Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Outdoor Cat's Big Adventure
I'd been deluding myself into thinking that maybe, just maybe, Outdoor Cat (above) had been spayed, but on the morning of May 8, our neighbor reported that Outdoor Cat had been performing naughty acts on our front porch with Other Outdoor Cat (right). On the advice of Julie (kisluvkis), I attended the Wisconsin Humane Society's orientation for Community Cat Caregivers last Saturday, since their Trap-Neuter-Return program is now available for feral cats outside of Milwaukee County as well.
Then this week, since I'm working at home all week, I began the process of Outwitting Outdoor Cat. I bought a wildlife trap on Saturday (my first visit to Tractor Supply Co.) and left it on the front porch draped in a sheet, with the door locked open so she could get used to its presence. My initial plan was to trap her on Sunday night and take her in for spaying Monday morning, but apparently she overhead me saying this and did not show up for dinner on Sunday. She reappeared on Monday morning just late enough that I wouldn't have been able to take her in for surgery (since she had to be dropped off between 8-9 a.m.). I gave her a little bit of breakfast but at Julie's suggestion I withheld food for the rest of the day. In the evening, I put warm sardines in the trap, but she pointedly sat by the front door (next to the open trap) waiting for me to bring her food in her dish.
We did our best to ignore her pathetic gaze, and around 10 p.m., my husband reported that the trap door was shut. But it turned out to be Other Outdoor Cat, the male who apparently wasn't as cautious where sardines are concerned. (Should have taken a picture of him.) I'm still convinced OOC lives somewhere else because he looks well-fed (could be more wishful thinking on my part) so I let him go and re-set the trap. (His time will come for the snip, I'm sure.) When we went to bed a little before 11 p.m., Outdoor Cat had returned to stare in the front door waiting for dinner. At one point she sniffed at the trap, but didn't go in. I woke up at 1 a.m. and the trap was still open, and O.C. was nowhere to be seen. Indoor cat Nuts woke me up at 3 a.m., and lo and behold! The trap was shut! I half expected to find Other O.C. in there again, but instead there was Outdoor Cat looking very annoyed.
I bundled her into the garage and went back to bed. The next morning, I dropped her off at the Humane Society knowing there was a possibility she might not be coming back, if she was deemed adoptable and they could find a good home for her (the outcome I was hoping for), or if she tested positive for a communicable disease like feline leukemia, in which case they would have to euthanize her. So I spent the day waiting for a phone call good or bad, but no phone call meant I could pick her up after 4:30 p.m.
So now she's resting in our garage, under observation for 48 hours before I can let her go. Our neighbor lent us his dog kennel so she didn't have to spend two days in the wildlife trap. I can offer her food tomorrow morning, and in theory I'm supposed to check her stitches, but I don't think that's going to be very easy. The black blob in the white plastic carrier is her, still looking peeved.
As part of the program, she had her ear notched, so observers can tell she's been spayed, and she now has a microchip identifying me as her owner should she ever get picked up as a stray, though after this adventure, she may never want to see me again!