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Last night I looked out the front door to see if my two "kids" were sleeping in the boxes I'd set up for them. I saw Momma Cat looking down from the pillar she likes to sit on. She was looking at a possum who was busy nosing through the boxes. I couldn't open the door because I'd set the alarm so I banged on it and the possum took off. I really don't like them because they do carry diseases. The idiot people across the street have a huge family of possums living in their back yard and they won't do anything about them. Anyway I never keep food out at night but I guess it smelled something. Yck I really don't like them at all.
 

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My family lives next door to a family of raccoons, a owl who keeps us up with his mating call, and a couple of possums (we live in the city, but we live right next to the city park and have a stretch of wild-ish land for about the length of two blocks behind us). Luckily, we have a Coonhound which will keep them away.

I remember when we moved in the neighbors asked if our dogs were dangerous, and they hoped they 'were nice dogs who wouldn't bother the raccoon and her babies'. My mom, as soon as she shut the door, turned to us and said 'What the heck do you expect dogs to do? These are dogs, raccoons are prey who dig through your trash, honestly!' So I get your frustration with neighbors who don't get how the pets are affected (especially with the prevalence of rabies...).

Have you considered calling animal control?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We have a home owners association and I was told to talk to the neighbor about the possums. I tried and he was very rude. I called animal control and was told that since the possums are in the man's back yard the animal control people can't go in with out his permission and he won't give that permission.
 

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We have issues with raccoons, opposums and skunks. I don't keep food out at night either, but in the winter I was wondering why Shadow was hardly ever in his shelter DH had built. Once morning, I went out to check the status of the blankets and found a huge raccoon inside. There was no way he could fit in through the small opening, but he must of learned how to pry the lid up and sneak inside. If I forget to put Shadows water up on the deck railing at night, I will often see evidence of the raccoons since they like to wash their paws in the water. I always worry about Shadow and all of the wild creatures running around. I am in the suburbs, but we have raccoons, opposums, skunks, deer, red fox and coyotes. It's like our own little zoo!!
 

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We have a lot of animals too.

Racoons



Skunks



and possums



Possums are the worst. Even the foxes don't bother them. I had to "relocate" one little guy who had taken up residence in Midnight's outside house. :p
 

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I like possums. They are just like any creature out there - their business is to find food. Remove the food source that attracts them to your home and they'll go someplace else.

My neighbor in the next apartment used to leave garbage bags on the porch when the landlord was away. Possums would rip tham open every night. Those possums were much smarter than my neighbor.
 

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Critters

Over the past year and a half I've caught well over a dozen raccoons and possums in live traps. I have to set food out for the ferals and it attracts critters. There isn't much for it. I try not to leave the food out too long in the evening. The critters that I catch I relocate to a large open coast wetland on Lake Erie. A better environment I'm sure than a Detroit suburb. I'm dreading my first skunk, but I'm sure that day will come.
 

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I've also caught 7 raccoons at my feral barn colony. They are less of a problem since I made a cat window that was friendly to cats but problematic for raccoons.

Raccoons can eat a lot, and I'm not here to provide meals for them, just for my cats.

If you're handy, Lyle, you can make a feeding platform like this one: Raccoons can

The principle is the same one I use to discourage raccoons from coming into my barn: Raccoons can't jump. Cats can. The jump box makes it work.
 

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A great idea!

Never thought of something like that. I just assumed that a raccoon could go where a cat could. Now that I've thought about it I've seen raccoons get/fall into an empty trash can and not be able to get out.

Thanks for the link.
 

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I've also caught 7 raccoons at my feral barn colony. They are less of a problem since I made a cat window that was friendly to cats but problematic for raccoons.

Raccoons can eat a lot, and I'm not here to provide meals for them, just for my cats.

If you're handy, Lyle, you can make a feeding platform like this one: Raccoons can

The principle is the same one I use to discourage raccoons from coming into my barn: Raccoons can't jump. Cats can. The jump box makes it work.

You need to have this put up in the stickies at the top of the page. It’s a good reference for those dealing with raccoons and your feral feeding stations.

Personally I love all animals. They are not disease carriers. Just like ferals aren’t either but I hear that all the time from feral cat haters.

These animals are just trying to survive and live their lives. I miss seeing wild life. Soon they will not exist if we don’t start respecting them and valuing them. I watch how we’ve encroached on their space to live by building and taking away their habitat. I find that very sad.
 

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Critters again

Yep, it's one more thing that gets to me about the whole TNR thing. Of course when I trap a critter I can't kill it, BUT now what?

