An Unusual Gift

I received the most unusual and unexpected gift last week from someone I’ve never met. She knows me from the work I do with feral cats and is a friend of a friend. So why did she give me a gift? Be patient, I’m getting there…

HoldYourHorses-1

Hold your horses

In this line of work, meaning TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return), I meet some interesting folks. Let’s just say not all of them particularly like cats. Some downright hate ’em. But then not everyone is perfect, right? Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying if you don’t like cats you’re a sociopath. But my guess is you’re probably close.

Anyway, my friend was telling this gift-giving person about my encounters with these as yet undiagnosed sociopaths. They’re the characters who not only make this work interesting, unpredictable, and a little bit scary, but have taught me I should learn self defense. Like yesterday already. I’ve intended to take classes for about 10 years now but have I done it? Intended is the operative word there.

self defense2

Take THAT you cat hater

Continue reading

Call Me Stupid

Now that the pup pursuit is over, Gracie and Brownie are living the good life with Toni.

Brownie and Gracie

Brownie and Gracie recuperating at Toni’s

Toni holding Brownie

Toni with Brownie

So this is a good time to tell you the stupid things I did while trying to trap Gracie. Toni and Loretta were unavailable that particular night so I decided to go out alone. That was my first stupid move.stupid

Continue reading

Holy Crap: The Final Chapter

As promised, this is the last Holy Crap posting. Here’s how it ended:

Gracie proved to be nearly impossible to trap. Worried she’d inevitably be hit by a car (like Brownie), we brainstormed for a solution when I remembered seeing a discarded portable basketball system on the side of a secluded dirt road. view of basketball hoop 2

We rolled it down to where Gracie eats, cut up licorice plants, then placed a 4’ round net under the hoop. After tying ropes to the edges of the net and connecting them with a carabiner, we looped another cord through that and over the hoop. We covered the net in plantings, then practiced “trapping” a large rock. It worked beautifully, so we put food in the middle.basketball set up Continue reading

Holy Crap, Part 4

When I left you last, we’d finally caught Brownie. But little Gracie is another story. That gal’s quite the survivor — smart and stubborn, refusing to enter any type of trap.

I disguised our remote control drop trap with clippings from my garden…no luck.drop trap with leaves

I made a taller prop to hold up another drop trap for her easy access…no go.

We tried using nets, walk-in traps and fat-cat traps. We followed on foot and by car hoping she’d tire so we could net her…still nothing.me with net2

Continue reading

Holy Crap, Part 3

If you haven’t read Holy Crap and Holy Crap, Part 2, you’ll want to do that now. (Holy Crap) (Holy Crap, Part 2)

As you know, an Animal Control Officer informed me he’d received word that 2 small dogs had been run over and killed on Mare Island the night before. Refusing to believe it, yet feeling sick to my stomach, I walked every foot of the reported area, thankfully encountering no dead dogs.Mare Island foxtails

Then, while heading back to my car, I spotted the little gray dog, aka Gracie. What a relief! I immediately texted Loretta and Toni, alerting them she was heading their way, toward a palm tree where she and her buddy, aka Brownie, nap. Mare Island palm tree

By now unsuccessful with traps, we resorted to nets.

Continue reading