Here he is from last fall when I got him to pose:See that he has on a red collar AND a purple collar. Well, I had decided that two was a little too much, so I had removed the red collar and left just the purple. The collar was on him when he disappeared. Here he is yesterday when he arrived back home WITHOUT A COLLAR and WITHOUT testicles.
He has been the victim of a drive-by neutering. Now, I thought at first that it was a catch/neuter/release attempt, but he has been gone 35 days, and this is newer than that. He was obviously not feral! And, he has obviously been kept away, so now I really think somebody had decided to make him their cat. He is different now. He lacks the confidence he used to have. He lacks the friendly demeanor he used to have. He is skittish. He shies away when you attempt to reach to pet him. He ran away when I called his name. I know it is him by the distinctive pattern, the sound of his meow, and the way he flops over to lie down. Also, by the collar indentation in his fur. We have been violated, and I am none too happy about that!
I don't know where you stand on the Bob Barker, ASPCA, PETA idea that every cat everywhere ought to be spayed or neutered, but I am on the fence. I have assisted a local animal rescue. I am aware of the need for unwanted pet population control. Our other cat, Seuss, is neutered. I am a responsible pet owner. We are rural, and we wanted a farm cat. We rescued his pregnant mother from a life of cyclical urban reproduction. After the litter, we had her spayed, and we kept her. We found responsible homes for all her kittens except one. Amilia wanted to keep one, and she chose Striper (and she named him).
We have taken a wait and see stance on whether to neuter him because he did not wander, did not fight, was not aggressive, and had a lovely demeanor JUST THE WAY HE WAS. I also believe in farm cats. Unaltered cats make much better farm cats. I know this from experience. Once we got the chickens, we were again having to evaluate whether to neuter him, and it was looking like we might go ahead and do it just for their safety. But we were still in discussion about that.The furthest he went was onto 2 of the neighboring properties because those are on the way to the mailbox, and he has always walked with us to the mailbox. I do not know what to think about one of my neighbors taking my cat and altering him without even attempting to ask around first. We all mostly know each other in passing around here, even though we are separated by an acre or two.
I missed his second birthday in his absence. I do not know if he will come back to stay or not, because he climed onto the roof yesterday, and seemed to disappear as quickly as he arrived. But he now has his red collar back on. If those who have him are decent and don't keep him locked up, I think he will be back. I am stunned by this turn of events, and just don't know what to think!
Gives a whole new meaning to catnap!