Bob and Kathy's Millennial Adventures with Feral Cats Pt
March 22, 2000,
The last exciting installment of our lives left off with Kathy and Bob setting up an animal shelter
in our basement. We also had set up a spay/neuter type clinic with a local vet. As part of that
service we had agreed to take several rescue cats belonging to other volunteers from the Save A
Life animal shelter to our vet. We had also just taken in several cats from the City of Baltimore.
Additional side note: Several people have asked why I have been driving Bob's car (the MR -
2) and what happened to my car (the Camero). Although Bob and I both thought we were die
hard sports car drivers, old age and practicality have caught up with us. We sold the Camero and
bought a Suburban. Have we matured or what?
We traded a camero for a suburban, are we finally maturing or what?
Now on with the story:
On Monday March 6, Bob bundled up the "visiting" cats that were headed for the vet. He got
checked in ok, and on his way out the door the receptionist mentioned that there was a feral cat
loose in the basement of the building. Could he help? Bob heads down to the basement with one
of the vet techs. They find the cat hiding in a room, and close the door to the room. Bob scruffs
the cat while the vet tech hides. They go to leave the room. Oops, no door knob on that side of
the door. Bob hoped that eventually the vet staff would miss the vet tech.
That same day we got a call from the people doing the trapping in Baltimore City, they had two
more kittens, both girls, could we take them? Well, we were out of cages, but if we keep the
crate Mr Macho is in, and use Bruno's crate we could fit them in. Ok, so Buffy and Faith were
on their way. We go to meet the lady who going to relay the kittens to us. Well it turns out one
is a girl and one is a boy. Ok so we have a Buffy and an Angel.
We get the kittens home. We decide to put the girl kitten in the cage with Willow. Bob pulls the
first kitten out, I check, nope this is a boy, he goes into the crate in the other room. Ok, we get
the second kitten out, thinking this might be a girl, I "lift the tail". Ummm, this ones a boy too.
Ok, maybe I screwed up on the other kitten. We go back and check. Kitten A is still a boy. Now
Bob and I are no experts at some of this stuff, but we're pretty sure about this one. So instead of
a Buffy and Faith that we started with, we now had Angel and Xander. Willow wasn't thrilled
with either one of them.
Angel and Xander
The next day, the remaining "guests" were fixed without incident. Bob and I thought we were
home free. The following day (Wednesday) started with out incident. I did my morning rounds,
everyone was accounted for in their respective rooms, no problems. At lunch time Bob brought a
couple of people over to play with the cats, no problem. He also took them to see the guest cats.
That's when he noticed there should have been seven cats loose in the room with Mr Macho in
a crate. Instead he had five cats loose in the room with Mr Macho in the crate. Ok, modern math
or not, we were short two cats. Then he noticed, the window in the room was open, down from
the top, about a foot. Bob calls me at work: "Did two of the cats get out into the house today?"
This wasn't a good sign.
Essentially, the cats had managed to open an unlatched window and jump out. (In a house were
Bob and I have trouble getting most of the windows open, these cats manage to find the one
window that operates smoothly) We spent the next seven hours going through our yards,
neighbors' yards and barns and woods looking for these two cats. Did you know it is possible to
get poison ivy in the winter? You also tend to get a lot of strange looks from people when you
emerge from their barn with a can of cat food and a kitty carrier in your hand.
After it got dark outside, we put food on the front step, set our feral trap out back and hoped for
the best. Around 7:30 that nite, we thought we got lucky one of the cats was eating on the
front step. Yippeee!!! He was ok, and he was back. All we had to do was walk out the front
door and scoop him up. Unfortunately, it didn't work that way, as soon as we touched the front
door, the cat (Denton) took off. Then we thought we would get lucky out back Blackie, the
other escapee was almost into the trap, then Ghost rushed up to the window and scared him off.
It figures, the only time Ghost manages to scare off another cat is when we want her to be
By now the moment of truth arrived: the cat's owners (names changed to protect the innocent)
showed up, expecting to pick up 7 cats. We had to tell them that they could only pick up 5 cats,
but we knew the other two were in the vicinity. And yes, we were stupid enough to assume that
cats couldn't open a window. While we were explaining all this, Denton happened to trot by.
He wasn't keen on coming to the other people either, but we did eventually catch him. Then we
saw Blackie. He was taking off for our next door neighbors stable. We hope the neighbors don't
mind too much that Bob kind of broke their fence as he was climbing over it. We also hoped that
they didn't mind all the flash lights shining in their yard, (it was close to midnight by now) After
all, its perfectly normal to run around your neighbor's yard yelling "Here Kitty Kitty".
We eventually concluded that there was no way we were going to catch this cat. However he had
a weakness for food. So we set the trap again, went to bed and hoping he would be in the trap in
the morning. (Ok, later in the morning). The next morning I cautiously went out to check on the
trap, there was a cat in it! Yes!!!! Except it was someone else's cat. %$#&&! We'll have to try
again in the evening.
That evening I was attracted to the front of the house by the indignant stares of several Rude
Ranch cats. (Or it could have been the howling coming from the front step). At first I couldn't
tell whether Blackie was mad because he was in the trap or because half his dinner was left on
the front step when I picked the trap up. Regardless, as soon as Bob and I opened the trap the cat
that hissed and ran from us outside walked out of the trap, rubbed up against us and rolled over
for a tummy rub.
Now back to the above mentioned mouse problem. As I mentioned earlier, I found mouse
calling cards (ok turds) under the sink. We never found the mouse. Having at least 12 cats in the
house, we figured he had been disposed of. The day after we recaptured Blackie, I came home
from work and noticed a toy mousie in the living room. Thinking it was strange for the cats to
leave their toy mice out in the open (Don't forget, Boomer also has a weak spot for these mice) I
went closer to investigate. Then I found out it wasn't a toy mouse. The next day I found a
mouse head in the living room. I couldn't find the rest of the mouse.
This kind of worried