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I wasn't sure where to put this, cat tails, behavior, ferals, or the 911 forum...oops don't have one of them. So I thought the lounge would do.

As I have posted before, I took in Annie last fall...a homeless female calico.
Then with sub zero temps I made a couple of places in my cluttered city yard...a couple of sheds...one for garden stuff, one for my maintenance etc storage, and a boat & trailer..wheel barrows and misc. I know come spring I gotta clean it all out. What I made was a safe and comfortable place(s) for a feral cat to keep from freezing. A large gray/white real feral who would flee whenever I came around. Sometimes it would sleep in the sheltered open cage I had made for Annie; other times, in a shed or under my back porch. I had a heated water dish on my front steps too. Lately, my 'gray ghost' friend would stay a little before darting off...kinda checking me out I think. I would put out food at times but not every day and it would consume it during the night.

I have a duplex next door to me....I don't socialize with them much but I have done some repairs on that house for the owner whom I do other work for on other rentals of his. The woman downstairs has at least one cat...I saw it recently...skinny...looked underfed but not my place to judge. So:

I'm getting my morning cup of joe and have Marble (my rescued 3rd cat) on my lap on a chair near the window and we look out and there are 3 squad cars out front. Not unusual but I watched and someone came up to the duplex next door with a fishing net, and what might have been a small pet carrier and a pole snare. Hmmmm. I saw him go to the back and I went to my balcony as he was coming into my yard thru a gate. (Lucky I don't have a pitbull but the officers that were also on the duplex property or by their cars had guns i'm sure.)

I called to him and told him to go to the front of my house and I would be down...I quickly threw on some pants and jacket and met him out front:

He had that net, a pole they use to 'hook' an animal, and the pet carrier.

I said, "what's up? What are you trying to catch?" He said my neighbor had said that a large cat hissed at her and looked threatening as she stepped outside in the back>. My goodness...she called 911 about that?
Well being nice I asked if the cat she saw was gray and white. He didn't say so I told him there is a feral hanging around these houses. "Are you going to TNR him?" No, and he said something about Animal Ark and I said they are full up and that I deal with Feline Rescue but this is a feral....there are dozens of them here in this part of the city..."Do you do TNR?" I asked again. By this time I knew he was from the city Animal Control departmet and I knew if someone calls 911 about anything, they have to send a squad car or two to investigate. They must have called A.C. too so they could trap this feral and euthanize it.

I explained that I have provided places for this one feral to get away from the 20 below zero temps we had this winter and provide a water dish for any others that roam around. I told him this Gray/White one looks healthy and scatters even from me so I don't believe it would attack my neighbor. I think she is just a bit too worried since I can't even get close to this cat and it 'knows' me. I haven't seen any other ferals most of the winter by these houses either, I told him.

Well, he seemed ok with that and knew he couldn't catch this cat anyway and the tracks in the new snow indicated it went under my back porch.

Then I wondered: He had a fishing net on a two foot pole, that choking pole and a carrier that was too small. Even if he got the cat in the net, no way was he going to get it into the carrier, or even with the choke pole...No way.....and then it hit me.

The cops......once he snared it, they would shoot it. The carrier was for the corpse. They would feel justifed in removing one feral from the city, that has hundreds of them. I know, I walk the hood and see them at times or their tracks where they find shelter in old garages or sheds.

As the A.C. guy left I heard one cop say to another,....."he is harboring a cat....I don't know if he heard what I had spoken to the A.C guy about. ya, right, I'm harboring a fugitive cat.

So, they left...I talked with the owner of the property an hour or so later as he was doing a repair for the downstairs renter. I relayed this story and asked him to check about the description of the cat she saw and to let her know that the 'gray ghost' is not a danger...just another feral cat doing no one any harm.

I don't and won't have a good relationship with this woman...cordial, polite, but that is about it. I have lived in my house for 30 yrs and have seen countless people come and go from that property but have only recently done work there. I snow blow their sidewalk and back parking area, pick up their overflowing trash litter, (they won't recycle....just want a third garbage can). But no need to go into this further. Some times it is just best to not get too involved with some people (neighbors).

I guess I will latch my back gate and maybe even padlock it. And put up a no trespassing sign in back.....I'll probably get a call from a city inspector about my excess ...ah....things out back....which I can deal with if it happens...With warmer temps and sno melt, I will be able to get back to gardening, using my boat, and open trailer for hauling their couch and mattresses they dumped out behind their place. Finish cleaning out my own garage so I can put my maintenance supplies in it...hard to do when it is below zero and waist deep in snow.

Hopefully, (since this is the lounge) you had a cup of joe with you cause this got real long. I'm not a man of few words I know....Hopefully too, they won't be back and the landlord quelled my neighbors fears of being attacked by a large feline that supposedly hissed at her.

