Maybe the problem isn't that the $50.00 an hour is too low, maybe the real problem is that the $300. plus an hour is too high? Hmmmmmm.
And just where do these "rodent control" cats get rodents in the winter? A few birds, maybe but not too many of anything else. Or maybe it doesn't matter if they go a few days without anything to eat. It takes a pretty cold heart not to feed a hungry cat on your porch with a temperature of -2 degrees. Maybe, just maybe this isn't a feral cat on your porch but a once couch potato that someone got tired of feeding and just didn't let it in anymore no matter how long it meowed at his door. They thought it could catch rodents to stay alive too. Maybe, because it's always been a couch potato it doesn't even know how to succeed in catching enough pests to stay alive.
Even if that shivering feline has been homeless for awhile, I'm for one am not selfish enough to turn my back on it so it will "keep the pest population down." If you don't want to feed the poor thing at the very least call an animal control officer to trap it humanly and take it to the shelter. If it's sick they will euthanize, which I might add is more humane for him than trying to survive in the wild.
I feed and will always feed homeless cats. If I can (and usually do) capture them I will take them to the shelter. I will not turn my back on any suffering animal whether it be illness, injury or hunger. I cannot and will not turn my back on them and say go keep my rodent population down.
Why do so many people consider cats the throw away pet.
What do I think of this story? Not much. You've just encouraged even MORE people to abandon their cats by telling them they fend for themselves very well. So gosh, why shouldn't they just take them to a field and toss them out the door. Irrisponsible owners are the major "cause" of the overpopulation of cats and you've just enabled them.
Of course cats can survive in a colony, sometimes comfortably, but when food supplies dwindle so do they....they die. They die from lack of food IF they survive a Maine winter. Even if they survive our winter they may lose their ears from frostbite.
Yes, I feed stray cats in my town because as a human with compassion I can't stand to see a hungry cat that has probably been tossed out by it's owner or abandoned because they moved.
Address the real issue here...people. They need to be responsible. If you have a cat Have-it-spayed-or-neutered! If you can't afford to or just don't want it anymore for heaven's sake...take it to the shelter!