'Cat lady' seeks help

Two years ago when a hungry stray cat came to her doorstep, animal lover Judy Wahl started feeding it outside. Now she's got a problem because she's moving to an apartment and doesn't know how the 11 outside cats she now feeds will survive.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


Two years ago when a hungry stray cat came to her doorstep, animal lover Judy Wahl started feeding it outside.

Now she's got a problem because she's moving to an apartment and doesn't know how the 11 outside cats she now feeds will survive.

Wahl said she adopted a cat on her doorstep three years ago and has another inside cat as well. She just fed the male cat that showed up two years ago outside because she didn't think a third cat would fit into her household.

But she said the cat was so sweet she didn't mind opening her garage and setting out food when the male showed up with a female. Then came the kittens a litter of four in March and another litter about six weeks ago.

"I just want to find homes for them," she said. "These cats are beautiful and they are all tame." She said the animals have never behaved like the feral cats that have plagued some homes in the city.

She said the cats stay on her property so they have not been a problem in the neighborhood. "I'm called the cat lady," Wahl said. "Nobody minds them because they don't bother anyone. This is their home. They stay here."

Wahl said she leaves her garage door open so they can get out of the weather. The cats also enjoy a heated water bowl and a heating pad in the garage.

Now she is worried because her ex-husband will be moving into the home at 13 Westwind Drive at the end of the year and he told her he wouldn't continue to feed the cats. She can only move her two inside cats, Maggie and Molly, to her apartment.

Wahl has named most of the cats Mama and Papa are the male and female that showed up first. The four males born in March are Shadow, Rascal, Brownie and Pixie. How about the five younger kittens? "I haven't named them yet, they're still timid," she said.

The Humane Society will not accept the cats because they are considered strays as long as they are outside cats, Wahl said. The cost to spay and neuter the animals at a veterinarian's office would be high $134 for each female and $96 for each male.

Stray cats have been a problem in the city for years. City council discussed the problem in September when resident Don Ratliff, of 34 Jefferson St., told council that feral cats had invaded his property.

Councilman Robert Carleton, who had researched the issue, said at that meeting the best solution for stray cats is a trap, neuter and release (TNR) program. He said it takes from three to five years for a comprehensive program to handle the problem.

Mayor Sue Lesch said the city has researched the problem, but a solution could cost up to "six-digit figures."

"We just don't have the funds to do it," she said. " Everything we've looked at is so cost prohibitive."

Lesch said the city is trying to work with the Humane Society to find solutions for residents plagued by stray cats. "We hope to sit down sometime next year and see what options there are for people," she said.

After the September meeting, Lesch did mention a program called Neuter Scooter.

Neuter Scooter is a traveling program that brings veterinarians and supplies to communities and spays or neuters cats for $40 if paid in advance. The service charges $50 for walk-in clients. Cats should be at least four months old to be spayed or neutered.


Jennifer (Anonymous)

Having just taken two of our strays into the Neuterscooter on Saturday 11/17/07, I would highly recommend them. They are a low cost spay/neuter clinic that travels to many areas. You can look up information on when they will next be in the area at neuterscooter.com They are friendly and caring with all the cats whether they be your pet, a stray or a feral cat.

Here's an idea....


You know... (An...

When people start referring to you as "The Cat Lady", it's probably NOT a good thing. Remember the Cat Lady on the Simpson's? Not a good image. You shouldn't feed feral cats EVER. Cats will tell all of their friends where the food is, and if your neighbor feeds them better, they will leave you. (If you want loyalty, get a dog.) This lady got herself into this mess, let her get herself out of it. I don't want any more roaming around in my 'hood. They will fend for themselves, lady, so move on and don't worry about them, they'll be just fine. Swiss family is a huge feral animal lover, maybe she'll take them. She likes feral kids too. More then we will ever know.

tim (Anonymous)

Okay some might not know this but I help people! Imagine, acts of kindness & doing things to make a small difference in someones world. You know cutting an old ladies lawn, garden vegtables to some in need & more. Hey people are so much more important than animals.

So... (Anonymous)

should we slam the ex-hubby for not being 'kind'enough to feed this mess she made, or do we give him a big atta boy for trying to help the cat population? I'm with him on this...it's HER problem. Cat ladies are nuts!

If Norwalk star...

handing out fines for dumping off cats and dogs the city wouldn't have this problem. They should make it $500 per animal dumped. That would pay to either have them fixed or euthanized. Problem solved.


Some people still have it. Thank you for being in the minority with me. It has nothing to do about being a "cat lady". When you feel in your heart to do something kind for someone or something you should act on it.

Acts of kindness are the following, but are not limited to;
Hold the door for someone.
Say please and thank you.
Instead of saying no, say no thank you.
Call up an elderly friend or family member if they need anything.
When someone looks sad, ask them if their ok.

Just do an act of kindness a day, help wash the world of trouble away!!

another cat lad...

There is one place that might be able to help: the Wyandot County Humane Society in Upper Sandusky. Not only do they accept strays, they run the H.O.P.E. Clinic - a low-cost neuter & spay clinic. Check them out. The website is: www.wyhumane.org Best of luck to you.

tina (Anonymous)

call lucky's i bet they can find a home for them

Cats (Anonymous)

I perfer a cat any day over a dog.

Debbie (Anonymous)

Hope Clinic in Upper Sandusky offers low cost spay & neutering. Male cats are $15.00, female $25.00.

