Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Catching Cats Between Snow Storms and Monsoons

What is with this winter?   First its months of pouring rain that never ends.  

Then we get the deep freeze and snow, more freeze and more snow.  Monsoons for the last two days, just absolute drenching, and this as the last snow turned to deep freezing slush before melting.  The air was heavy with cold moisture.  Miserable!

I woke to more snow today, not much, not like Portland.  Portland got a ton.  Way over what was predicted.

At least those ten cats were fixed from Lebanon Monday and on Monday I went up to the rural trailer park where there were supposed to be so many unfixed cats and waited, six hours worth of waiting, to catch merely 3.  The others are long fixed. Most anyway, but it is very hard to see once dark hits, ear tips among the many black tux cats and black and white cats, to know who is fixed and who is not fixed.

The trailer park is horseshoe shaped, like many I've entered, to trap cats.   But this one is a very tight horseshoe, with trailers on either side of the U shaped road that goes through it, coming in and coming out, that road, to the main street, the in and out driveways merely 30 feet apart.  there are about four trailers down the middle too, between the two sides of the horseshoe.  And everybody has cars and tries to cram them in off the road somewhere.  

This makes parking almost impossible for an outsider or visitor, let alone a trapper who needs to yank the string to pull a drop trap down over one unfixed cats among a zillion already fixed ones.

Fortunately my car is tiny, and I was able to wedge in behind another car parked along a tiny 5th wheeler, where an entire family lives.  Talk about the tiny house fad.   Only these folks live this way because they can't afford to live otherwise, not out of choice.

I caught a few already fixed cats in traps I set at random and then gave up on that.  It would only prolong the misery there for me, by setting the cats on edge, get them suspicious.

A huge male the tenants there call Hitler, because he has a thin black mustache across his massive white face and is mean as hell itself, came ambling through, spray marking every inch of his probably huge territory.  He was not interested in the trap.  Except to back up to it and spray it down.   That boy is on my list, you better believe!

It turned dark quickly and poured down rain off and on.  This made it hard to even see the drop trap through the windshield.  An old man feeds the cats beneath the overhang of his small fifth wheeler.  That's where I set up the drop trap, because it'd be dry, out of the rain.   I was wedged in behind the the little blue car one fifth wheeler down from there, trying to watch in the darkness, no light even near the trap, and the pouring rain.
Took this after I first set up the drop trap while it was still light out and before the weather turned nasty.   Blaze on the left, fixed male, was abandoned there.  Then two already fixed black tuxes showed up.  There were many of those.
It was also freezing.  By the end, I had to get out of the car, not easy, being wedged so close behind the other car, to keep the circulation going in my freezing feet.   By the end, I was trembling off and on, from the cold.   I'd get out of the car then, and run in place.

I caught a black smoke male.  Then I caught a known female, under the drop trap.   All 3 I caught, I caught after dark.  I held out longer, and caught a long hair gray male.

That's when I decided I was done, gathered the equipment and left.   Six hours is long enough.  I was told about a very productive female but never saw her.  I did see another female who needs caught and then Hitler who only briefly made the appearance when I first arrived.  

The three were fixed yesterday.   Later about 7:00 p.m., the Lebanon woman brought back my ten traps and cage covers from yesterdays load.

But when I picked up the three cats (I named them Barcellona, Madrid and Ginger for their records) at whs, I was told Barcellona, the black smoke male, was only six pounds and had bad tartar and pockets by teeth, meaning his mouth is infected and he needs dental care.   So he can't go back, at least not til that's done.  Would not be ethical.  Now what am I going to do, I thought.

I set him up in a cage, and he immediately wolfed down 3 cans of food.   'Hmmm,'  I thought, 'he sure is hungry when he feels no pain.'   He was still feeling good from the pain meds he got during surgery.  Wonder what he'll be feeling like today.  

I have somewhere for him to go if he's tame and somewhere for him to go if he's feral.  I just have to first get his teeth fixed somehow.  I hope without travelling all the way to the north coast clinic.

I was going to return Ginger and Madrid this morning but now the snow all over, not bad though, but nothing I want to drive through to return these two cats.  The roads to their home are very rural and narrow.

Got to roll with what we get here.  I'll set them up in cages and return them when the roads clear.

Meet the cats fixed yesterday....
Barcellona.  I will get a better photo today.

Ginger, a little girl, but she's had litters.  Fixed yesterday.

Madrid, a big very handsome boy, fixed yesterday.


  1. Better lives ahead for all of them.
    Thank you.

  2. Good work. I like your Euro city naming.

  3. Excellent, my friend. Please be careful. This is a very weird Winter. Stay safe. And, thank you for all that you do. Hugs.

  4. If you are going out on these cold nights on your missions, have you thought about hand warmers or feet warmers? I know some people swear by them.

  5. You rock, my dear. Thanks for your efforts.