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Board Magic to catch the Mama!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Some of you may be familiar with the 3 kittens I trapped last Fall, Briar, Buttercup & Scout. All through that process we tried to trap their mama, but she proved pretty wily, and we were unsuccessful. She then disappeared. She's been gone for weeks. Well, I heard today that she's back! The trouble is that she may well be pregnant. Very pregnant if the reports are correct.

I've always felt that my job was not done, even though her kittens are happy in their new homes. Mama needs attention, and now new kittens may also be at stake! I pray that she's just got her "winter coat" on, and is being mistaken for pregnant (wouldn't it be odd for a cat to be pregnant this time of year this far north? Maybe not, what do I know!). If that is the case, she needs to be spayed, and soon. If she is pregnant, I need to get her asap so these poor babies aren't born in the depths of a Chicago winter, only to probably suffer an agonizing death in the cold. Then after they're weaned, treat the little hussy to a post-partum spay.

So I need strong vibes, prayers, or whatever from you all to find success. She has proven so smart in the past, that it's going to take a "higher power" to help me (a trapping beginner to be sure!). I'm hoping to go out there Friday It's supposed to be cold, so I don't know how long I'll be able to try, so I need to get her quickly. Of course, this is Chicago, so it could be 60 degrees like it was today...could the universe be so kind? Help me to help her!
post #2 of 26
Sierra and I are cheering you on, Kelly! It's time to rescue Mama!
post #3 of 26
I hope everything goes well. Good luck. Montana, Dakota and myself will cheer you on from out here in Columbus.
post #4 of 26
we are all cheering you on as well Kelly

I so hope it goes alot easier for you this time and Mama is rescued without too much trouble
post #5 of 26
Sending capturing vibes your way! I hope you catch her!!!
post #6 of 26
I do hope you get her! Good luck.
post #7 of 26
Good luck Kelly! "Get in the trap" vibes comin' at mama cat!

Try tying some herring (no sauce!) to a string at the back of the trap, and cover the bottom of the trap with litter. The litter will cover the feel of the wire, which cats do not like - but will not lift up with the trap. And the smell of the herring often proves irresistable.

Keep us posted!

(And isn't this an amazing Winter? It's been so mild in NJ too!)
post #8 of 26
oh Briar, Buttercup & Scout were some of my favorite kittens. So precious!!! I hope you can catch mama this time around. If she's pregnant I may have to take one of the babies. Many good vibes coming your way!
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnofsierra
Sierra and I are cheering you on, Kelly! It's time to rescue Mama!
Thanks Stephanie & Sierra! You're right, it is time for her to be rescued! From the people who see her, they say she only about a year and a half old, and, if pregnant, this will be at least her second litter. She's done such a great job staying alive, and raising such amazing kittens, it's her time for some help.
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeye23
I hope everything goes well. Good luck. Montana, Dakota and myself will cheer you on from out here in Columbus.
Thanks for the good wishes from the whole Columbus Clan!
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by huggles
we are all cheering you on as well Kelly

I so hope it goes alot easier for you this time and Mama is rescued without too much trouble
Thanks Danielle. Yes, let's hope she "sees the light"! Hopefully the weather will make her more amenable to being caught!
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by captiva
Sending capturing vibes your way! I hope you catch her!!!
Thanks for the vibes Chris...they're badly needed!
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson
I do hope you get her! Good luck.
Thanks Jenny! I also continue good thoughts for your sweet Persil!
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG
Good luck Kelly! "Get in the trap" vibes comin' at mama cat!

Try tying some herring (no sauce!) to a string at the back of the trap, and cover the bottom of the trap with litter. The litter will cover the feel of the wire, which cats do not like - but will not lift up with the trap. And the smell of the herring often proves irresistable.

Keep us posted!

(And isn't this an amazing Winter? It's been so mild in NJ too!)
Thanks for the advice & vibes Laurie! I used tuna to get the kittens, but while she was interested in it, it wasn't enticement enough for her. I think I'll pick up some herring. Maybe the "newness" of it will help her forget about her kittens being trapped. She saw all of them being caught. I've felt pretty guilty about that, but it didn't seem to faze her. I think they were weaned by then. She pretty much just sat a watched, cleaning herself. But still, she learned pretty quickly what I was about!

