Discussion in 'Pets' started by TezriLi, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. I feed and take care of the neighborhood feral cats as best I can, and they give back by keeping my home and the immediate neighbors' homes free of rats and mice.

    A couple years ago, Tux gave birth to the ugliest kitten I'd ever seen, and I fell in love with him. I just couldn't help it. I told my husband, "Now, that's the ugliest kitten I've ever seen. I didn't know kittens could be ugly! What a little ragamuffin." I immediately felt guilty. I went on, "I'll call him Muffin, so he'll never know he's ugly. Muffin is a sweet name."

    He ended up being the first feral that would let me pet him -- for a few seconds -- then he would run from me. But he got special treatment. His mother did not keep his long, shaggy fur very clean, but after she weaned him, he kept himself immaculate.

    I had no way to know if he really was male; I just thought he was -- until I got up in the night and found a cat finishing copulating with him on the patio. I was shocked, and so was -- she? -- and she came running to the window where I stood. The poor little thing. She seemed to be saying, "What happened? Why didn't you save me from that?" My heart broke for her. The encroaching cat -- he would just run up behind her and attack, raping her. And I began the watch for kittens.

    But rather than getting a rounded belly, she got thinner. The time came and went for kittens, but there were none. She no longer let me touch her, even come near her. She came, ate, and left. And she quit taking care of herself, getting shaggier and dirtier by the day. Then she quit coming. I found her in a for-sale-home's back yard, dead.

    I thought about what had happened. The "rape." No kittens. Her attitude change. Not taking care of herself. My thought that "she" was a "he." I went online and started looking. Sure enough, male cats will rape other male cats to show dominance. Well, I'd had no idea.

    I mentioned this to a friend who'd had a farm. She told me that they'd had a boar that raped a male pony, and the pony died.

    Breaks my heart.

    Perhaps I ruined Muffin by getting too close to this precious little feral cat. I continue to feed and water the cats, but I will not attempt to get close. It's hard. Bear gave birth to three of the cutest kittens, and the time is coming near when she will wean Lil' Bear, Charcoal, and Bandit.
  2. I really have a hard time with the idea that animals can rape.
  3. I've worked with feral's before. Yes, they can rape. With cats it can be a gang rape. The males circle the female in heat and take turns.
    Here we have a group that live traps feral cats and sterilizes them. Gives them all their shots and then lets them back where they found them, being cats are territorial.
    Maybe you can find a group that does that in your area. In memory of little Muffin.
    God rest her/his soul to peace.
  4. This is animal behaviour. They don't need to give permission. We can't place human values on the animal kingdom.
  5. Dolphins do it all the time.

    Male to male, male to female and sometimes cross species.

    Though I would not call it "rape" in the ethical sense.

    It is considered so even by vets and other animal behaivour scientists.
  6. No, of course not. But to put the behavior into the context humans can understand sometimes keywords help.
  7. How does it help?
  8. I'd imagine it gives people the understanding that sometimes cats don't consent to be sexed by gangs of male cats.

    If you've ever helped to rescue or care for feral populations that becomes very obvious.
  9. I am familiar with ferals. Where we lived previous, there was a whole populatio0n of them and I took in a kitten from them, which must have been a runt, and he lived only six months. I also took in an abandoned newborn and tried to nurse it to health but it died in the night and we buried it in the condo's flower beds! People in our condo would take care of them, even to the point of building a shelter for winter.

    I know how it tugs at our heartstrings to witness these behaviours, but I chalk it up to basically the fall. Animals were not created to behave in those ways int he beginning, I believe. Peace reigned. It will again, and we long for those days that are coming, don't we?
  10. Of course, we cannot attribute human behavior to animals, but when I called it rape, I intended rape. Muffin, of course, saw our yard as his own, where I had built him a cathouse :) of his own, where he was fed and watered, where he got his special treats, etc., but he knew all the cats were welcome. Even his cathouse was shared, as were the multiple feeding and watering bowls.

    My car is small and low to the ground. It is where the females in heat run, to hide under it, when all the males are hunting them down. This male cat behavior is common; I would never call it rape of cats.

    However, I called what that male cat did to Muffin rape on purpose. When I saw him initiating it, it was an attack, unexpected, and it was extremely vicious, far more than a male with a female. When my friend told me about the bore and the pony, she stopped short of telling more, because those with us were horrified, and they didn't want to hear it.

    I really fear for the new kittens who were born in my carport. Another male cat isa already showing unusual interest in them, and the one that raped Muffin is still around.

    Of course, I've tried to take care of the cats -- neutering, spaying, but the city has changed it's rules and will not do either unless we license them and take them into our house, which cannot happen.
  11. Very often a local state SPCA will have a feral cat program where they spay/neuter without having to license the animals.

    I'd keyword search: I found this via Bing: private feral spay neuter programs list state, and see what you come up with.
  12. Thank you. It gets real old, watching these babes suffer
  13. :( I have no doubt. That's why a spay /neuter program is a blessing. There are also feral cat recovery groups that live trap feral cats and help to tame them so they can be adopted to approved cat parents.
    I have cats that come to my house now and then and they know they can always find a safe haven. I have a garage that they love that has a corner made up just for them. We do what we can for God's needy voiceless creatures.
  14. I started feeding the ferals years ago. I learned a lot on my first one. Got it into my house, and he went daft, trying to escape. Made a little insulated cardboard box for him to live in on my front porch, and he liked it. Trapped him in there and took him to a vet, who neutered him and pronounced him as healthy as a cat can be with feline AIDS. He couldn't handle being in the house past healing, so I let him back out. A couple months later, my son saw a boy with a dog sic his dog on the kitten and kill him.

    Many stories since then. Many $$$ spent on spaying and neutering. All my feral cat friendship end in tragedy. That's the nature of caring for ferals.

    Now, my husband in retiring. While I am not ready to retire, I have to consider winding down and also living with less. Finding someone who will help for less is a good idea -- if I can here. So far, my searches have been unhelpful.

  15. Well, you've done a good thing for those cats, Tez. It will be a heart-rending thing to wind it down.
    TezriLi likes this.
  16. I hope I never have to....

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