The Great Escape

So I recently relocated 4 young ferals as mousers to a property that on the surface seemed perfect. Still, I entertained little nagging doubts about the owner of the 700 acre ranch, winery and B&B. Yes, he said all the right things but was it because he thought it’s what I wanted to hear? I wondered, but ignored my hunch because the place seemed perfect for feral mousers. And it was. But HE surely wasn’t.

trust-your-gut

We acclimate cats for 3 weeks in cages before releasing them. But when Mr. Jackass admitted he let the cats out after 10 days, he confirmed my reservations. Still, he assured me they were fine, eating a lot, everything’s hunky-dory…blah, blah, blah. So yeah, I wanted to believe him.

A couple weeks later I returned to collect our relocation supplies. That’s when I saw the magnitude of ignoring my hunch. Basically, the cats were starving. Turns out he barely fed them in the erroneous belief they’d be better hunters (the opposite of what I instructed). However, nobody can tell this guy anything so I immediately formulated a plan to recover the cats, knowing he’d resist.

whats-the-plan

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One Smart Cookie


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.

Constanza

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Ned, The Target Cat


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.

Holly

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Bucket List #12

Guess where I ended up a couple weeks ago?

I found myself in a police station – a most unfamiliar locale to me (I’m happy to say). And I bet I know what you’re thinking:

a)      What did she do?

b)      Who did she do it to?

c)       Is she writing this while out on bail? Continue reading

Lesson Learned (Finally)

I have 4 cats and 4 dogs. All my cats were once living a feral life and of the 4, Savannah is still semi-feral. She heads for cover whenever someone stops by. If cats could cringe, that’s what she’d do when I pick her up. When all the others gather in the family room in the evening, she retires upstairs. I’d say she’s a cat who enjoys her own company.Savannah on counter

During the day, the animals come and go through the pet door to enjoy the backyard. But then one day Savannah discovered how to access the front yard via the hot tub, a short leap onto the fence, a walk alongside the shed, then down into the front garden under the maple tree.

maple tree

Savannah’s garden escape

To Savannah, I suppose it felt like the feline version of the movie, The Shawshank Redemption. I am free at last

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