Tuesday, May 20, 2014

making preparations

I'm gearing up for a second drop trap attempt for the new boy.

I've been acclimating him to eat under the drop trap, something he doesn't have a problem doing if the food is decent enough! I've switched over to Friskies and all is well in the world once again. I've got the neuter appointment set for Wednesday morning, which means Tuesday night will be another all night drop trap vigil. Good times!

You'll never get me in that trap!

A few hours after this picture was taken, some jerks broken into my garage and made off with a bunch of the new tools that I purchased last summer for my big remodeling project. By the look of things, they didn't stay very long and only took the large items that were out in plain sight. I'm thankful they didn't take any of my TNR traps or the trail camera that was sitting outside the garage pointing in the opposite direction. If only I had pointed the camera toward the garage door rather than away, I would have nice pictures of people stealing my stuff.

I learned about the break-in as I was heading out the door to teach the Basic TNR class. Needless to say, I was not in the best of moods for the class, but the students were happy to learn the TNR fundamentals and now they want to get some hands on field experience! In my humble opinion, the more people we have participating in TNR the better.

Friday, May 16, 2014

five year gotcha day!

Today is Willow and Nahum's 5th year gotcha day!!

I can't believe it's been five years already. Nahum and Willow are siblings, adopted together.

June 2009
They were so little and young looking when they came home! 

June 2009
May 2014
Nahum remains his silly, fluffy self. He loves to flop over and show off his soft tummy furs. He also still loves to play and romp like a kitten.

June 2009
April 2014
I don't know how she does it, but Willow just keeps getting cuter! She's so my little girl. And now, since having those ouchy tooths yanked, she's cuddly too. 

Can't imagine life without them, they bring just joy and delight to my heart. Today we celebrate you Nahum and Willow! Extra treats for you!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

inside please

Oliver's mostly an inside kitty now. I bring him in around 10pm and he stays in until I carry him out at 6am so he can have breakfast with his family. He hangs out with them and patrols (marks) the property borders. After a few hours, he shows up at the upstairs window, making his desire known.

Can I come back in now?

He's back inside from around 9am to around 8pm. I still haven't tried to introduce him to the inside cats yet, I still want to do that, but am afraid of the possibly nasty fights. One day, I'll get the courage to try formal introductions. It would be lovely for him to be integrated into the general population. Oh, but then there's still that pesky spraying issue...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

drop trap vigil

I stayed up crazy late last night trying to drop trap the new black cat. Here's how it went.

9:32pm - Returned from store after procuring necessary trapping supplies.

9:48pm - Played "chase the red dot" with Oliver all around the backyard, so he would be tired and more amenable to coming inside for night.

9:58pm - Oliver is carried into his room so he doesn't fight and chase the target cat away.

10:00pm - Drop trap vigil starts, trap is set. And so it begins.

10:15pm - MK checks out the bait, not interested. I hope this is not a bad sign, bought the big can of cheap cat food. Usually go with Friskies. I hope I don't regret pinching pennies.

10:25pm - Pierre just came by and ate a little and then left. Now, I'm just waiting and watching.

10:50pm - Just noticed a large dirty white cat in the yard behind me. Would love to trap him too if I can somehow lure him into the trap. Haven't seen him for months.

10:52pm - Nora just popped around the corner of the garage. She's so small and adorable! She's spooked so easily, just seeing the trap scared her and she took off. Too bad she remains so feral. White cat seems to have left the yard in the other direction.

10:58pm - Waiting and watching reminds me of summer camp where we did a "sit and watch" - parked in the forest and sat quietly watching for wildlife. I'm thankful it's a warm, dry evening.

11:00pm - I'm a little nervous at how little attention this wet food is getting. Not what I expected.

11:17pm - Black cat at trap, rubbing against it. Not sure if it's Pierre or my target cat. Argh! I think it's Pierre again. Whoever it is, he never got under the trap.

11:26pm - Nora just popped her head around the side of the garage again, didn't like what she saw and disappeared again.

11:44pm - tried to stifle a sneeze, failed. so much for trying to be quiet and not make noise.

11:49pm - Not much going on. Quietly listening to AM radio, Coast to Coast with George Noory - always interesting listening about the supernatural! Ha!

11:55pm - MK is back, walking around. He's easier to identify with his short tail.

12:19am - Cat just showed up, this could be him.

12:21am - He's sniffing the food, but I can't tell if it's Pierre or not. Argh!!

