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Photo: The Cat Who Couldn’t Ride a Bike

Written by Alisa Mullins | July 10, 2012

One day 18 years ago, I was out walking my dogs along a bike trail when I saw a bicyclist stop and do something peculiar: He took out his water bottle, and instead of taking a swig, he opened up the top and dumped a pile of cat kibble onto the ground. He was immediately swarmed by cats, who, I later learned, were being fed scraps by a trio of elderly brothers who lived nearby in a dilapidated shack (which dated back to the days when the trail was a railroad track).

Over several weeks, I trapped the cats, who were initially terrified, having had very little human contact. But all of them were born lap cats and quickly decided that life in a warm, cozy house with three square meals a day beat hiding under piles of junk and scrounging for scraps of stale bread and days-old meat.

Outgoing Ziggy, whom I adopted along with three of his relatives, was the fastest to decide people weren’t such a bad lot, and today, he acts as ambassador to all human and animal visitors. If he’s awake, he’s purring (and sometimes he even purrs in his sleep!). I’ve had many cat companions over the years, but only Ziggy has earned the title of Best Cat in the Universe for his unfailing graciousness, dignity, and sunny disposition. If he were a human, he would be Prince Charming.

© Kencredible
Best Cat in the Universe

As Ziggy can attest, life for “outdoor cats” is no walk in the park. Over the years, Ziggy has had several bouts with diseases that could have led to a lingering, painful death if he had not received veterinary care. That’s why it is vital always to trap stray and feral cats and either bring them indoors or take them to a reputable animal shelter. Even if homes can’t be found for them, at least they are safe from the many dangers that they face outdoors, including attacks by dogs and wildlife; being poisoned, shot, or hit by cars; and contracting deadly contagious diseases.

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  • Luis Willis says:

    I am currently taking care of two feral cats that were dropped off at my sister’s home which is ironic since she hates cats!last winter two kittens were abandoned there and I fed them and played with them as much as I could, the garage serving as a shelter.These two older cats took some coaxing and finally after five months they let me pet them and brush them but they do not allow me to try to carry them so taking them to a vet would be a chore for sure, also I’m the only human they trust,they run away if other people show up,hopefully they can stay healthy and strong.

  • Sherrie says:

    I absolutely love this story!! I get very upset and angry when I hear people say feral cats cannot be domesticated. It is upsetting because I have fed many feral cats, and I can tell they’re dying for human contact. I’ve even played and touched one named Rusty. Another woman who feeds the cats has been able to pet many of them. I even went to feed about 15 feral cats one day and one kept rubbing on my leg and allowing me to scratch behind her ear. Despite my fears of contracting a disease or bugs, I kept petting her. I even have a boss as my job who took in a feral barn cat and she is a sweetheart! Do not ever tell me that a feral cat is wild and cannot be domesticated! Everyone deserves a chance! If they’re too sick to live a happy, healthy life, I understand euthanasia. But if they’re healthy, they deserve a chance, put them in a shelter and they’ll make a connection with the right human who will give them a loving home!

  • Christie says:

    I know of some cats who have the Prince Charming curse too! Ahh a happy ending!