Tuesday July 18th, 2017

A house on 82nd street had asked that we try to TNR some cats and catch a pack of kittens that were taking over their yard.  Some of the cats in the colony had been through the TNR process before with another trapper so I was worried it was going to be a difficult trapping.  Via the website hayneedle.com I ordered a Tomahawk Drop Trap as I enjoyed the one I borrowed from the ASPCA so much, but I didn’t arrive in time and I am not sure it would have fit in the yard anyway.  When I did the original site visit on Saturday the yard was crawling with cats and kittens, arriving this morning everyone quickly went into hiding as I set up.  One cat hung around and I was hopeful that it might not be another day where I don’t catch anyone.  Before too long the kittens had disappeared into the wall between the yard and the next building and all of the adult cats were no where to be seen.

IMG_3183
Where the kittens were hiding

Not too long into the morning the a black and white cat came back looking for food.  She was almost in the trap when a man walking his dog asked me what I was doing.  I held my finger up in the “shushhh” signal but he continued to question me.  In a stupid rush I pulled the string before she had settled in, the second time I have made this mistake, and she ran away.  I was worried she wouldn’t come back, but she did.  She sat near the trap, dug at the back of the trap trying to get the food, and even shook the trap.  All I could do was sit there and hope.  All of a sudden she walked to the back of the yard where I had another trap set up against the wall.  She walked right into the trap and didn’t even act upset when it went off, instead she was focused on the food.  When I approached to put the cover on she tried to wolf down as much food as possible before making her escape, only to find there wasn’t one.  I covered her and set a new trap thinking I should ditch the bottle string technique for a bit.

IMG_3182
Try #1 the twice failed string pull technique
IMG_3179
A different approach
IMG_3180
You can se her black and white body just to the left of the trap thinking about how to get to the food.
IMG_3181
Here she is walking back to the other trap.  I did not expect her to actually go in and so quickly!

 

The caretaker had me come in for coffee and crackers and while we sat there another black and white cat set off the trap.  This one I think is a male, but I have been wrong before.  I hadn’t even noticed, but the caretaker must have heard something as she walked over to the sliding door and said yes, yes.  I covered him, put him next to the other cage, and set another trap.  No other cats appeared and I was forced to call it a morning letting the caretaker know I would be back that evening.

IMG_3189IMG_3191

I was a little late in getting back in the evening, I wanted to be there around dusk and was, but it is hard when one knows other people are probably eating dinner and want some time in their home with out the cat catcher outside.  On the way to the house I was stopped by a very dirty cat begging for food near a construction site.  I think he/she must have smelled the fried chicken.  Opening a cat of wet food I had in my bait stash I gave the cat its dinner although I could tell someone else was also feeding the cats in the area as food containers were everywhere.  Making a note to myself that need to come back to that site and work on the colony there I headed to the current colony I was struggling with.

IMG_3185

IMG_3186
I can’t tell for sure, but sadly I think this cat might be pregnant.  She was very trusting and got quite close to me when I set up the food.  Her dirty appearance and lack of shyness tells me she is most likely a stray rather than a feral cat.

Reseting the various traps this time with fried chicken I hopped to catch someone.  When I had arrived a black cat was trying to get the food out of one of the unset traps so I was hopeful.  Unfortunately, the black cat did not come back and I got ready to leave.  Of course the moment I was finishing packing up the black cat returned and I saw the kittens near the second level garden, they had been hiding in the roof.  My ride was there and the caretaker most likely wanted to go to bed so I reluctantly put my things in the car promising to come back Saturday morning.