Male dogs are anywhere fro $25.00 to $45.00 depending on weight...female dogs are $35.oo to $55.00. Immunizations are $5.00 if given at time of surgery.

An additional 10% is taken off for 3 or more animals

1-888-294-4477 is their phone number

re: Debbie (Ano...

I have heard of that place in Upper Sandusky, how can it be so cheap? I had my male cat fixed in Milan, and I paid well over $100.
Does this place get any kind of grant?

I agree with Ti...

Acts of kindness are rare these days, when the littlest things we take for granted actually light up someone's face, like opening a door for someone, mowing their lawn, shoveling their sidewalks etc, then it makes the town and the world a better place to be in. But there are acts of kindness, like feeding feral cats, that can lead to a degree of heartache, and big time problems down the road. I'm just as nice as the next guy, I would LOVE to have a ranch filled with cats and dogs, but when you feed feral cats to the point where you end up with 11 cats...it just not right. Some people just don't think.

Lillie Chaos (A...

I like this "Neuter Scooter" concept.....now if we can just expand it...............

Sigmund (Anonymous)

If any of you know or maybe need a psychiatrist, ask them about people and their cats. Four cats is the tipping point, meaning four or more cats equals NUTS. Dogs rule.

Cat Guzzler (An...

Hi, I'm a stray from Bellevue and I'm on my way to Lorain for some cheap gas. Can anyone tell me where Judy lives? I'm a little hungry and I'd like to get a snack before her husband moves back in and turns off the gravy spigot.

smalltowner (An...

Last winter I took 3cats to Upper Sandusky (actually 2were mine and 1 was a friends ) but anyway it is very simple and cheap we took them up in the morning and went back in the evening to pick them up and we had no problems with any of them. I have had cats fixed before in Norwalk and I spent close to 200.00 per cat so, yea I will drive to Uppper Sandusky to get them fixed even with the price of gas today it still saves money. They are able to do this so cheap because people donate to them and they do volume work . Call early we had to wait 6 weeks to get an appointment when I called they are THAT busy. good luck.

tim (Anonymous)

Very interesting. Local food banks "fear" shortage of food for humans NOT CATS!! Help the world; help people!!

Bob - 0 (Anonymous)

She needs help alright.

Just Kinda Curi...

Ok, I don't get it. How can you get 11 feral cats to relax long enough to get them to ride in the car all the way to Upper Sandusky???? Do you let them drink? Smoke weed? Give them all a shot of 'E'? I like cats, but there's a limit and a 'tipping' point indeed. I can see taking like 1 to get fixed, but 11?? If she'd of done it RIGHT instead of waiting until Mr. Cat invited Mrs. Cat to move in and then realized they 'did it' and now Mrs. Cat is on her 2nd, NOT 1st, litter of cats...I think she should have fixed them FIRST before letting them 2 get all cozy with the heated water and pads...sounds kinda romantic. Hey, Judy, my old man and I would like to use your warm garage to 'do it' and get some grub before your ex turns the gravy spigot off for good. And don't worry, I'm fixed.

She just needs....

A gun!!! I know someone that takes care of cats with a gun. I think he's up to like 21 taken care of so far. Stray cats cause so many problems.

smalltowner (An...

Re>Just Kinda Curios,like a cat>
Ever hear of PET CRATES???????????????????????

re:smalltowner ...

yeah, I have. Ever hear of NUTSO CAT LADIES??

kitty auschwitz...

Sell them to Ohio Edison....We can start a " Kitty auschwitz" put the lil kitties to work. The chinese will
be upset, however there are plenty of lil kitties to go around. We can use all parts of lil kitties, the hind feet can be " Back scratch paws" and the front paws can be "luck paws". Cats to be on lookout for the Chinese. Cats to burn in the incinerator to generate power. Soon Ohio Edison will be paying us. Just think of all the free electrical power we could have...If we figure 18-20 cats to generate 1 kilowatt, we would have SERIOUS business. Use lil kitty fur for winter warmth, rest of lil kitty parts to incinorate. Don't nuetor! Breed for power! Just a thought to put local lil kitties to good use? any other ideas? let me know you thoughts.

Re: kitty ausch...

Now you're being ridiculous and a bit racist I think. Besides, everybody knows that kittens make for good mittens.

I'm thinkin.......

maybe they should have a neuterscooter for men too, so there's not so many stray kiddies in the world. They would slove alot of public assistance problems(ie niglets).

swiss family......

why not try to sell all of the stray cats to the chinese/japanese. restaurants in town.. ?? just a thought

'swiss family' ...

ok swiss, go catch you a stray cat...I will buy it from you."sell all of the stray cats to the chinese/japanese. restaurants in town..." you tool.

I'm Thinkin' To...

I'm thinkin' that "I'm thinkin', kitty auschwitz and Swiss" should all be neutered. Be careful, Swiss carries a gun.

stray cats (Ano...

You know honestly the humane society does all it can for the community like the mayor said it takes money to fix the problem .... the upper sandusky clinic is funded by dontations and plus the are a kill facility as well ... as for their clinic you get what you pay for that is for sure! i ahve taken at least 40 cats there myself and i have had complications with over half of them! so i guess to each their own ... i think if people would listen to the mayor and the humane society things would get accomplished a lot faster it takes time to develop such a program and tehn implementation. i spoke wit hthe new manager at the humane society and they ahve some great ideas i will be looking forward to see how well they pan out!