More than three months ago, a 65-year-old man shot his 67-year-old wife and nine of their cats in their Ramsey, Minn., home the day after they had been served an eviction notice. Since then, the surviving cats have been living as a colony outside.
Leslie Reed, a full-time veterinarian at the Wildlife Rehab Center in Roseville, happens to live nearby, and she estimates about 18 of the couple's cats are now homeless. She also brings food every other day, and the cats are beginning to trust her.
"This is kind of a completely independent project I've taken on myself," Reed said. "I've been coming to feed them about every other day. A lot of them are very thin, many of them are covered in ticks."
Reed took it upon herself to care for the cats the couple left behind -- the cats that no one else, up to this point, wants.
"I contacted about a dozen rescues that are no-kill shelters or foster homes," she said. "Heard back from three. They're all full."
Ramsey police gave Reed the green light to help, and as soon as she can line people up to adopt the cats -- or at least foster them -- she's going to get them on veterinary care.
Reed said that the life of an outdoor cat is not glamorous because of parasites, diseases and predators. Still, she hopes their days of roaming the lot will soon be over.