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.
I can’t believe I’m old enough to say this but back in the day, whenever I left the house, I didn’t have a cell phone in my purse. That’s because they weren’t invented yet. Unlike today, I was able to function just fine without staying connected every second of every day to every human being I know. If I needed to talk to someone, I waited until I got home to dial them from our rotary phone.
Yep, my family had a dial-up phone ages ago. Now don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t around in the day of switchboards like on the Andy Griffith Show where Andy has to ask switchboard operator, Sarah, to ring Aunt Bee for him. Please, I’m not THAT old!
Anyway, our phone was beige with a long coiled cord that stretched from the kitchen nook into the dining room, where we sat and gabbed. But for many years prior, the cord was only 2 feet long so we had to stand to talk. This was also the day of party lines. Know about those?
I’ve never wished to be a feral cat. Up until last week.
That’s because I’m relocating 9 cats to a property in Tiburon which is, in a word, unbelievable. This place is a replica of an Italian Villa perfectly situated on gorgeous land facing San Francisco Bay. The view is absolutely stunning…not that the cats will notice.
These 9 felines are not socialized to people so they aren’t adoptable. Instead of being euthanized, they’re placed as mousers on properties, but fed daily, just like domestic cats. Except instead of keeping laps warm they keep gardens rodent-free.
I received a call last week from Chris who has over 70 acres in the hills 10 miles from me. He and his wife are interested in getting feral cats as mousers for this, their second home with an upstart vineyard, enormous house, big red barn, a flourishing garden, a pool and pool house. In a word: the place is a dream. Yes, I’m aware that’s five words. But come on, it’s too incredible to warrant just one.
Anyway, the vineyard is isolated almost 3 miles off the main road, winding along seemingly endless pastureland. It was then that it occurred to me this could be a setup. I hadn’t told anyone where I was going and who knows what awaited at the end of that gravel road?