Feral Cats

Contributor: Sean Crose

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You can find them under, on top of, and around that small pavilion by the cove down in Milford. They all just hang around there all day, living their lives. Fishermen walk past them hour after hour, on their way to cast out for Stripers or Blues. Most of the fishermen stare at them for at least a moment or two before moving on.

At the end of the trail, right at the water, you can look across the cove and see 95 traffic coming and going. During rush hour you actually see the Metro Norths and Amtraks coming to and from Grand Central Terminal under the bridge below the freeway. It's cool standing at the end of the trail, actually. You, right there amidst nature – nature being the cove, of course – yet just beyond nature is the growl of the urban northeastern United States.

For the record, the cats never go down to the end of the path. They just don't seem all that interested in the water. Sure, one or two will head out on occasion, just like one or two will venture out to the gravel parking lot before the path. That's about the extent of the cat's travels, though. They seem either too content or too frightened to go beyond where they are.

Every day a woman comes and feeds these feral cats. I'm serious. She comes every day, twice a day, and feeds them untold amounts of dried cat food. She brings water with her, too. This woman, she cares for these feral cats, which is kind of nice, if you think about it.

Earlier today, some guy came and did the second feeding, the afternoon feeding, for her. I asked him what he was up to and he said he was taking care of the woman's chores for her since she was away for a bit. From the sounds of it she was probably on vacation.

This guy, he was in his 60s and drove a blue SUV that looked like it got washed at least once a week. It also had a license plate on the back that let you know he was a veteran of the armed services. “I don't know how these cats would survive without her,” he said of the woman. He wasn't there to fish, just feed the cats. I can only assume the same can be said of the woman herself – that she only goes to feed the cats who might well owe their survival to her generosity.

Perhaps that's why they stay around the pavilion. Some feral cats are better off staying put. Unlike humans, they have no need for freeways or trains that race in and out of Grand Central Terminal.

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Sean Crose teaches writing at Post University and Philadelphia University. He's also a columnist for Boxing Insider. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and Cody, the World's Greatest Cat.
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