was pleasantly surprised to see a response to my last entry about the great Raccoon quest in the Greenfield Household.
To my surprise, a gentleman came on pretty strong that I had caused the problem in the first place by feeding the cats.
Let me clarify: The wild cats have been roaming our neighborhood long before we arrived. Their poor, hungry, pitiful faces pressed up against our glass patio door have tugged at the Greenfield family heartstrings for many a year before female members of the household decided to share some of the dry cat food with them.
As I recall the conversation, it went something like this: Kirk- "Don't put out that food...you're going to train them to come here for a handout!" Daughter- "But they look so hungry. I think they're starving." Wife- "That Carmel one's coat is mangy...I think he's not well. I've been watching him waste away." Son- "Can't we put out a little food. It's so cold out in the wintertime." Kirk- "Well, I suppose I could build a wintertime shelter out of scrap plywood if you think that would help."
Later: Daughter- "Oh, I've named the Gray tabby cat Jay-Jay". Wife: "The fluffy one is 'Creamy', and the wiry tom cat is 'Carmel'." Kirk- "Oh, no! When did they become family members???!!!" Wife- "We are out of wild cat food. Would you go drive to the store to buy a large sack?" Kirk- "I don't want to feed the neighborhood!" Daughter- "How can you turn your back on them?" Kirk-- "I'll be back soon."
Still Later: Kirk-- "Can I get a bank loan for another two sacks of bulk cat food please?" Banker-- "What haven't you mortgaged now, sir?" Kirk-- "Well, we're being eaten out of house and home...." Banker-- "Wait. You live across the street from that lady that runs the Humane Society, don't you? What are you doing feeding her cats?" Kirk-- "She does? That explains they're preference for certain brands!"
Although the names have been changed to protect the innocent, you can see what a slippery slope this is. Once you start, these cats work their way into your heart (and wallet) even though they won't let you touch them. And the slight movement out-of-doors, even after dark, is enough to remind you that they need feeding again. How can you resist?
Who said the road to the poorhouse isn't paved with good intentions....