Domino, Feral and All Alone, Faces an Uncertain Future in Wisconsin Following an Unplanned Trip to Arizona
"It (Domino) knows its safety area. It knows its sources of food and shelter...We always try to get the ferals back to where they came from."
-- Patti Hogan of Paws Patrol
Despite all the admonitions, another cat has fallen prey to the deliberate carelessness of a family relocating from one locale to another. This time around it was a five-year-old, black and white feral cat named Domino from the tiny village of Poynette, north of Madison, Wisconsin. (See photo above.)
In their haste to hightail it out of Poynette, Mike and Ann Hirz thoughtlessly sealed up Domino in a large shipping crate. As a consequence, she was forced to endure an eleven-day, two-thousand-mile journey to Green Valley, thirty-two kilometers south of Tucson.
Even after all of that, her presence was not discovered until a workman installing drapes overheard her plaintive meows on April 10th. "When we opened the pod and saw the cat in there I couldn't believe it," Mike told KOLD-TV of Tucson on April 24th. (See "Stowaway Cat Makes It to Green Valley.") "I'm wondering 'now what'?"
"I was devastated," Ann earlier told the Green Valley News on April 16th. (See "Feral Cat Has Eight More Lives, One More Trip.")
That was because Domino is not just any ordinary feral cat but one that the Hirzes had been feeding off their back porch in Poynette for the past four years. They even had adopted one of her kittens but never had been able to trap her.
"She's a smart cat," Ann told KOLD-TV. "She could get tuna out of any trap and get away."
That did not pose much of a problem, however, for Patti Hogan of Paws Patrol who had Domino in custody a scant five hours after setting a trap for her. She immediately was taken to a veterinarian where she was pronounced to be in remarkably good condition despite going without either food or water for such a lengthy period of time. While she was there, she also was given antibiotics and sterilized.
The next order of business for the Hirzes was to decide what to do with Domino and, based upon Hogan's recommendation, they have elected to return her to Poynette. "We have agreed to do so," Ann told KOLD-TV in a video posted on its web site. "I would say reluctantly but we have agreed to do so. We want to do what is best for the cat."
"It (Domino) knows its safety area. It knows its sources of food and shelter," Hogan told the Green Valley News in the article cited supra. "This is Domino's best chance of survival," she added to KOLD-TV. "She knows where the food is there and not to mention coyotes."
She will not, however, have the Hirzes to feed her and perhaps not even their back porch for shelter if the new tenants object to her presence. On top of that Wisconsin winters are brutal.
Nevertheless, Hogan insists that if Domino were to remain in Green Valley her chances of survival would be only fifty per cent. "We always try to get the ferals back to where they came from."
What to do about feral cats even under normal circumstances is an excruciatingly heartrending decision, but Domino's plight is compounded by the extraordinary circumstances surrounding her trip to Green Valley. She might perhaps be better off with the Hirzes but without additional knowledge about their living arrangement or the neighborhood that is mere supposition.
Consequently, the Hirzes have decided to drive her back to Poynette and then release her. She at least will have the summer in order to find a new source of food and shelter. Perhaps the Hirzes will be able to prevail upon a neighbor to take care of her.
Although she has been traumatized and her world turned upside down by her misadventures, it could be argued that she is in no worse shape than she would have been if she had not gotten trapped inside the shipping crate in the first place. Tampering with fate is a risky business, however.
Perhaps Domino's karma was to accompany the Hirzes to Green Valley? Besides, time and tide waiteth neither for cats nor men; both must venture forth into an uncertain future. Trying to turn back the hands of time is usually not a good idea.
Much more pertinently, through their feeding of her, an unbreakable moral bond was established between the Hirzes and Domino. Like it or not, she is their responsibility and it was cruel of them to even have considered running out on her.
That is why they have a responsibility to make some sort of arrangement for her continued care and sheltering in Poynette. If they are unwilling to go the extra mile for her, it is unlikely that anyone else will be willing to do so either.
Regardless of how things turn out, it was heartening to hear Hogan acknowledge the sanctity of Domino's birthright. This is especially true in light of the smear campaign launched by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and bird advocates to deny all cats the right to even exist anywhere and under any circumstances.
Worst still, those fascists and moral degenerates are being fully supported in the commission of their heinous libels and crimes by the twenty-four karat frauds at the Humane Society of the United States and PETA. (See Cat Defender post of April 28, 2009 entitled "Quislings at the Humane Society Sell Out San Nicolas's Cats to the Assassins at the Diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Service.")
If neither an animal's nor a human's birthright establishes an inviolable entitlement to exist, than nothing else does. The distinction that the cat-haters make between native and non-native species is fascist drivel designed to excuse their crimes and to mask their utter moral depravity.
Ambrose Bierce was acutely aware of the consequences of such malignant thinking and behavior, especially when it is coupled with the ownership of real estate. "Carried to its logical conclusion, it means that some have the right to prevent others from living; for the right to own implies the right exclusively to occupy..." he wrote in his Devil's Dictionary. "It follows that if the whole area of terra firma is owned by A, B, C, there will be no place for D, E, F, and G to be born, or born as trespassers, to exist."
Although he was principally concerned with humans and private property when he penned those sentiments, they are equally applicable to public lands and the animals. Moreover, to demonize and murder defenseless cats contravenes the moral imperative that all life be respected.
As for Domino, rough days are ahead. Bonne chance, little girl! You are going to need it.
Photo: Green Valley News.