Rescue Cats & Other Adventures

Trapping The Littles

Steve & Katana 6-16-15
Steve & Katana eating

The same day I saw a kitten playing with mom cat on the abandoned car in my neighbor’s driveway, a guy came by to measure that house to come back and board it up on order of the city. I was talking to the guy when a neighbor came around the yards to ask me if I was still into rescuing cats because there were kittens behind their shed that backed up to the same fence. Likely the same kittens of the ones I already had on my radar.

I did a full perimeter check of the condemned house for the first time ever, knowing now that it was somewhat under the care of the city, and my trespassing wasn’t so bad now. It was clear that the place where two sheds backed up to each other would always be an ideal place to have kittens. And this litter was likely now hanging out with mom in and around the abandoned car in the carport. (The car which had mountains of stuff in and around it, and tires flat to the rims.)

Trapping these kittens was going to be tricky because there was no obvious nesting area, and there were so, so many places for them to run and hide. Persistence and tenacity. I started by bringing a ceramic plate over to the abandoned car and leaving dry or wet cat food there every day. Then I left a cat trap next to the food, unset, to get them used to the idea.

On the Saturday before the June Operation Catnip clinic, I set all seven of the traps I had, including three around the car. I trapped one kitten almost immediately. A little black and white puffball. And much later in the evening I trapped a second one. This time a grey and white little fluff. But that was it for the night.

I continued setting out food, and any time I knew I would be home (in the evenings and mornings especially when they would be most active), I set the traps with no bait food, in hopes of getting only the curious little kittens.

The Littles together, 6-17-15
The Littles together, 6-17-15

Luckily I did get one more kitten the following Monday. Because Tuesday morning as I was rushing around, getting ready to head off to a client’s for the day, I noticed a code enforcement car in front of the neighbor’s house. I ran over there and found out they were having a truck in to tow the abandoned car. Where mom and the last kitten lived. I moved my cat traps, and stood on my front porch watching.

It was awesome to see them finally move that car that has been sitting there for over four years. (Oh, don’t get me started on how much we tried to get the hoarding house some kind of official attention up to this point.) But this meant that mom and kitten #4 might run off and not come back.

I put the traps and food back in the spot previously occupied by the car. Persistence.

After a few solid days of checking and worrying, I was getting to a point that I wasn’t sure I’d ever get the fourth kitten. But the same night I said out loud that I was giving up hope, I took five trips across the street and successfully came home with a trapped kitten. We had the full set!

And thus came about The Littles. And our struggle to get homes for these little furballs. But I had to take a moment to savor the small successes.

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