I have enjoyed being a town resident for well over thirty years - 25 in Short Hills and the balance in Millburn on Church Street.
Such enjoyment and health are being compromised by what can safely be identified as an invasion of feral cats that roam my neighborhood and in particular my garden and I have to assume that of others in the immediate area.
The proliferation of these feral cats is surely encouraged by a no-doubt, well-meaning neighbor whom I have been told traps them and has them neutered on occasion but dispenses lunch and dinner to them on a daily basis thus encouraging their return and who after their meal enjoy taking leisurely walks across the street through the neighborhood and in particular my garden.
The situation reached a rather unpleasant outcome when about a month ago I went to my shed to pick up a spare butane tank that I wanted to have filled and upon entering the shed I discovered to my horror and disgust a dead cat. The cat had clearly been injured as it had bled all over the shed floor as well as on my chaise lounge covers that had been stored there. After letting out a very loud scream I immediately called animal control who came around to remove the dead cat a few days later-thankfully we were still in the midst of a cold spell otherwise the consequences would have been unhealthy and a whole lot more unpleasant .
Upon removing the dead cat, the animal control officer suggested I purchase moth balls and fill old stockings with it and place them throughout the garden, something that I dutifully did. To my dismay, now that the weather has improved, upon stepping out into my garden to do some spring clean-up, I have been greeted by a most unpleasant scent-a mix of moth balls and feral cats odor-to be sure not something one will find on the cosmetic counters thus severely compromising my enjoyment of al fresco-dining which I enjoy on a daily basis weather permitting.
Interestingly there was an article in the April 15 NY Times about this subject telling of animal lovers in NYC who also trap and have the felines neutered but there the feral cats migrate to abandoned lots which thankfully we don’t have and is not the case in Millburn.
I have called the animal control office since asking to take a more aggressive approach but to this date I have not heard a response and with the nice weather approaching, mine and that of my neighbors’ enjoyment of our outdoor space is severely compromised.
Comments, suggestions and possible solutions are greatly appreciated.
Anna Maria Sorrentino
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