Attack of the Feral Cats

One of the most popular tourist spots, in France, was the scene of a near fatal attack on a tourist by feral cats.  Yes, feral cats.  A young woman on vacation was attacked by six feral cats in the city of Belfort, in the popular Franche-Comte region.  The cats actually dragged her down and mauled her.  These cats must have been big.  She had many bites, including one that almost severed an artery.  She was walking her poodle at the time and the poodle was even attacked by the cats.  The woman was taken to the hospital and treated for the bites.  She received a rabies shot in case the cats were rabid.  Officials of Belfort stated that this was unusual for feral cats to attack humans and that they are concerned about it.  With 8,000 cats being born every day, you would think they would be concerned.  However, for the most part, feral cats are harmless and shy away from human contact.

Shying away from human contact is not always the case as amply demonstrated by the attack on the tourist in Belfort.  When I was a small child, I sometimes stayed with grandparents (maternal).  There was an abandoned house across the road from my grandparents home.  A colony of feral cats took up residence there.  I watched them quite a bit as I noticed they seemed to have a hierarchy established.  There was one huge yellow cat that seemed to have the attention of the females (just guessing, the majority were probably females).  The rat and squirrel problem that had plagued that area for so long disappeared due to all those cats which probably numbered between 25-30.  But, the feral cats were becoming aggressive and more territorial.  They would frequently urinate on my grandparents porch as if they were marking their territory.  They also would tear into my grandparents clothes after grandma took the clothes out to dry on the clothes line.  Grandpa demanded the city do something with them.  Animal Control Officers (ACO) came one day to try to capture them.  These cats, rather than run, launched an attack on the Animal Control Officers.  These officers ran to their truck after having been attacked by several of the feral cats from the colony.  Additional help came and they sent some kind of gas into the house that either knocked them out or killed them all.  They wouldn't tell us which.  I suspect it killed them by the way they were placed in bags.

It was a bit sad to see that since I am animal lover.  But, I remember one ACO telling me that if a cat does not have human contact within the first three weeks of their lives, they are feral from that point on.  There was no way these cats could become domesticated.  Since that time, I have discovered that is not accurate.  But, I'm not sure how a feral cat is domesticated.


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