Take care.
 

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Well my goodness! You did have one heck of a morning didn't you!:what:
And now you're harboring a criminal to boot;) :eek:
you're a person after my own heart!
Good on you for helping the strays and Grey Ghost!:D
I pray nothing more comes of this!
 

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I'm really sorry about this bad experience. We cat people are much more tolerant of scared cat behavior than those that don't care for cats. I hope he is ok. Our city has a euthanasia policy towards ferals, too. I'm always afraid a scared stray is going to get caught up in the mix, but we do keep ferals a few days to let them calm down just in case it is a stray.
 

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I was all prepared for your long story, had my cup of hot tea, my laptop and chilling with Arwen in the garage this morning :)

Sorry for your cruddy experience this morning though. She called AC because a cat hissed at her? Dear lord. What is with people? They couldn't just leave the poor cat alone? I have such little patience for non-cat people. I find non-cat people to be just so mean sometimes, when it comes to the welfare and being of stray and feral cats. Now, I am not for the people like this lady in my neighborhood that feeds a bunch of cats and doesn't make sure they are TNR and jsut lets the population grow. If a cat comes onto my property, and I am going to feed it, it is going to get spayed/neutered. We are lucky enough to have a wonderful agency in the next county, called spay n save, where they will spay/neuter ferals for $25, and they do lots of TNR in that county, which unfortunately, is not my county. They also do micro chips for $20. Most of the vet clinics around here, you can't just bring in your cat for a chip without an expensive exam and a bunch of other stuff too. My 20 year old daughter wanted to chip her cat, was going to pay the $53 at our vet, but they want an exam and this and that, and it will then be over $100. Sigh. I know vets need to make their money, and I spend PLENTY of money, but I wish they would just let people come in and get the chip without a huge expense, let it be a simple quick thing. I feel like more pets would be chipped if this were the case. Sorry to get sidetracked :)

I hope they will leave this poor little feral alone and that they don't come back for him. Sorry you have a cruddy neighbor like this, she doesn't sound like a very happy person.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
H.F....no I think she called 911, ( I mean three squad cars?) then I think they called the Animal control. And at a time when most police are busy handling accidents as we had a rush hour snowfall that morning...........but then what is 911 for?

The fugitive aka 'The Gray Ghost' is still at large. I went to move my car this morning so I could unload my van into my garage, (sno blow equip) and he was outside. didn't scamper away as fast....even turned and looked at me so I went inside and got a can of filets and put some out for him. He came out from underneath my back porch. He came up to the bowl while I stayed about 10' away by the snow encrusted gate. He ate while I chipped snow chunks away at the bottom of the gate...Trust? maybe. He does know I am not a danger to him.

That is about as close as I want to get to him....I want him to stay feral but also want to supplement his diet. With the new snow (6") it will be harder to scavenge but we have a warm up (+40 degrees.....yeaaaaaaaa...!) today and tomorrow.

I understand the TNR program but at this time I am not willing to capture the 'ghost'. But I think I will call our City Animal Control and/or check with our Feline Rescue group and find out just what policies are. I don't want to create a problem for myself.

I will talk with the owner soon and find out if he got more info on just what cat my have startled my neighbor. Tho, the 'Ghost' is the only feral I have seen around the three properties I am part of. No other tracks either but then I wouldn't expect any as ferals are territorial and the 'ghost' has apparantly claimed mine as his own.

I hate to think of it but I don't think that animal control guy was going to take the fugitive alive. The police/guns was more humorous than a reality, tho strangling or neck breaking probably would have been the outcome if he had snared the 'ghost'.

The gate now closes fully and I will pick up a WARNING--WILD CAT INSIDE- KEEP OUT. for the gate.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What did this mean? I didn't understand that part.

Also, what is

What is the hood?

hood
Derived from "neighborhood". An area which one lives/lived/ or is in
Ima go visit my hood.
i need to raise up out my hood

that's more slang than I use....Some of us call the inner city...'the hood' not meant to be derogatory as much as meant to be an area of the city...older bldgs, maybe lower income but not necessarily so....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
(Lucky I don't have a pitbull but the officers that were also on the duplex property or by their cars had guns i'm sure.)

Again, a bit humorous but the Animal Control Officer (in partial uniform) walked right onto my property with his equipment without anyone bothering to come to my front door and let me know what was up. :Had I and Marble not been at the window looking out front I would not have known what was going on. I could have said large dog in my fenced yard (albeit the gate was ajar due to piling up snow). I used to have a dog, german shepherd who wouldn't have liked someone entering our yard without me being there. If and I say if, there was a dog in my yard, what would the Animal Control Officer do? I don't know but I do know he was overreaching his authority by entering private property without permission tho I DID NOT make an issue of this.

