02 March 2010
A couple of days ago there was an accident at Keith's house. One of the cats got out of it's trap. It dashed out the door when Debbie opened the garage. I had one escape in my garage a couple of months ago. The poor cat leaped onto anything and everything, including a mounted boar head that belonged to my dad! My wife thought it was a great adventure wielding my net like she was on safari.  Heart racing and me shrieking at my wife to watch out, I managed to wrangle her with my noose pole and get her back into the trap. Since that time, my loose policy has been to never open the garage door until I've verified that everyone one is there. Of course, it helps to make sure the traps are really latched shut in the first place :-0

Keith and I were discussing this today and he told me that he had ordered 200 carabiners from Tru Catch to put 2 on each trap. Securing both doors for every trap all of the time seemed excessive to me. That is until I got home from the clinic.I had a row of five traps towards the front and a row of three in the back. While traveling, I usually cover the whole thing with a large moving blanket since my back window doesn't roll up :-0  I opened the tail gate and pulled the moving blanket off. I grabbed the middle trap and it felt too light. I peeked under the trap cover and the trap was empty! I looked up and had to do a double take to actually believe what I was seeing. The big black and white male from one of my sites was sitting directly behind the trap! When he saw me he sprung into the driver cab area. 

I figured he would try to hide up there but I worried because he could get out my back window. I draped the moving blanket over the back and ran inside to get my wife. I yelled that I needed her help and dashed back outside. The blanket had fallen down and I replaced it. Realizing she was not coming out, I went back inside and told her what was going on.

We both came out and formulated a plan. I entered the back while she held up the blanket to block the back window. The cat was hiding in front of the driver's seat. I retrieved my noose pole from the front seat and attempted to cover him with a blanket. He went wild and started running across the dash attempting to get out through the closed windows.  The interior of the truck was becoming quite warm and he was panting.  I managed to get the noose pole on his neck and secure him while Jayme unloaded the other cats. I got him into my net and then scruffed him through it. I managed to get a hold of him and release the net. He was rather limp until right before I attempted to push him into the trap. A sudden and powerful squirm and he almost got our of my control! I got him into the trap and shut the door.

 I hate handling feral cats in any other manner than carrying them in a trap! The only time I want to touch a feral is when they are either unconscious from being sedated, or when they are waking up and still loopy. I'm told my friend the other day that I'm more comfortable handling a mastiff with a bad attitude than a feral kitten! She of course told me she rather handle a feral cat than a friendly dog!

I don't know how he got out of the trap. I suspect that when I put the trap in, the rings caught on another trap and were held up high enough for him to force his way out. Fortunately the blanket contained him, otherwise he might have gotten out while I was driving down the freeway! I poke fun at Joe H. because he always zip ties every trap shut. He does this because he lost a cat while driving once. I now understand his paranoia! Either bungees or carabiners seem in order for every trap, especially during transport and staging.


Anonymous said...

I thought that this was funny because it happened to me when I trapped a colony. I had the colony in the garage before the day I had an appointment with HCWS. When I opened the door going to the garage to open it I saw that one of the cats had escaped. We tried to get him back in the trap with no success. Dozens of scratches later, I decided that I was going to set the trap inside the garage hoping that the cat will fall for it. Sure enough next morning the cat was inside the trap. Now I make sure that all the traps are properly closed.

phreephallin said...

I did manage not to get scratched!

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