Thursday July 13, 2017

The elusive Sassy T.

Today wasn’t the best day.  I had planned to catch six cats to finish off the colony near St. Mary’s, but plans had to be changed and in the end I just couldn’t catch the two cats the caretaker and I agreed upon.  I almost caught Sassy T. (not be confused with Sassy #1), but had the drop trap at an angle from me.  When I pulled the string I was already at fault, I should have waited for her to really settle in, to go with that first mistake the angle made the trap’s reaction time slower and it ended up just scaring the cat rather than catching her.  I stayed there for a few more hours while everyone else got a good meal in hoping that seeing her friends eating safely would help, but she we sitting on the neighbors porch irritated at me and my trap.  Soon a construction crew began working and I knew it was all over.  I let the caretaker know I would be back at end of August beginning of September to try again and I can only hope the cat doesn’t remember today.  Next time I am going to be more patient, have the trap facing me properly, and give myself more time to catch them.

Not getting these two cats was just the tip of the crummy iceberg.  I have been out trapping the past few nights and while I have seen some cats, they have been untrappable for the most part.  I think it may just be too hot, plus on the block I have been scouting the cats I see are ones I have already taken care of.  I think I really need to take some more time and prepare a bit better for my next trapping.  It is so critical to have the support of the homeowners to get these cats fixed.  Last night when I was trying to catch a female cat on the end of the block near the check cashing place a girl who lived in the building I was setting up next to got mad at me.  First she and her boyfriend, I think, pulled up next to me and asked if I needed help.  I said no, but thank you.  Then they asked what I was doing, I told them trying to catch a cat that the man had been feeding.  The next question from the woman was “Why?”
Me: “To get them vaccinated and fixed.”
Them: “Why?”
Me: “Because they can get really sick, spread rabies, and have loads of kittens that can cause a population explosion.

I told them I could move the trap further onto the sidewalk if it was bothering them and they seemed to calm down after that, but it was still weird.  The shown their high beams on me while I set the trap near the curb and the garbage.  It smelled awful and I was not sure how the cat would be able to sense it.  Just an overall unpleasant experience and I didn’t end up seeing the cat.  I did see a big black and white cat who came to inspect the trap, but he was already fixed.

In the end I had to cancel all of my appointments for this Friday and I felt like total failure.  I began crying to Vlad worried “what if I never catch another cat?”  To be honest I think I must be tired and it is hard to remember how many cats we have already helped, twenty-three since starting at the end of May.  It is really hard to remember that for some reason.  I do hope my luck will change and I promise myself that I will be more careful, patient, and diligent with my equipment and time.  Many of the cat ladies I spoke with before my first trapping told me I need to get the whole colony at once, I understand why they said that now.  It is really hard to get individual cats especially the smart ones.  The block I caught Midnight Dracula on I know has a grey and white cat as well as a large orange tom, but I have only seen them once and I did not have traps set to catch them.  If I had been set up the way the cat ladies told me to I would have caught them and I would be coming home every night empty handed.  Beyond that issue I think my timing could use some work.  Dusk and Dawn are better than midnight and 9am.

Really I am pretty down, which is silly when I think about my reasoning, but down none the less.  My scouts and I went out to see what we could see and there are still cats out there.  Vlad often reminds me there are more feral cats than people in New York City, I have not fact checked that, but it does give me hope.

My scouts!
My scouts
A already TNRed cat near Midnight Dracula’s catch point
A cat under a car near Sassy’s house
Close up of cat under car
A cat that hangs out near/with Sassy #1 that is very shy, but not tonight for some reason.
Sassy’s friend
Sassy’s friend
A cat in the drive around the corner from our apartment, have seen him/her twice now