Thursday, January 13, 2011

Not Catching a Feral Cat...and The Winner from Tuesday's Blog

First, the winner of the notepads and holder from my Tuesday blog commenters is....


Now about that feral cat...

One of our neighbors was feeding a beautiful calico long-haired cat, allowing it to sleep in her garage. I'm assuming it was a feral at the time. Anyway, she moved away a year ago and the cat migrated to our yard to hang out with the ferals we feed. All of our ferals have been neutered or spayed and have been given rabies shots. I need to catch this newest female and have her spayed, but she's very smart. She stays just an arm's reach away from me. And, since she's not a true member of the "clan" I've been caring for over the past four years, she hangs back until they have finished eating before she eats. That's the background.

I had an appointment with the spay/neuter clinic for today, so I knew I needed to catch her early. Last night I took out two large cans of cat food, hoping that would lure her to join the other cats and I'd be able to grab her while she was distracted with food. Ha! Not that cat. She didn't even seem interested.  The cats hang out under our deck, where we have a warm shelter house, water, and feeding trays. I have to duck to get under the deck. So, when I tried to get close to the new feral, she would move to the other side of the area. I'd walk all the way around with the plate of food and she'd move to the front side again. Back and forth we went for over a half-hour before I gave up. This morning, I was out in the dark, dressed in warm clothes to battle the zero temps and snow only to have the same results. She's pretty clever in avoiding my touch while still not frightened enough to run away.

I can't use a trap because I wouldn't be able to keep the already neutered/spayed cats out. So, I'm thinking the only thing I can do is buy a net and try to snare her that way. I'm sure it will freak her out, maybe traumatize her, but I see no alternative. If I don't get her caught, I'm sure she'll find a wandering male somewhere in the neighborhood and return with a litter of kittens in the spring. *sigh*

If anyone has any ideas, I'd sure love to hear them.

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