12:22am - I think it was him. But he was only in the trap long enough to sniff the food, now he's gone! I only had about a second to make the choice and I delayed, thinking it might be Pierre once again. What kind of feral cat sniffs wet food and walks away?! Argh!

12:25am - Cat in feeder.

12:25am - Cat in feeder was MK. You can tell by the short tail.

12:35am - I'm really unhappy with this store brand of food. Friskies all the way.

12:39am - Big black cat is back, going into feeder. Ack, just noticed the notched right ear, it's Pierre. He's came by for a snack from the feral feeder. It's so hard to distinguish black cats apart in the dark.

12:56am - Big black cat just came back, this could be my target cat. Yep, I think it's him. He's going to the feeder for a snack.

12:59am - He left the feeder and left, never went near the drop trap. Argh!

1:15am - After a few hours sitting here in the dark, every dark shadow is starting to look like a black cat. Or maybe I'm just getting more paranoid listening to George Noory!

1:22am - Bagging it for the night. Frustrating. Never skimp on cheap bait, never!

1:30am - Secured trap for the night. Placed bait food out with camera watching so can see who ends up eating it.  Now, I go to sleep.

Here is what the camera revealed from after I went to bed:

2:12am - This is one of the new neighbor's cats. Notice the collar.

 2:52am - This is the cat! No ear-tip! Now he eats the bait... argh!

2:56am - Cat in front is the target cat, not sure who the other cat is, Pierre maybe?

I learned a few things from this experience.

  • Never go with the cheap bait! I went with the large can because I figured MK and Pierre would come by and pig out. I wanted there to be enough bait that they could eat all they wanted and some would remain. Next time I just buy a few cans of Friskies and maybe some tuna and go with that. 
  • There are more cats coming around than I first thought. The large white cat, the collared cat and possibly another cat in that last photo. Might need to be doing trapping more often. I will start leaving the camera out at night and see what it reveals.
  • Stonehenge and other great monuments of the world were created by people who had a will to make it so. This bit of insight came from Coast to Coast, a late night radio show that must be experienced. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

bonded pair

MK and Pierre are a bonded pair of ferals. This is the scene I was greeted with this morning when I brought Oliver outside in the morning:

After breakfast and a romp with Oliver around the yard, MK and Pierre have settled into Oliver's house, where they are enjoying a nice cuddle:

Meanwhile, I've been devising my plan for trapping the new cat who's been coming around.

This boy has a date at the neuter clinic tomorrow morning!

I wonder if he's related somehow to Oliver and the family. He's black with a small white patch on his chest and he looks to be about Oliver's size.

Trapping him will be a challenge, as I don't want to trap MK, Pierre, or Nora. I'll bring Oliver inside the house, so he won't be around to chase off the new boy. At first I thought I would use a regular trap, but then I realized that won't work, because I'll need to selectively trap to make sure I get the right cat. 

Oliver snoopervises Pierre as he eats the bait!

I have decided to go with the drop trap. This way I can sit in the car, and wait and watch. Of course, determining one black cat from another in the dark is a bit of a challenge. So, even with the drop trap, odds are high I could get the wrong cat.

Pierre eating drop trap bait

I'll be up late tonight waiting for the new boy to get under the drop trap - then he's mine!

Friday, May 9, 2014

five years

I can't believe it's been five years today that my amazing Max went over the bridge after a prolonged battle with CRF.

October 23, 2007

Max was my first cat. He set the standard for all cats. He was the perfect blend of playful, snuggly, and curious.

March 15, 2008
Max sometimes forgot to retract his tongue all the way!

Feb 14, 2008
He was a big cat.

July 5, 2009
He always slept upside down!

Feb 28, 2007
Yarn balls were his favorite toy.

July 11, 2007
He always enjoyed exploring the yard on his harness and leash.

March 8, 2008
Five years later and my heart still hurts like it was yesterday.

I long to gaze into your eyes while holding you upside down in my arms. 

I miss rubbing your soft furry tummy while you purred and purred.

Your desire for bopping your nose to my nose always delighted my heart.

I miss you my sweet beloved Max.

Monday, May 5, 2014

claws of doom

Practice makes purrfect

Sorry about the rainbow scare in yesterday's post - all is well, we are all heathy! Nip-rainbow is way better than bridge-rainbow! I hope the bridge-rainbow doesn't come by these parts for long, long time.

And for those wondering about what Buddy was asking for...
He's asking for third dinner. 

He'll just sit in front of you, fiercely staring at you until he gets what he wants.
And of course it goes without saying, that he usually gets what he wants!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014