(WINDSOR, ON) – Word that the gregarious Whiner was back spread quickly through the neighbourhood. It was good news. He hadn’t been seen for almost a year and was well-liked in these parts.
Whiner is one of the tens of thousands of feral cats now roaming the streets of Windsor. But he is unlike even the most friendly; the ones who will stop and patiently listen when spoken too.
While Whiner does that, in between listening he also vocally complains about whatever is on his mind; thus his nickname.
Windsor’s ferals all have their own unique personalities which endear them to many kind residents. This in-documented army of concerned citizens daily put out food and water for the growing population of homeless felines.
That could be a problem.
Since 2011, the local Humane Society indicates on its website that the high volume spay/neuter clinic, one of the first of its kind in Ontario, has fixed more than 25,000 animals. And, that total represents only the ones who have been taken into the clinic. Many more haven’t.
Windsor’s Moggy Cat Rescue estimates the number of wandering cats at 50,000 in the city and vicinity.
The number is growing.
The Humane Society blames the city’s generous residents for the increasing numbers. WECHS suggests that those doing the feeding are actually making the lives of the roaming cats harder. This is because non-neutered cats with a reliable source of food, water, and shelter will have, “… larger litters with more of the kittens surviving to adulthood. This means that the cats will ultimately have to compete with more cats for limited resources.”
The Society charges $50 to fix a stray cat. They accept candidates only on Wednesdays and only one per person.
On Thursday and Friday it will take ones in traps.
A small number of vouchers which allow for free spaying and neutering are available from the City of Windsor. This year, Windsor will spend $30,000 on 200 vouchers for homeless cats. It also offers an additional 200 to fund the cost of fixing household pets.
City residents over 18 with low incomes can qualify for two owned cat vouchers per household. Residents who are feeding their neighbourhood’s feral cats can also apply for two vouchers per household. The vouchers, however, are quickly snapped up.
It is not known if Whiner has been fixed although, either way, that could be one of his complaints.