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Stray, feral cats need some TLC, too: Despite the fickle weather we’ve come to tolerate at the Lake of the Ozarks, spring is a time of rebirth. First, it’s daffodils, then the ponds and lake come alive with spring peepers, dogwoods bloom and we’re finally sprinkled with oak pollen dust as our trees sprout their seasonal leaves. It’s also birthing season for feral and stray cats. Yes, there are homeless cats that roam the streets. Cats wandering around are not uncommon, especially in the area of The Strip where there is a constant source of food. They can sometimes be a pest, but most often they’re looking for food and some TLC. Not to be alarmed. They have their place in the food chain. According to the website Ally Cat Allies, feral, stray and pet cats are all members of the same species; they are all domestic cats. But stray cats and feral cats are also different from each other in a very important way — in their relationship to and interactions with people. Whether you are a shelter worker, veterinarian, or feral cat advocate — or you just share your neighborhood with feral cats — knowing how to tell the difference can help inform how best to interact with a cat or what, if any, intervention would be in each cat’s best interest. A “socialized” cat is one that is friendly towards people—or cats that enjoy companionship with us in our homes.  Kittens becomes socialized by interacting with people—being held, spoken to, and played with—from an early age. If a kitten does not become accustomed to people holding her and petting her within this crucial window, she will grow up apprehensive of humans and will not be suited to or happy living in homes.  What is the difference between a stray cat and a feral cat?  Pet and stray cats are socialized to people.  Feral cats are not socialized to people. While they are socialized to their colony members and bonded to each other, they do not have that same relationship with people.  A stray cat is a cat that has been socialized to people at some point in her life, but has left or lost her domestic home, as well as most human contact and dependence. Over time, a stray cat can become feral as her contact with humans dwindles.  Under the right circumstances, however, a stray cat can also become a pet cat once again. Stray cats that are re-introduced to a home after living outdoors may require a period of time to acclimate; they may be frightened and wary after spending time outside away from people.  Again, don’t be alarmed if you see a cat or cats hanging around The Strip. They are hungry and they may want to be your friend. Ideally, cats should be neutered to help curb overpopulation. If you decide to bring a stray or feral cat into your home, or under your care, make sure you have him or her neutered. Contact any of a number of veterinarians, Dogwood Animal Shelter, Ozark Kats and K9 Shelter, Blue Moon Sanctuary or others. To learn more about feral and stray cats, click on         


Free recycling for LO residents to continue

City of Lake Ozark residents will continue to get free recycling at Laclede Industries’ Waste Watchers.

The board of aldermen has authorized a donation of $5,000 to Laclede Industries of Lebanon to subsidize the recycling center on Valley Road so Lake Ozark residents can take qualifying recyclables for free. 

Only weeks after the 2020 agreement was approved, Waste Watchers fell victim to COVID-19 and was forced to close until later in the spring. But the demand didn’t diminish, and the recycling center is back in business thanks in part to the city’s support.

The new contract is effective April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022. Laclede County, home county of Laclede Industries, has a similar agreement for free recycling.

Note: The free service is only for City of Lake Ozark residents. Proof of residency is required. 


Non-residents welcome

Non-residents can use the facility as well but will pay a small fee as follows:

​•$3 per 13-gallon bag of paper/plastic/tin.

Punch cards are available on site: A $10 card buys 10 13-gallon bags; a $25 card buys 10 30-gallon bags.

Waste Watchers is currently accepting cardboard and aluminum cans for free.

Here’s what’s accepted:


Items must be clean and sorted.

Accepting Number 1, Number 2 naturalNumber 2 colored.


Waste Watchers accepts corrugated cardboard. Items must be clean and broken down. 

Waste Watchers offers convenient trailers for cardboard recycling to businesses for a monthly fee. 


All items must be sorted: Newspapermagazine paper and black and white

Tin and Aluminum

All items must be rinsed well. Remove labels. 

•Waste Watchers does not pay for aluminum cans. 

•Waste Watchers does not accept colored paper of any kind. No paper bags, wrapping paper, tissue paper, construction paper, carbon copies, etc. 


Waste Watchers, 43 Valley Road, is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every Tuesday, weather permitting. In order to qualify for free service, City of Lake Ozark residents must bring a current utility bill showing they are Lake Ozark residents, or a card that is available from City Hall, 3162 Bagnell Dam Blvd.

For more information, call 417-588-3242; or go online to


Expanded recycling?

Alderman Dennis Klautzer asked if the city has considered expanding its trash service to include recycling. He said the current recycling regulations are somewhat restrictive.

Mayor Gerry Murawski, who serves on the Laclede Industries Board of Directors, said the cost of adding recycling would be prohibitive to residents. China, once a major paid recipient of U.S. recycling materials, has changed its policies. That makes finding a reliable source challenging and costly, Murawski explained.

“I just wish we had better solution,” Klautzer offered. ‘It’s important, and I don’t feel we’re filling the need. It’s a difficult, difficult situation not only for us but other cities as well.”