I’m writing this on Friday afternoon sitting in my SUV in front of a home I’ve come to know much too well the last 41 days. In fact, I think I’ve been here more than my own home lately. Now don’t get me wrong; that’s a lie. But it feels true.
I’ve been on the hunt for a mom and her kittens with Constanza, our San Rafael volunteer coordinator for Marin Friends of Ferals. I’ve been doing TNR (trap-neuter-return) for 15 years and I’ve never encountered a smarter cat, feral or domestic. And THAT’S no lie.
About 6 months ago, a woman and her daughter sent me a video of a long-haired tabby racing through the parking lot of Target late one night. The daughter captured him on her iPhone while her mom yelled, “Film him before he runs away! Hurry, don’t miss him!” Followed by, “I KNOW Mom! I’m getting him!”
When Target closes at 9:00 p.m., cats emerge from the marshland that hugs the store on 2 sides, the bay on the other. Shoppers sometimes leave them food, some contact us (Marin Friends of Ferals) and some, I assume, simply look away.
Target isn’t located near homes so these are feral cats or possibly lost or dumped domestics. So my awesome volunteer, Holly, and I placed a feeding station under a bush off the parking lot, locked a motion sensor camera to it, and started feeding.
A couple Sunday’s ago you met my latest addition to my furry family. At that writing, this cross-eyed feline was called Trinity, the name Marin Humane gave her because she came from northern California. Since that day, her name has changed no less than 4 times. Hey, it’s not so easy naming someone you’re still getting to know.
For instance, when I decided to keep this semi-feral, I made a list of possible names with help from my friend Loretta. After all, she was spot-on naming Dash…entirely apropos for that madman. So for a couple days Trinity was Willow. But as I got to know her better, she wasn’t exactly graceful or willowy. This girl has a touch of crazy.
Then I called Trinity Sadie, although she didn’t look like a Sadie (whatever that looks like). That name soon became Chloe. But no matter how often I said it, it made absolutely no impression on her. In fact, I believe she ignored me even more than usual. Besides, Chloe is one of the top 10 names for female cats and she doesn’t strike me as a particularly trendy feline. So I went down my list of 12 names and said each one to her while looking for some sort of approval, maybe a look my way, a blink. Anything. But I got nothin’.
Three weeks ago Marin Humane asked me to foster a couple feral kittens. Naturally, I said yes to Trinity and Sturgill. You can foster domestic kittens all you want, I don’t blame you. Domestic kittens are like baby Pandas. What’s not to love?