Tag Archive: Feral Cat

I Killed the Kittens With a Hammer, Says a Local Evangelical Farmer

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Barn cats at my Son and Daughter-in-law’s Farm

As Polly and I wrapped up our 25-year tour of duty pastoring churches, we began looking for a church home. I had pastored Our Father’s House in West Unity, Ohio from 1997 to 2002, and after leaving the church, we attended — for a short time — an Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA) church in Butler, Indiana. The congregation was not, itself, much to write home about, but we dearly loved the pastor and his family. After attending for a few months, we decided that we would join the church, only to find out that we couldn’t do so because we weren’t Dispensational and Premillennial. That’s right, we couldn’t join because of our eschatology. Such is the fracturing nature of Christian Fundamentalism. We soon left, looking for friendlier confines. The pastor and his wife — by now friends — were, as we were, disappointed. We felt, at the time, that we couldn’t in good conscience attend a church that wouldn’t accept as members. The church later closed its doors and the pastor and his family moved on to a new ministry. I can find no record of him online after 2008.

While I could tell many stories about our time at this church (good, bad, and funny), one stands out above all others. One Sunday morning we were sitting around a table in the fellowship hall swapping stories. Somehow, the subject of cats came up. Now, I am a cat lover. We have always had at least one cat, and have had as many as three. Currently, we are down to one: a fat, lazy yellow ten-year-old cat named Joe Meower. We regularly feed the neighborhood’s feral cats, hopefully providing them a bit of respite from the cruelty inflicted upon them by thoughtless humans.

As we talked about cats, an aged farmer decided to share a story about his barn cats. One of his cats had recently given birth to a litter of kittens. I thought, how nice this man is to take care of these feral cats and their offspring. I quickly learned, however, this man was anything but nice. Not that he was peculiar. Lots of Jesus-loving, God-fearing locals are quite cruel to animals. Some of the most cruel people I know are the local Amish. I asked the man how the kittens were doing. Oh, he chuckled, I killed them. I got a hammer out and smacked each one of them in the head! I quickly felt my face becoming flush as rage filled my mind. I thought, you could have given the kittens away, or better yet, you could have had your female barn cats spayed. Instead, his cruel hands picked up a hammer and he beat them to death.

I quickly exited the fellowship hall, fearing that I was going to have a “Bruce moment.” My rage passed, but I have not forgotten that people who speak of the love of God can often be cruel and violent; that God commanding them to have dominion over the earth means that they can indiscriminately kill. In an anthropocentric world, man rules the roost. All other life only has the value given to it by its overlords. This is why this farmer could, as if he was telling a story about his grandchildren, share his murderous rampage with his fellow church members.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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Feral Barn Cats Part Two

Last week, I asked my son and daughter-in-law if I could photograph the feral cats that reside in their barn. After giving me a quizzical look that said why?, they told me I could, but warned me that I would find it hard to get close enough to the cats to photograph them.  Sufficiently warned, I went to the barn, camera and flash in hand and took the following photographs. I hope you enjoy them.

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What follows is not a new cat breed. My daughter-in-law told me these two chickens are quite old.

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Part One

Feral Barn Cats Part One

Last week, I asked my son and daughter-in-law if I could photograph the feral cats that reside in their barn. After giving me a quizzical look that said why?, they told me I could, but warned me that I would find it hard to get close enough to the cats to photograph them.  Sufficiently warned, I went to the barn, camera and flash in hand and took the following photographs. I hope you enjoy them.

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Part Two

A New ‘Cat’ in Our Backyard

Last December, I wrote a post about feeding and helping a feral cat. I later wrote several other posts about this cat. You can read those posts here and here.  Fall is now upon us, and before long the blustery winds of winter will cover our yard with snow. The feral cat, now a year old, is still among the living, and he, along with several of his buddies, make several trips each day to our yard to eat. Usually, they stop by the compost pile to see what goodies we have left for them before they make their way to the cat food. We’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that the feral cat and his black and white compatriot consider our yard home. Some nights, we find them sleeping on our picnic table or swing and during the day it is not uncommon to see them lounging in the garden or under the pussy willow bush. As the temperatures get colder, we will do our best to give all the cats who come our way a safe, warm place to sleep.

Several nights ago, a new ‘cat’ showed up at the Gerencser Cat Hotel. I’d seen him several times before, but every time I opened the back door so I could go outside and photograph him, he ran off. This time he decided to play possum and pretend that I couldn’t see him. He allowed me to get within ten feet of him, which was great since I had to use a flash, and I was able to shoot several photographs. I hope you enjoy them.

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Winter and the Feral Cat

Six weeks ago, I wrote a post about a feral cat we were trying help. What follows is a pictorial update of how the cat is doing half way through winter. As you will see, he is quite sassy and fat. Several times a day, he wanders over to the cat house to get something to eat. Sometimes, he will stay for a few minutes, other times he stays for a few hours, especially if it is snowing.

His mother is doing well and she also frequents the cat house to find something to eat. The kitten is quite independent now, but, from time to time, I will see them chasing each other through the snow-covered yard. We also have a number of other feral cats that stop by at least once a day to feed at the Gerencser Buffet®.

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Feral Kitten

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Black Feral Cat

Our newest visitor. Eerie eyes that say, take my picture and you will have seven years of bad luck.

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Feral Kitten

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Feral Kitten

That’s Bethany’s feet in the background. She is the ONLY one that the cat will come close to.

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Feral Kitten Watching a Cardinal

Oh, Mr Cardinal, please come just a little closer so I can eat you for lunch.

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Hey, that Fat Redheaded Guy is Taking my Picture

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Feral Kitten, What’s that Noise?

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Feral Kitten

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Feral Kitten

Feeding and Helping a Feral Cat

Several months ago, a feral cat and her two kittens wandered into our yard. We tried to ignore them for as long as we could, but the animal lover in us won out and we decided to feed them. All three cats were quite scrawny, and about six weeks ago one of the kittens no longer made an appearance in our yard. We suspect the kitten died.

Now that it is winter, we have put a doghouse stuffed with straw in the backyard so the kitten can escape the cold and snow. Sometimes, one of the other local feral cats checks into the doghouse, but the kitten uses it almost every day.

While we are in no position to bring the cat into our home, it is within our power to feed and help him. I wish everyone would spay their cats and not allow them to roam free, but there are a lot of irresponsible pet owners so it is up to responsible, caring people to help the least of these. These cats don’t deserve to be punished because of the stupidity of supposed intelligent human beings.

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Feral Kitten

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Feral Kitten

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Feral Kitten

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Feral Kitten