Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Archive for the category “Project Delta View Cats”

When cats are too smart for their own good

HIYA!!   SAVANNAH HERE!!!

I know all of my readers know what TNR is; but let me just say a couple of things about “targeted” Trap, Neuter, Return which is what my our nonprofit, Project Delta View Cats, does.

We go door to door within intact neighborhoods to learn who is feeding abandoned community cats and whether or not they need no cost spay, neuter or perhaps medical treatment for the cats they feed. By targeting complete neighborhoods, or complete colonies in one location like our Riverview park cat colony, we are able to trap out the entire population to eliminate any possibility of further breeding. Abandoned community cats, left intact, are subject to a wide array of illnesses from fighting and mating. Once we can reduce the desire to roam and mate, we reduce not only unwanted kittens being born but we also increase the adult cats’ long term health.

I say all that ‘cuz now you will understand why Mom L and other volunteers have been trying for about three months to trap an intact male cat that comes for his meal once a day at one of our park feeding stations. The park feeders named him Freddie the Freeloader! MOL!!

Turns out that Freddie is what we call a “trap savvy” kind’a kitty. He hears a teensy tiny “clink” of metal and he is gone! This mancat has been trapped before. Now, the all our park cat colony is already spayed and neutered so we are not much concerned about him starting any “families” or fights in our park colony. BUT—cats roam and who knows where Freddie goes let alone how much we will improve his own health and well being if we can just trap him and get him “snipped”!

Standard trapping practice is to cover the baited trap with a towel to create the appearance of a safe dark space for the cat.

First time Mom L tried to trap Freddie, she did her usual “special bait” of salmon and stinky sardines. Freddie didn’t even bother to show up!!!

Next time Mom L used “camo” cover from a kids birthday party decorations. She baited it this time with ONLY stinky sardines. Of course, Mom L also sprinkled food grade diatomaceous earth under the area where the bait was to keep the stuppy ants away.

All set! Now where is the cat???

Mom L didn’t have long to wait. She sat in her car reading her latest book on her Kindle and after about thirty minutes, all of a sudden, there was Freddie!! Up above the feeding station where the trap was waiting for him.

Mom L was now on the alert! Watching Freddie’s every move. She was holding her breath when he slowly stepped carefully, on paw forward at a time, down the slight embankment toward that delightful smelling stinky trap!

Freddie was sniffing that tantalizing stinky goodness of those slimy, squishy canned sardines. It was almost more than he could stand.

Squeee! His head is under the trap door!!! GO FREDDIE!!!

And then, he ran up that hill like he knew the world was gonna end instantly!! MOUSES!!!

In a minute later, Mom L heard a “meew” under her car and a very skinny little girl kitty emerged, talking back to Mom L like they were gonna be best pals.

Next thing Mom L knew that kitty dashed, starving, into the trap!!! So Mom L and Freddie still have a few more “trap” dates to make sure he gets his “snip” appointment, but check out this totally darling, friendly ladycat that is now under our care.

Meet Chiquitita!! (Yes! After the ABBA song!

We are not certain, but Chiquitita may be a bilingual kitty. She appears to respond to Mom L’s “not so good” Spanish!

So, what have you been doing lately that just makes your day??!!

PAW PATS, SAVANNAH

 

 

 

We can’t bring them all inside

HIYA!!   SAVANNAH HERE!!!

I am hoping I can get a bloggy posted with this lousy new editor! I have a really good story to share and I hope Mr Gutenberg editor lets me do it. Here goes—

Mom L and Dad P, through our nonprofit Delta View Cats, helped a feeder who has about 15 cats to feed everyday. We helped get all of them spayed and neutered in 2018. Miss Elaine let us know that she had 3 new cats, a male tuxedo and a mom cat with her daughter—both calicoes. Dad P worked with one of our Delta View Cats’ volunteers to attempt trapping ALL THREE at the same time! Hah! I said!

