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 →
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 →
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 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?
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.