Stray cats are a common sight. They can be found rummaging in dumpsters, prowling in parking lots and even in your own back yard.
These feral cats have a life span of five years, but because they keep having kittens, the number of feral cats in the county continually increases.
Lincoln County isnâ€™t the only place to have this problem.
â€œThere are 100 million stray cats in America alone,â€ said Brenda Thrasher, director of Angels for Felines.
The Humane Society of Lincoln County hopes to do something to help local feral cats.
â€œWe donâ€™t want them in a parking lot,â€ said Gayle Houser, president of the Humane Society. â€œWe want to take them somewhere where they can be safe and people can feed them.â€
The group is constantly on the lookout for appropriate homes. It also has a program in which feral cats are trapped, spayed or neutered and then released.
â€œThere is something to be done,â€ said Houser.
The Humane Society currently has a fund set up especially for such cats.
â€œEvery bit that we get goes to the ferals,â€ said Houser.
Of course, the cats roaming around parking lots and popping out of dumpsters werenâ€™t all born in the wild. Many were dumped as kittens by their owners and some were abandoned later in life.
These animals do not have to be tamed or rehabilitated in order to find a family the way feral cats do.
â€œSome of them are just literally love bugs,â€ said Thrasher.
A number of stray cats, love bugs or not, find a safe haven in Thrasherâ€™s home.
Sheâ€™s spent a good part of her adult life taking in stray cats and taming or rehabilitating them.
â€œI donâ€™t know why I love cats,â€ she said. â€œI think God gives everyone something, and I think he gave me this.â€
Despite dedication from both Angels for Felines and the eight member Human Society, not every cat can be rescued and put into a happy home.
â€œPeople get so mad at us when we say we canâ€™t take them,â€ said Houser.
What Houser and fellow Humane Society members encourage is spaying and neutering pets, which will keep animals out of the pound.
They also hope to find more people willing to take in animals, stray cats or not. Of course, the best option for feral cats is a place where they can be wild and taken care of all at the same time.
â€œGoing to the farms, thatâ€™s the best you can do,â€ said Thrasher.
For more information on the Humane Society call 704-732-9022 or mail letters or donations to The Humane Society of Lincoln County Inc., P.O. Box 23, Lincolnton, N.C. 28093.
For more information on Angels for Felines send letters or donations to Angels for Felines, PO Box 1708, Lincolnton, NC 28093-1708.
by Sarah Grano