But then there was Dad P with three trapped cats in our garage and he was setting up a place to hold them overnight before their surgeries!! Yay for Dad P and our trapper volunteer Miss Sue!

Dad P transported them to the cat clinic for their surgeries next morning. Mom cat, named Peaches is on the right with a trap bump on her white nose, and year old daughter is on the left with the brown nose.

When he went to collect them same day, the clinic staff asked if they could keep the handsome and apparently friendly tuxedo male to place him in a foster home and get him onto an adoption path! Great news! And he is now on his way to being adopted! The clinic suggested we try to foster the two calico girls as they also seemed like they might be able to get socialized. Mom L and Dad P agreed to work with them.

First Mom L and Dad P set up two cages, one 36 inch and one 42 inch and placed Peaches in the larger cage as she was apparently more friendly and baby Sunshine went in the 36 inch cage. They were so very afraid.

They really wanted to be together. We did not learn until later how very bonded Mom and daughter are.

Dad P wrapped a towel around his hand to reach into the cages and try to lightly stroke each cat. Mom L did the same several times a day, always both of them talking very quietly and soothingly.

The feeder who has known them the longest was eager to be with them again and quickly agreed to come for a visit. Look how much more at ease BOTH are with Miss Elaine!

After several days of being separated, but always pressed against each other through the cage wire, Mom L and Dad P decided to put them together in a large cage. And they immediately snuggled together. Unfortunately, instead of the daughter, Sunshine, becoming more social like her Mom, it was Peaches, the mom, who dropped back to acting more feral! So very disappointing. We invited Miss Elaine to visit with them again and they were better with her, but still not enough to encourage us to stress them more by trying to help them become social enough to get adopted.

After another several days, the decision was made to return Peaches and Sunshine to the care of their feeder, Miss Elaine. She will continue to work with both of them and who knows—one day they may decide they trust humans enough to come inside a home. But for now, they are safe on an eight acre site where Miss Elaine feeds them and nine plus other cats. There is amply shelter from heat and rain and cold for them and there is no auto traffic.

Enjoy watching their release day and their dance together the following day as they lead Miss Elaine to their food dishes.

We learned not every abandoned community cat that likes pets from its feeder is ready to come inside and live with humans. Peaches and Sunshine taught us a lot.

PAW PATS, SAVANNAH

Trap a cat? Not easy!

HIYA!! SAVANNAH HERE!!!

So Mom L is trying to trap this bootiful long hair dainty feisty calico gal at a colony we just started to manage. Her name is Baby and she is a kitty cat bully!! Yep! Sorry to say, there is often one in every colony no matter how big or small that colony is. And Baby is all fluffy furs and probably weighs in at about five pounds tops!! But she sure is the queen of this little six kitty colony.

Mom L set the trap and waited to see how Baby would react.

You can see that Baby gave that trap a very wide birth! She wasn’t so sure about why the heck it was placed near her treasured food bowl! You see Baby is not only a bully to a couple of the other cats, she is also a TOTAL FOODIE!! Mom L thought for sure she would dive right after that yummy sardine bait. HAH!!

Baby checked out that trap, all around and then did one of those “See ya, wouldn’t wanna be Ya!!” moves!!!

Mom L is gonna go back and hopes that she can trap Baby and find a foster to help assess her ability to be socialized. She is such a lovely cat, and she truly isn’t feral. Let’s hope Baby realizes that we are tryin’ to give her an opportunity for a forever indoor home!

Do you trap for TNR? Or also trap to try to bring some potential friendlies inside?  Let us know what your experiences are in comments.

Hope everyone’s Valentines Day was filled with the love our park colony boys showed us with their little “taileo message”!! You can show some love  to our colony cats by visiting our Amazon Wish List. We are very desperate for wet food and for a couple of shelters for our colony cats at a local waterfront park. 

https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/34J9Z5QLZ1HIG?ref_=wl_share

PAW PATS, SAVANNAH

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