NebraskaCat & Nell;
Thanx for the replies and suggestions. I am including a letter I have written to the management company. I would appreciate any thoughts as to what to add or take out.
I don't write much to Catforum, but they are all angels to me.
As to the issue with the neighborhood cats.
Our five cats do not run loose outside. So they are not the issue.
The ones in the feral colony were here when we moved in. There are about eight that I can indentify. I started putting food out when I saw a mother and three kittens fall out of one of the dumpsters. I am sure you will not challenge the humanity of that decision. Our feeding them has not attracted any new cats to the neighborhood. Those that have been here will protect their territory from newcomers. That is the way of cat colonies.
The population needs to be controlled through trapping, neutering and returning them to their territory so the don’t overpopulate themselves into starvation.
We started to look into a Trap-Neuter-Return program, but have been somewhat consumed by other things.
The TNR program will at least prevent regular litters of new kittens, and the existing ones will protect their territory from outside intruders. If you remove them, they will be replaced by other strays being pushed out of other colonies. That is the way of cats and society.
At our home, we took about eight to a TNR clinic over a few weeks. The nursing mother and her babies decided to stay on the property. One baby and the mother disappeared after about six months. The three others remained. Until recently, when the neighbor’s loose dogs got into the construction fence, and the next day I found one of that colony dead, with blood around her neck.
The cats, at least, are not as threatening as any of the dogs, many of which, even if attended, run free unleashed. They also help control any population of mice, rats, including roof rats, and pigeons, all of which are know to be disease carriers, and much more damaging pests.
People like dogs because they can be trained, will obey commands, and try to please. People love cats because they are what they are.
I will get back to the TNR clinic, and will put food out twice a day instead of keeping the bowls full for now.
BTW, one of them very recently delivered a litter. It was big and round and is suddenly thin, and its nipples are quite enlarged, so she is nursing. I have no idea where the babies are. They are probably about a week old now.