Hopefully the situation is over other than I want to find out some more information to avoid future incidents.....and speak to that neighbor now that I know which one of the two families called the police.
 

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I have never met anyone who didn't know what the hood was. And I grew up in a very rural area!

They showed up with more arsenal than they do for problem alligators here. (Which is actually pretty rare.) Did they think a lion was bothering your neighbor?

Do the police really shoot animals there? If it happened here they would lose their jobs. Definitely a huge no.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I doubt that they regularly do shoot animals...although two houses down when they made a drug bust (good ridance to those renters) they did shoot a dog about 15 yrs ago.. There was a chain link fence around that property and when my kids would go up and down the city sidewalk this dog would bark and run along the fence like he would attack them if he could. We couldn't do anything other than tell our kids to use the other side of the street. Well, turns out one morning the DEA and local police raided the house and the first thing they did was to dispatch that dog.

And, I believe it has happened before and since tho not something regular. I don't blame them if they are on a warrant or drug bust, who wants to be attacked by an animal that is trained to 'guard'?

Some slang words are not that common so I understand why someone would not be familiar with it. I live in a multicultural area of the city, near what once (60's-70's) could have become a ghetto but thanks to Federal funds and neighborhood revitalization efforts, that was avoide in both Mpls & StPaul, Mn. A mix of older and younger families with a larger than average immigrant population perhaps. Hence, our use of the term 'hood' but not used as a derogatory reference.

I don't know why there were three squad cars. I assume the animal control tech came in another vehicle. But I have seen up to seven on a domestic issue, but then, if it is a slow day......and the other squads are in the neighborhood, well, it beats just cruising around. And, in this case, I think it was also curiosity. If an emergency call came in, they could respond just as quickly as if they were merely cruising the area as usual.

I'm going to get a picture of the 'criminal' feral I am harboring soon and will post it I don't want to capture him, TNR him, or upset him at this time. We are still in the thros of winter and I will leave him be for the time being. We see each other more now but a month ago I was lucky to be able to get a glimps of his tail as he scurried out of sight....."the gray ghost" . The A.C. tech said he thought it was a male cat cause of the face so I guess he got a good look at it when it was sunning itself on a rolled up piece of carpet in the back of the neighbors yard.
 

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I used to live in an older neighbourhood that was slowly getting rid of the more unsavoury characters. I used to refer to it lovingly as "the hood". I kinda miss it. It had lovely old houses and big trees. Yuki loved watching the birds.

I feel sorry for the Grey Ghost :( cats are so misunderstood. She probably startled him and that's why he hissed. I've never heard of a cat attacking someone as they innocently walked by. Calling 911 for that??!! Holy cow!


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Anyone who would phone 9-1-1 because a cat 'hissed at them' is clearly not the brightest individual. The fact that the police would actually show up with animal control officers on such a banal call is bizarre, and makes me wonder if the neighbour who reported the incident made some ignorant comment about encountering a "rabid" cat to the 9-1-1 operator, or some such nonsense. People in general tend to be pretty ignorant about cat behaviour and body language, so I can understand why someone might automatically associate hissing (which is often just a warning in response to feeling startled, cornered, or unsure) with aggression, but calling 9-1-1? Seriously?! You can't just back away from the cat and wait for it to walk off? Feral cats don't want anything to do with people.

@Marcia: Sadly, scared strays do get caught up and euthanized as a result of feral euthanasia policies. The kinds of environments that cats are kept in by animal control agencies are often incredibly stressful--as if being trapped weren't stressful enough, and it's not unusual for tame but frightened cats to present as much more fearful or aggressive than they actually are under more normal circumstances. I'm not always confident that the people evaluating the cats really know how to tell a feral cat from a semi-feral from a tame cat, either. Luckily, we do have a TNR program in Toronto because I would definitely share your concern for the cats in my city if we didn't. :(
 

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I don't blame them if they are on a warrant or drug bust, who wants to be attacked by an animal that is trained to 'guard'?
That would definitely be justified and it does happen from time to time here as well. I just misunderstood and was under the impression that they shoot everything they get complaints about!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Kneazles and others: sorry if I implied that.....but from what the Animal Control tech told me....they (the city) don't do a TNR program here. Had he managed to capture the 'ghost' I think they would have treated it like any other critter that they get a complaint about. There was a bear (young black bear) in a tree a year or so ago and it was decided that it would be too dangerous to tranquilize it or live capture it so they did shoot it. Same with some deer in a suburb that someone was feeding.

