Let’s just say my dream isn’t the usual, like winning an obscene amount of lottery money or being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. And, sadly, it doesn’t compare to Martin Luther King’s noble human rights dream. No, mine is much less life-altering and electrifying.
This is it: I hope one day to get arrested. In fact, it’s #12 on my bucket list, right after Visit Australia and just before Bike Tour in Maine (neither of which I’ve accomplished yet).
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not actually trying to land in Marin County jail for just any crime. I’m not planning to rob a bank, as I don’t own a gun. Besides, it’s not in my nature to hurt anyone, so murder is out. I won’t even burgle a home to steal its contents and here’s why: Continue reading →
Trapping feral cats for sterilization means encountering something different each day. It’s the fun aspect of this work. Now don’t get me wrong; that doesn’t mean it’s one big party. On the contrary. The list of unpleasantness is long, but I’ll refrain from boring you with most of that.
Needless to say, working with Marin Friends of Ferals has its moments…I’ve broken my finger, been bitten through my knuckle by a kitten barely bigger than my hand, been saturated with poison oak and nearly lost the tip of my pinky from another bite. Scrapes and bruises come with the territory from efforts to spay and neuter feral community cats, yet I love what I do. But as it turns out, love hurts.
One joy of the job includes meeting new people and traveling to places in Marin County (and beyond) where I don’t often venture. For instance, last week a family in Sebastopol contacted us wanting 4 ferals for rodent control on their 5-acre spread. Continue reading →
So here’s the situation. It’s 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night. I just spent the day cleaning my garage. Loads of fun. I’m grimy, dusty and full of chili because after I spent the day cleaning my garage I made a pot of veggie chili. Then I made macaroni noodles to put the chili on because that’s how my ex’s family did it in Kansas City. So since 1982, when we married, that’s how I’ve eaten it and now I can’t eat naked chili.
Anyway, now I’m stuffed. I also fed my animal crew and my foster cat, all of whom I assume are stuffed as well. My foster cat is nameless because I don’t permanently name them until I know they’ll be adoptable. I foster feral kittens and semi-feral cats. For some reason it’s harder for me to have to relocate them to outdoor homes (if they’re too feral to be adopted) after I’ve named them. Weird, huh?
So when I enter the room in which I’m housing a big orange tabby female, I say ‘Hey Boo Boo.” No reaction. Sometimes I say, “Hey Monkey.” But again, no response. I’ll try on a bunch of names during the time I’m fostering but once I realize that cat or kitten will be adoptable, a name will suddenly hit me and that’s the one that sticks.
Well, I’m two-thirds of the way there so I figure #3 is lurking nearby, ready to pounce. Will I be driving, swerve to avoid a deer and crunch my car against a tree? Will I be walking the dogs when Skip, for the millionth time, stops directly in front of me for no apparent reason, whereupon I nosedive onto the sidewalk, breaking said nose? Or, more likely, it will have something to do with cats. It usually does.
Take injury #1 that occurred 3 weeks ago. I was trapping ferals for spay/neuter and using our new remote control drop trap for the first time. What an awesome invention. Cats are smart little buggers and they sometimes catch on to the fact that I’m trying to capture them, especially when I have to be present to operate a normal drop trap. They seem to know I’m hiding 50 feet away in the bed of a pickup, not-so-clandestinely peeking over the tailgate.
But with a remote control trap, I can be 200 feet away. Sometimes I need binoculars to see whether it’s a crow under there or a small black cat. But after testing the trap, I noticed it sometimes jammed when I pulled the trigger, failing to drop down all the way. This is not good. The cats were watching, like furry little spies, from behind wheels of parked cars, so I decided to test the trap again but catch it before the heavy metal hit the cement with a bang, scattering the ferals.
The weird thing is, it’s an actual cat. No surprise I guess, as I’m assuming the saying originated when someone astute recognized that kittens tend to copy their mothers. Hold on while I google that. Okay, I’m back. Turns out the earliest reference to copycat was in 1887 with no mention of felines. After that it gets too boring for words, so Iet’s move along.
My copycat happens to be my cat Tippi, so named because her tipped ear is severe. Seems ever since I adopted the ever-entertaining Jack a few months ago, Tippi’s personality has changed. And not, might I add, for the worse.
I trapped Tippi in a feral colony 2 1/2 years ago in the small farming and ranching community of Valley Ford. Tippi and her 21 assorted siblings were born under the grocery store. Thankfully, the store owners asked us (Marin Friends of Ferals) to have them spayed/neutered before she had 41 siblings. Long story short, I ended up keeping Tippi after realizing she was a tweener – not adoptable at the shelter yet not feral enough to be content living under the market.