'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.


to I'm think to...

"I'm thinking" can't be neutered you twit. I'm a woman-- or didn't you understand what I wrote. Obviously, you didn't think TOO much. idiot.

fry guy (Anonymous)

all those cats - just like a women.

swiss family......

ok, i have caught 3 cats.. are you still going to buy them from me?? or are you just full of crap? and your word means nothing?? oh, by the way, my name is NOT tami, i feel badly for whoever she is, because she is being credited with the wisdom that i exude, and i don't even know her, but do what you will...also, thanks again for calling me a tool, it is a great compliment, we all know how much people treasure their tools... i am humbly honored

Yee Ha... (Anon...

swiss shot 3 cats somebody give her some money that way she can afford a home computer and stop using her boss's and everyone elses. Better yet pay her so she can go get the mental help she so desparately needs.

Pie Eyed and Bu...

Here's an idea...for every cat I buy from swiss, she gives me a free tank of gas. How 'bout it, swiss guzzler? That sounds fair. Then I can drive to Lorain for cheap gas and pick up some junkyard cats along the way for you. I had a junkyard cat, his name was Agent Jack Bauer because he was soooo tough. Last I heard from him, he was about 10 minutes out...

Richard (Anonymous)

What a terrible, terrible thing to have a cat named "Agent Jack Bauer". Jack Bauer is way too good to have ANY cat named after him. And I don't think you could get a kilowatt of power out of 18-20 cats, but I'd have to do the math. I'd estimate only about .5 to .7 kWH. And as any good NRA member knows, .22LR shells are only about 6 cents each, which is alot cheaper than cat food. But we can jest and legislate and pontificate all we want, this story just represents a sad vein in our bountiful society that feels taking care of furry little friends is more important than looking after people.

Dear Riichard (...

I named him that because he was TOUGH, didn't you read that part? Agent Jack Bauer is a bad mothe...shut your mouth...like Shaft.

curtis mayfield...

Well I'm talkin bout Shaft. Well make M dig it!

Please (Anonymous)

Umm.. I agree witht he ex... They are cats, if he doesn't feed them guess what happens? They either move on to the next schmuck that feeds them or they die.... Either way, who cares?

Mistaken (Anonymous)

I believe the fact that she is taking responsibility for the cats she was caring for is a great thing! Shes not crazy, shes caring. I recently saved a small kitten and I got more joy out of that than most things in life. I'm going to school for Veterinary Technology, so yes I maybe a little bias on this subject. We the humans are to blame we decided to domesticate these animals and when they get to be a bother we dump them out. They reproduce like crazy and it's our fault.Spay and neuter people it really is the answer and take responsibility for your pets. People suck. Mankind is really not kind at all!

re mistaken (An...

Maybe you suck.The world isn't fair, but duh, thats just reality. Welcome to it. First things first.

Dear Mistaken, ...

I'm with you...they say cats can talk, they're just so smart, they choose not to. If only swiss family was like that...