I met the woman who lives next door today as she was coming to her house and I asked if the cat she called about was gray and white. I didn't push the 911 issue cause I know she would have had to call them for the three squad cars to show up too. They have to respond to any 911 calls, I know that. 3? Well that was their choice. Anyway I then asked her where it was and she said it has been hanging around her FRONT porch in the mornings....maybe because her cat is in heat, she said. She not only didn't want it hanging there but was worried about rabies. Well, without telling her directly that I had put up several spots in my cluttered yard (with straw bedding and out of the way hiding spots,) I told her that that cat is a feral cat...one born outside or abandoned when it was young. And that I have seen it all winter and it is healthy and is just trying to survive in the city. She remarked that she has been there for two years and has not seen 'wild' cats around. I told her I have been here for 30 yrs and do know they are common. I said all you have to do is walk around after dark or early morning but by then I knew I had lost her. So I decided to tell her if this one cat was gone another would only take it's place. I repeated that I have seen this one around since the beginning of winter and I know it uses my yard to find a place to get out of the sub zero temperatures.

What I wanted to tell her was that if she and her neighbor upstairs (and the last renters there) would not leave excess garbage bags on the ground, it probably wouldn't attract feral cats to them. If they recycled or didn't put unflattened boxes in their 90gal lidded trash bins there would be room enough for all their household garbage but their landlord has already told them that. I see one of them has now laid at mattress up against the garage wall on the alley side hoping someone will take it away for them. (Trash collectors here do not take large items...they have to be dealt with separately). There is another cost to the landlord, at least $16 ea at the local public dump. Add to that the sofa, chair and other mattress and you see why it is tough to be a landlord in some units.

I didn't see my 'ghost' today and really don't every day. After tomorrows snowstorm I will put out a little food from the turkey soup I am making and see if it is gone. I don't want him only dependent on me for food. Perhaps he will survive and she will back off from her worries now. I don't want the 'grey ghost' as a pet but if wants to hang around and help me garden my front yard this spring or watch me and Marble and Kermit (who are on leashes) that is ok too.

Thanks for all your replies and well wishes for a feral cat in the 'hood'.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Changed my mind..I had enough extra meet from the turkey soup I was making so I put some out for my 'friend'. That way maybe he can stay holed up during the two day snowstorm we got coming
 

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Cat's House, so glad you've put out some extra 'chuck' for Grey Ghost! When it gets really cold they need all the extra calories they can get to try and generate heat. I love how you've set up some different hidy spots for the cats to find shelter in!
Sure hope that woman"cools her jets" and quits worrying about the 'Ferals'
carrying rabies, etc...
Ha! Maybe she should be spaying her female cat if she doesn't want suiters coming around! ;)
 

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Wow is that over kill!!! I'm amazed she was able to get that kind of response so quickly. What a waste of tax payer money to tie up 3 squad cars and officers plus AC like that for a skittish feral. Ill bet she exaggerated the situation. Thanks for coming to Gray Ghost aid!!!

My family lives in the Minneapolis area and I have been keeping an eye on the progress of reeducating the general public to TNR and No Kill.

My sister was sent home early from work today because of the incoming snow storms and is going to work from home the next couple days. I hope you and Gray Ghost keep warm and dry. I'm glad I don't live in snow anymore.:razz: I was in shorts today...:cool
 

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A word of warning: This is probably going to be a big'un' beginning Thursday afternoon and lasting into Friday. West Metro less, East Metro (St Paul) could see over 10" by snowfalls end on Friday afternoon late. So tell your parents to get out in the morning and do their shopping and then hunker down and wait it out. Me? I will be doing snow work with son in both cities...Did it alone last Monday with about 6" of the stuff but it about wiped me out. And this one will be a wetter snow too. Getting to and from Mpls and back will be a challenge too.

The turkey I put out front on my steps is gone but what I left in back isn't but then the melting snow from my roof left a waterery mess on the walk to the back. I'll thaw it in the morning if it isn't gone. I'm sure my 'friend' has other places where he seeks shelter as I occassionally have seen him crossing the street during the daytimes. Who knows? Maybe he has a girlfriend or two.

And the neighbor having her cat(s) spayed? I don't think she can get a voucher for that but I don't want to go into that here in the lounge. It would be off topic so we'll leave that alone tho should the chance arise I think I will mention it and Feline Rescue to her. They helped us with Marble when we took her in and we were going to foster her. darn cat (and I mean that lovingly) got into our hearts right away and she is one of the bestus cats we have had. Annie has kept the wife company since she now has to spend most of her time upstairs in bed with COPD etc. We don't think Annie would have survived the winter outside; she was too thin and vulnerable. She has some quirks I haven't figured out yet and I might start a topic about her soon.
 
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