Monday, February 22, 2010

The Trailer Park Colony

There are two year old tabby males. One has white around his mouth while the other is a tabby tux.

This male has a URI going on.
One of the two year old tabbies, before I caught him.
Bad Eyes male.

The tabby on the porch again. I caught this one too.
This is the short orange and he has a fight wound on his forehead.
The long hair orange male, desperately trying to mate with the two tabby boys mom, who is in heat and now caught. This guy is the short hair orange male's brother, but they fight.
I got this black tux fixed in 2008, for the old woman, who died just after Thanksgiving.
Black male I caught.

Update: I've actually now caught 8 of the 9 cats who will be fixed and relocated, although one is already fixed. The ninth cat needing caught is a big limping major male. I caught all the rest, the two orange tabbies, the two younger tabbies, the black male, the tabby on white male and the already fixed black tux male. The caregivers just called to say the in heat female is in one of my traps now too, leaving only the black and white. The woman who has fed these cats found them all a barn home to go to, and is keeping the eartipped tabby on white female, whom I got fixed for her former neighbor in 2008, the old woman who died.

UPDATE UpDATE: So I go over to pick up the female and walk up on the porch to the trap and she lurches, blasting at the trap and is gone. I stare, unbelieving! The door is hanging half down. This was my worst trap, a poorly designed weak collapsible Harbor Freight sold trap. I hate them.

Number one, if you get one, you have to immediately take the door off and move it so it hinges farther forward. The problem is when the trap springs, the slant part of the door and vertical part allow enough space at the floor of the trap, so if a cat blasts at the front, it can sometimes get it's head under the edge of those two pieces and the trap floor, but not its body. This flaw has killed cats. They choke to death or break their necks. In so doing, to fix that flaw, you have to move the wire connecting the slant and vertical door pieces. The trap also really needs some circumference support, major, like a welded pieced of heavy gauge wire all the way around near the front and the back. I believe that is what happened tonight, that the cat blasted the side of the trap, throwing it off square, which slipped the door to one side and she bent the thin wire piece on top, that drops down to prevent the vertical piece of the door from thrusting forward and then flopping loose.

It's crap and I never like to use it, but the rest of my traps were already full. I have given away two of my traps to gp getter people who will use them big time. My brother borrowed one trap I had, one that was found after washing into the mud bank of a creek after a flood. It was damaged but fixable. And it had been there a long time. The property owner, whom I'd helped with cats, gave it to me. Anyhow, my brother borrowed it to catch a stray down around his house, but never returned it.

Then I crushed one of my beloved tomahawk transfer traps when I caught it with the edge of one tire. Tomahawk transfer traps are the best. Havaharts are second best. Tru catch are a distant third. LIttle Giants are crapola!!!! I don't like them at all, because they are awkwardly sized and the handle is not centered so that carrying them is a nightmare. They are big and heavy. The trigger plate is narrow and steep. You set them by propping the straight end of the heavy metal wire that slants up from the trigger plate into basically an eye hook that swings down, swinging up a lever that holds up the door. The straight end of the trigger plate wire often slips in this arrangement. I sometimes wrap that end with a piece of tape to give it a little friction and stick. I hate Little Giant traps.

Harbor Freight sold collapsibles are the worst, flimsy, cheap and poorly built. That's why they are cheap and tempting to purchase. Tru catches aren't that great either. I also refer to them as "ring drop" traps. The problem with them is the trigger plate is wide leaving very little space behind it for bait. And the door opens up and out, sticking out, when set, horizontal and even with the top of the trap. If a cat raises up under that door, or sniffs it, the cat springs the trap without being in the trap. They are particularly ineffective for bigger sized cats. So I stick with Tomahawks, if I have them and Havaharts as second best.

Here is my original post: I was only able to trap three of what appears to be ten cats being fed at the trailer park. A neighbor gave me a good description of all ten. This is a big boy colony, although there is one already fixed female, whom I got fixed a year ago October, when fixing cats for the woman who then died, just after Thanksgiving. I took in then 12 or 14 of the cats, but could not take in the four adults still there, two of them fixed. I had been promised help in finding the ones I took in homes, from the family, and donations. I got neither. It was too much to take in even more.

A neighbor began feeding the two left, unbeknownst to me, and then more strays who showed up. Now she has a barn home for the cats, mostly males, if I can catch them all and get them fixed. The two I got fixed before are still there. I caught one of them today, plus two other males, the black and a white with tabby, whose eyes are bad.

But there are two huge major males, both severely beat up from fighting. One is a short hair orange tabby and the other a black and white, with a limp, who is very dominant. Then there is a fluffy orange male I saw the black and white tear after, despite his leg injury.

There is the already fixed tabby on white female, whom I got fixed over a year ago. She is pretty much tame now. And the only unfixed female, a long hair tabby, with two year old sub dominant boys trailing her, her own kittens. So these four, plus the three major males, are the seven left needing caught. I just got word I caught one of hte orange ones, in one trap I left set. Now I'm down to six needing caught and that's better than seven.

The vet will love me tomorrow, bringing in all big boys. At the most, if I'm lucky, I'll have one female.

I visited the seed warehouse offering a home for a whole colony of cats to control the rodent issue. It's a great home actually, and the man who owns it---stellar, not a loud mouth, not an impulsive person, but a studied calm soft spoken intelligent man. I was sOoooooo impressed.

But, since I have only two adults from the homeless camp, who don't seem to like one another, I offered the home to KATA for dead Nickis cats. BEcause they all know one another and it is a great option for those cats, who have been in confinement with KATA awaiting an option for several months now, after Nicki, who fed them, died. The two young homeless camp boys will join them and I will return the two big adults for now. KATA promised to help me relocate that colony, when it becomes necessary, since I am giving them this great barn home. I am actually thrilled to help them with those Nicki cats. I know they have struggled to find them a placement.

It always works better if a group who is related, who has lived together, can be relocated all together.

So anyhow, Bling and Martha will go home, while Peter and James, the teens just fixed from the camps, who have no friends or close bonds there yet, will join the Foster dislocated cats at the seed warehouse. Three out of the homeless camps is a good victory for now.

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