On most days, Betty Wood can count the number of strays outside her front porch.
"We see them a lot," she said of the stray cats who routinely pay her a visit.
Over the years, Wood said, the cat population in Metropolis multiplied, with many of them clawing and picking their way to food and often destroying her property. "They have been a very bad problem," Wood said.
Unfortunately, the problem may never be solved. There's no city ordinance addressing how to treat the strays and, according to the mayor, there aren't any plans to create one. Animal Control Officer John Roman said he legally can't pick them up. "The only way we can deal with a cat, or any other animal other than a dog, is if it bites somebody," Roman said.
Even Project Hope, a no-kill animal shelter within city limits, is beyond capacity. Employees are having to turn away people who bring in abandoned cats. There is no extra room, and space at the city's animal shelter is limited. It was built to only house dogs.
"You're going to have to get more manpower just to even take care of the cats," Roman said.
"I do think they need to have some kind of a way that they can do something with them," Wood said.