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. 


  1. You didn't realize you had a very social scene every night!

  2. A very active back yard in the evening!

  3. My best luck with food for the trap is the smelliest, fishy thing you can find like sardines! Good luck!

  4. I wonder if they were all back somewhere giggling at the non-friskies bait?

    1. I bet you are right. Like the people that give out the cheap halloween candy, the kids know.

  5. LOVE Brian's comment. You think perhaps?

  6. I'm sure if you leave the trap out a few nights for the cats to get used to it being there (perhaps without bait),then try with bait,you'll have some luck.
    Jane x

  7. Fancy Feast is supposed to be kitty crack, but Derry doesn't like it. Not sure if you've tried it for bait, though.

    All I can think is that I hope you didn't have to get up and work today!

    Wishing you success the next time.

  8. now the big question remains.. did you eat all of the M&Ms?

    1. Only ate half the M&Ms! Probably would have eaten more had I not run out of water.

  9. yep - canned cat food and M&M's...we agree with Tails from the Foster Kittens - how many M&Ms were left?? and yep, never skimp on bait. :) sorry it was a late night with no (or little??) success, but think of all the things you learned. MOL

  10. Can you put food out for Oliver's family before dark to fill them up or do they only show up at night, too?

    M&M's--necessity for trappers ;-)

  11. We really admire your patience. This whole story had us on the edge of the desk reading!

  12. OMC Meez so sowwy yous not caught anypawdy yous set out fuw. And even tho' yous went wiff da cheap, sum kittys got a meal dat wuldn't hav uddew wise. Fank yous fuw cawin' so much fuw my kin folks. ☺

    Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses ♥♥♥


  13. My only question is "how many M&M's survived the night?"

  14. You see, I had to ask, because I noticed there were no M&M's at the walk about for the cooperative trapping today, and when a certain party was whining about no M&M's, and was only appeased by a hot fudge sundae, I felt sure there must be a true M&M shortage in the world... likely some certain trapper man has bought up the entire supply...

  15. WE agree about using stinky smelly food. Also agree with Jane and Chris - if you leave it out there and keep putting in fresh bait each night, they'll get used to it and come more often.

  16. Too bad it didn't work out. You're so funny with your supplies for the night ;)


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