The past two weeks have been, shall we say, eventful ones for me. My ferals have given me quite the emotional roller coaster. Early this month my Fluffy Butt disappeared for the better part of a week. She went from showing up on my deck every morning, lounging in a chair grooming herself, and sometimes spending the whole day either in our yard or the neighbors yard, to not showing up at all for a week. One Friday night she was spotted early in the evening waiting for dinner. I wasn’t home, but by the time I got home she was gone. I tried not to worry too much, especially the first few days.
She has her own schedule, and sometimes she doesn’t show up, but after the third night of not showing, I couldn’t help but worry. I figure she was trapped in a garage somewhere, but the weather was supposed to get warmer and I was scared to think of her trapped in a stuff, hot garage with no ventilation and no water. Fortunately she showed up again last Friday, but didn’t show up again last night.
She is doing the same thing my Tuxey did last summer before he disappeared for good. Gone for a week, return for a few days, then disappear for ever. Fluffy, like Tuxey, returned skinny and ravenous. Both cats were outgoing, and not at all shy about making their presence known, though they wouldn’t let people touch them. Both cats also showed signs of interest in going in my house.
I know I can’t worry about her too much. She is a feral cat and sooner or later something is going to happen to her, it is inevitable. That doesn’t make it any easier for me though, I get attached to the cats, especially these two. I had made progress socializing my Tuxey to me, and was hoping to try bringing him inside. I was making progress with Fluffy too, though she still won’t let me touch her. I can only hope that she returns, very anxious for feeding time this evening.
On a much more positive and exciting note, yesterday I caught my big tom who has eluded me for three years. Papa was no match for the drop trap and catnip. A friend from Chicagoland Stray Cat Coalition stopped by with her drop trap and we set up shop in the alley. The ever so wily Papa showed up just before Meg and the trap did, so I tried to get him to hang around and tempt him with the smell of tuna. He wasn’t thrilled with me getting close to him, and backed off. I thought for sure he was going to leave, but he just sat across the street, watching as we set the trap and left a trail of delicious smelling food.
Just after we got everything set up I saw the toes of my Little Black disappear up inside the body of a broken down truck. I knew she was going to cause trouble, but not the type she did. She ran down the alley and Papa made a beeline after her. I can’t figure out why, unless he was trying to chase her away from the food. She is spayed and has been for years, so THAT certainly wasn’t why he chased her away. So there we sat, watching our target run the opposite direction. He was gone for over an hour before he returned.
I had just walked back home to see if he was hanging out there when he decided to return. Walking back to the trap I got a call from Meg saying he was there. I stopped and waited till I heard the trap fall and rushed over to hold it down while she covered him up. It took three years of trying and all came down to a few hours with a drop trap and catnip. I wish I had tried the trap a few years ago.
Papa is free now, a new man as it were. Poor guy was so confused and scared when I let him out this morning. It was hard putting him back, he has lots of medical issues going on and I wanted to help him. He was so stressed though, and money is tight right now, I can’t even afford dentals for my own cats, so it was going to be hard justifying a dental for him. He’s an old man, battered and beaten by life on the streets. I wish I could make it a little easier for him. I suppose in a way I did, he won’t have those hormones coursing through him, urging him into quite so many fights. I just hope that he doesn’t lose all his instincts and keeps on surviving for a few more years.
Update: Before I was able to completely finish this post Fluffy Butt reappeared. As I was taking Papa back for releasing she trotted into the yard and sat there, looking confused and hungry. She was also spotted sleeping on my deck overnight.