This beautiful tortoiseshell cat is another member of the feral “popcorn cats” colony. This colony, located behind a movie theater, is well taken care of by colony caretakers who feed the cats daily and provide warm shelters. An additional indicator that this colony is being managed is the ear tip missing on the top left ear of each cat. The ear tip is a universal sign that the cat has been spayed/neutered and has often received important vaccinations. The ear tip is important because feral cats are unsocialized to humans and therefore un-adoptable without proper socialization. Feral cats that enter shelters are typically euthanized as already overcrowded shelters do not have the time to attempt to socialize a feral cat. The ear tip indicates that the cat can no longer reproduce and should be left in it’s habitat to live out it’s life.
Shelters all around the United States are beginning to receive an influx of new residents due to the onset of kitten season. Each year the already overcrowded shelters will be overwhelmed by new kittens who are in need of constant attention. Orphaned kittens, as young as under a week old, often come into shelters. Because the kittens would not live overnight without being bottle fed every few hours their lives depend on the kindness of those working at the shelter, who are often willing to take the kittens home and care for them. Much of the population boom would be curbed if people spayed and neutered their cats and did not dump cats into the wild.
Stosh’s fighting days are over but the scars from his battles can still be clearly seen by his ears. A lot of un-neutered tom cats get cauliflower ear, similar to human boxers and wrestlers. The constant hits to the head have deformed Stosh’s ears. But, he doesn’t let that shake his confidence. He is well respected around the farm colony and none of the other cats dare mess with him. He most likely fathered many cats in the colony before getting neutered.