Once again I feel that I'm in a "playing god role". Who am I to interfere? What gives a feral cat a "higher status" (cat stays and is cared for, the critter gets shipped off to the swamps). I don't feel much better about it just because I don't kill them outright.

I'd be willing to bet that a fair number of the truly wonderful and caring people on this site are border-line basket cases. If not before their involvement, then shortly after.
 

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Yep, it's one more thing that gets to me about the whole TNR thing. Of course when I trap a critter I can't kill it, BUT now what?

Once again I feel that I'm in a "playing god role". Who am I to interfere? What gives a feral cat a "higher status" (cat stays and is cared for, the critter gets shipped off to the swamps). I don't feel much better about it just because I don't kill them outright.

I'd be willing to bet that a fair number of the truly wonderful and caring people on this site are border-line basket cases. If not before their involvement, then shortly after.
Funny!
I caught four feral kittens and one feral mama cat in the last three days.
Good times!
 

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Bless 'em all . .

as can handle it.

It's killing me. Truth is, if it wern't for this site and folks like Geenpoint and several others (Thank You), I'd have thrown in the towel a long time ago.
 

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A sincere thank you, Lyle. I've only been doing this for about 18 months though. The people I look up to like Mitts & Tess and Heidi n Q and many, many others have been in the trenches and are still out there every day.
 

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Thanks guys. I don’t feel like much of an expert.

Heidi is awesome. She has such a tender heart for abandoned cats and has put her efforts and money where her passion is. I have total respect for her. She is incrediblely knowledgeable.

It’s the working with others which make the efforts so much easier and satisfying. Never underestimate what 7 women can do when they put their mind to it! I’ve been very lucky to work with hard core cat lovers. We all share our knowledge with each other. Pitch in helping each other and we’ve learned as we go. My vet is awesome and has trained us how to handle things. I have her cell phone number so she is always there for us day and night.

My friends have rolled out of bed in the middle of the night to help me. My vet has also! I’m very proud that we’ve now done over1,000 s/n in 5 years. We have fostered in our homes and adopted out half of those cats we’ve trapped and found out they were companion animals. We now all have hilarious stories and I’ve formed friendships with people I would have never run across since they are very different from me.

We now have buzz words like Merry’s having a “Puff moment”. It came from a show down of not letting people adopt one of my fosters’ when they said they would declaw her and then reneged when they found out I was adamantly against declawing. I wouldn’t believe them to not declaw once they got her. I can be a bit of an adoption Nazi when it comes to my foster kids.

Or this is an “Omni cat”. Omni was a super intelligent rascal of a cat. I got him when he was apx 3 weeks old. He hated adoption events. Would yowl and bit two people at an event. We had to cover his kennel and put him in the bathroom so he would calm down. Every cat which is over the top is an Omni cat. Omni was adopted to the perfect home. The woman came to my house to meet him and it was instantly love.

Any success is from everyone helping me. It takes a village to save feral cats!
 

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Any success is from everyone helping me. It takes a village to save feral cats!
This is so true. If you try to do too much yourself you just get discouraged.

On Thursday I tried trapping at a recycling center where I'd trapped last September. The receptionist asked me to get involved the first time and she was helpful. This time around it was almost like she was trying to thwart me and I was getting steamed. But I put my attitude in check and caught 3 cats by myself. I put 90 miles on the car going back and forth to check traps on a 98 degree day.

Yesterday - different story. I was trying to trap cats at a rural apartment house and a young woman came out, introduced herself, and was incredibly helpful. She checked the traps for me and called me when two kittens were caught. She is continuing to help as we try to get the rest.

Apologize for thread drift!
 

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Of course when I trap a critter I can't kill it, BUT now what?

Once again I feel that I'm in a "playing god role". Who am I to interfere? What gives a feral cat a "higher status" (cat stays and is cared for, the critter gets shipped off to the swamps). I don't feel much better about it just because I don't kill them outright.

I'd be willing to bet that a fair number of the truly wonderful and caring people on this site are border-line basket cases. If not before their involvement, then shortly after.
One of my friends took in a cat to the vet. It was older and pretty beat up. Totally feral but we wanted to medically treat it and rerelease it. From tests it showed it was in full blown FIV. She called me from the vets office crying. Should she put him down? I knew she knew it was the merciful thing to do. She just needed someone to carry the load of that decisions with her. Shed been trapping for years. It helps when someone else is in it with you to bare the weight of the choice with them. I rattled off all the logical reasons and she hung up and had it done. This is why doing it with others helps and prevents burn out.

You are amazing. Doing this by yourself is an incredible accomplishment. Don't get discouraged. You've made a big difference in the quality of the cats lives. Keep up the good work.
 
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