It’s 11:30 p.m. and I won’t be sleeping anytime soon. My adrenaline is surging like a spewing fire hydrant. That’s because I just got home from stealing 4 cats with Loretta, my partner in crime.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not normally a cat snatcher. I’m more a cat trapper…as in trapping feral cats for sterilization. Tonight, however, was different.
Marin Friends of Ferals has relocated over 500 un-adoptable cats to act as mousers that also receive daily food and water. Only 4 times we’ve had to retrieve them for inadequate care. (Read The Great Escape for another cat caper I chronicled.) Tonight’s snatch was equally exhilarating. Except last time we didn’t get caught.
Here’s what happened:
Loretta and I checked on 4 cats we’d relocated 2 days earlier to a rural property where the ferals acclimate in cages for 3 weeks before being released. That’s when we discovered the so-called guardians hadn’t fed nor provided water since then. (Precisely why we conduct surprise visits.) So after tending to the cats, we immediately implemented a plan to remove them the next night.
Still, we didn’t want to alert the guardians for fear they’d release the cats before we took them back. So Loretta and I gave Oscar-worthy performances in hiding our shock and disgust at their neglect, along with our desire to strangle them right on the spot.
So the following night I borrowed an enormously long van to haul both 4-foot wired cages back to the humane society with (hopefully) the cats safely tucked inside. I picked up Loretta and we headed to the 8-acre property, parked nearby, and waited for the cloak of darkness before embarking on our cat-snatching mission.
Loretta, like a good Girl Scout, came armed with essentials: gloves, flashlights, head lamps and snacks. Gotta have munchies on a cat caper, you know. So we waited. And we waited. People were coming and going like Grand Central. When it finally quieted down, we made our move. (Insert Mission Impossible theme song here.)
I drove the van up the road to the back of the property, parking behind a structure I hoped would hide us. Then, like synchronized swimmers, Loretta and I jumped in unison from the van. Two thieves in the night, we sprinted toward the cages while attempting to avoid falling into gopher holes hidden in tall grass. Or worse, be discovered.
We worked quickly, mostly in silence. First we took the cages from the tables, quickly carried them to the van, then hurriedly collected the rest of the supplies. We were ready to roll within 10 minutes. (My personal best.) Now we just had to leave the property without being spotted, after which I planned to call the guardians and explain why we removed the cats.
With hearts pounding and adrenaline racing, my accomplice and I headed down the driveway toward the street. As we rounded a bend, 25 yards from freedom, Loretta whispered, “I smell cigarette smoke. Someone is here!” And there in the road before us, illuminated in our headlights, stood one of the guardians.
Not to worry. I’d prepared for this. Feigning being happy to see him, I said, “Oh good, we thought you weren’t home.” I explained that upon further thought I felt these cats were too shy for their busy property and would spend more time hiding than hunting. So we could leave without incident, I lead him to believe I’d bring back less timid ferals. Luckily, he fell for it.
We then whisked the cats back to the humane society. Next week they’re going to an awesome property with loving guardians. (No doubts with this family.) You see, I often rely on my intuition when relocating ferals. This last placement whispered so softly I either didn’t hear it or I wasn’t listening. I won’t make that mistake again; therefore, this could be our last cat snatching.
But to be honest, I’m going to miss that adrenaline rush.
The 4 rescues from our kitty cat caper.
Yay good for you ladies. Hilarious story, but those poor kitties. So glad you found them a good spot now.
You guys were so prepared, even down to what you were going to say if you got caught. Well done!
You have more restraint than I do. I’d have been yelling at the guy!
So glad you got them back safely.
Nothing more fun than stealing.
GREAT and fun story of your adventure!! I deal with the very same, screening the potential guardians doesn’t guarantee and forces us to some extent to trust them…..and our gut instincts.
Initial screening I tend to use the question of, ‘so you are pretty confident that the cats have plenty of rodents to live on or did you plan to feed them or…’
Seems to work pretty well 🙂 Never any guarantees which will allow you the occasional and entertaining cat-napping mission, then you can share with us so we can enjoy as well!!
WTG ladies! Who else would check on ferals and care whether they are being cared for. People stink that would do something like that and not even feed them whole they were being relocated and not even able to hunt! How absurd that they would even think of keeping ferals like that. Shit for brains I say! Nothing good about assholes like that. And I’m sorry to say I did suggest a great place that I thought would work out and you went out and checked it out and we thought we hit the jackpot and you had to do the very same thing and get those four back that already had been released! They were not being fed because that bafoon (phonetic) thought they’d be better mousers. Why not cage that idiot up and give him one meal a day if he’s lucky and say it’s better if you’re a bit skinny! I hate those people with a passion. Thank God for you and Loretta! Way to go is right! Thank you both. Keep up your tireless work and know you are appreciated.
Tell it girl. I agree with you 100%