Posted in cats

To Catch A Cat

It’s true, I did a lot of sitting on my behind, but don’t think I was being lazy. I found that sitting still in one place is the best way to catch a cat.

Even if the sitting must be done mostly on the hard cement step of my porch.

This started when a stray female cat began traipsing through our yard. I think she visited every neighbor’s compost pile along the way, looking for food scraps. Occasionally I’d find a pile of mixed vegetables on the sidewalk that apparently hadn’t agreed with her. It wasn’t at all appetizing to me either, as I cleaned up the mess.

At first I shooed her, figuring she’d return to her owner when I chased her over the imaginary boundary of our yard. Surely someone was missing this pretty kitty – she appeared healthy but was very, very shy.

I’d been feeding an abandoned tomcat, and he allowed her to share his dinner. I soon learned that she had been hiding some kittens in the nearby woods. They straggled playfully behind her to the porch to eat. Her “boyfriend” was plainly fond of the kittens — or was it the kitty-cuisine? Anyway, the whole family was now enjoying  meals-a-la-porch, and I was hosting a nightly dinner party. I knew she’d attract more “guests” as soon as she went into heat again, and I wanted to avoid that.

Her kittens looked about seven weeks old when they were introduced to me. I sat each night on the porch step to get to know them better. Kittens need to be introduced to humans as early as possible in order to civilize them. I was determined to catch the little critters and tame them. I managed to scrape up the money for a Hav-a-Hart trap, and I caught them, but now what?

Their mother, unfortunately, was more than a wee bit pregnant again by this time. By my calculation, she was due within a day or two. If she had her kittens in the woods, I’d lose a chance to tame them at the earliest time I could. So I spent several hours setting delicious canned cat food in the trap for her, and she delicately ate each morsel without springing the trap.

My derriere was becoming numb from sitting still. Risking springing the trap myself, I set the last big scoop of canned food on the plate and eased it onto the trap’s spring.  Good thing she was still hungry; I couldn’t imagine going through torture like that again the next day. I wanted no more bum-numbing nights spent on my porch step!

I sat ever so still as she approached the food. Ka-chung! At last, Iíd caught her!

She had her kittens the next evening, in captivity, and as soon as the kittens were weaned, we had their mother spayed and released.

She began bringing me “presents” and leaving them on the porch step: a dead vole, or a half-eaten mouse, for example. I like to think she’s trying to repay me for those nights on the porch step.

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Owned by three cats over age 13