The New Must-Have Yard Accessory: a Feral Cat

Nicolas Cuervo and his neighbors called, texted and pleaded. Finally, after over three months of waiting, their highly coveted order arrived: a crate of stray cats.

“It was almost like getting a newborn,” said Mr. Cuervo, a 44-year-old copywriter, who had three cats from a street pack delivered to him last month.

Now, Mr. Cuervo is waiting some more—to see if he can persuade the beasts to stick around.

He has changed his schedule to work from home. He coos to them through the wires of the crate. He feeds them gourmet cat treats. All in the hope that once he lets them out of the crate after several weeks, the cats will warm up to him and turn his backyard—now overrun with rats—into their long-term hunting ground.

“I’m a dog guy, I was never even drawn to cats,” he said. “But if this is what you have to do, you have to do it.”