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Biloxi feral cat Buddy headed to new Stone County home

KAREN NELSON/SUN HERALD 
 Buddy, a feral cat who had called a downtown Biloxi area home until Saturday, is headed to a new home in Stone County.
KAREN NELSON/SUN HERALD Buddy, a feral cat who had called a downtown Biloxi area home until Saturday, is headed to a new home in Stone County.

BILOXI -- Three days after a group of concerned Biloxi residents started an effort to have some feral cats removed from the downtown area, one cat is relocating to Stone County.

Buddy is one of several cats who have lived near what used to be Biloxi Regional Hospital. For years, Karen Whalen and others have been feeding the cats without incident, until a note was posted recently saying the cats had to go and what Whalen believed to be antifreeze, which is a lethal poison, was found near the feeding spot.

The cat caretakers started placing food in traps hoping the cats would enter them to be transported out of the neighborhood.

The traps, which were placed out on Thanksgiving, have remained empty. But a hungry Buddy decided it was time to eat.

"The traps were still empty Saturday morning," Whalen said. "But we set a carrier down with some food in it and Buddy stuck his head in it and we just shoved him in there."

Whalen said Buddy's new owner, Beth Nethery, will attempt to make the feral feline into a house cat.

"Beth is transporting him to her place in McHenry," she said. "We got him out of the carrier and put him into his condo and (Nethery) is going to start domesticating him."

Whalen said the group is rethinking its mission and contemplating a new direction for the Biloxi cats.

"No one wants these cats to go," she said. "The business owners love the cats and they don't want to see them leave. We are discussing adding some cameras to the neighborhood" to keep a lookout for anyone trying to harm the cats.

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