Actually it has been a weird winter here! We've had lots of snow, but then a couple of warm days that melted it all. Yesterday was in the 60's, but the temperature has plunged into the single digits tonight. It makes me all the more desperate to get her, especially before she litters!
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by berylayn
oh Briar, Buttercup & Scout were some of my favorite kittens. So precious!!! I hope you can catch mama this time around. If she's pregnant I may have to take one of the babies. Many good vibes coming your way!
Thanks for the support Beryl. I always appreciated your support when I had the kittens. BTW, all reports of them in their new homes are nothing but positive! Buttercup follows her meowmy relentlessly, purring all the time, and insists on being carried around like a baby! Briar's folks swear they're going to rename him Buck because he's buckwild! . He loves his new parents fiercely, sleeps on their heads at night, lounges with his daddy watching sports, and actually greets visitors! Scout is driving his meowmy nuts! He's constantly in motion, except when he's grooming his friend, Cooper! Last Christmas he hid all of her ornaments from her little tree under a rug...one by one. She couldn't figure out for the longest time where they all went!

As far as taking one of the new babies...watch what you say! Ebony could use a new partner in crime...you know...someone to help chase poops around the house!

BTW, I just noticed tonight that you had Spotlight of the Week last week. Congratulations! It was fun learning more about you!
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
I went to try to get the mama. No luck. I think it's just too darn cold, and I'm sure she's hunkered down somewhere...if that was her.

I did see the most gorgeous charcoal gray tux long haired (male?). He was absolutely beautiful, and, I'm sure, Briar and Buttercup's daddy. Buttercup is almost the image of him! I'm sitting there admiring him, and a horrible thought struck me. Was it possible that the person who told me mama was back could have mistaken a long haired cat for a pregnant short hair? Those of us who know cats would laugh at this, but this person has no experience with cats except watching them from her window.

So I asked her. At first she said no, but then said, "Well...it's possible". Are you :censor::censor::censor::censor::censor::censor::censor:' kidding me??? I sat outside for an hour and a half, it's 2 degrees outside, and I'm dressed like the younger brother from A Christmas Story!

I told her to tell me if she sees a short haired gray and white tux.

Now I'm going to go take a long hot bath and try to get the feeling back in my fingers and toes!

Thanks for all the support and advice. I'll keep you updated if anything real happens!
post #17 of 26
clixpix...well...maybe as a consolation prize you could catch "daddy"...after all....daddy is probably all set to pursue some other females come spring. The world could certainly use one fewer Romeos in the outdoor cat department.

Wishing you good trapping vibes.

Katie
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Yeah Katie, that thought struck me too. I want to wait a just a bit to make sure there isn't a pregnant female there. I really only have a place for one cat at a time. If not, I want to level my sights on him. He really is a stunner, so I wouldn't be too sad having him if only for a few days. . Today he really never came close enough to the trap anyway. It's also so bitterly cold, and I have no protection out there, so I have to stay outside to watch the trap. The place where they are is not close to where I live. I wish it was, that way I could dedicate more time.

I was also talking to a neighbor who actually does the feeding. She puts the food in the alley. She has two dogs, so the cats don't actually come in her yard. She has never seen this male (at least I think he's a male...he's big!) I described, and has not seen the mama kitty for quite awhile. She has seen a black kitten born last spring (I've seen him before when I trapped the smaller kittens). She says if I happen to get him, she would take him to the vet, get him neutered, and find a home for him. She has, in the past, trapped many of these cats and found homes for them. I think the "vacuum effect" is keeping this colony going.
post #19 of 26
Sending lots of vibes your way. I hope you catch Mama (if it's her). You saw Buttercup's daddy and he is gorgeous just like her.....catch him!
post #20 of 26
any news on the trapping Kelly? or am I being too impatient
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by huggles
any news on the trapping Kelly? or am I being too impatient
Thanks for asking Danielle!

No, no news. It's been so bitter cold (single digit highs), that the smart kitties are laying low and trying to keep warm. This stupid human finally decided to wait until it's a bit more mild!

Tonight, though, one of the women who feeds the cats said she caught a tiny kitten tonight. Her best guess is that it's about 8 weeks old, and is sick (of course!). She said she found it leaning against her garage door, shivering...poor baby. Off to the vet first thing in the morning! This neighbor also told me about a place that she has found kittens before, so a friend and I are going Friday to check it out. From the sounds of it, it will require a flashlight and mirror to see into it. If they're not there, then I think either my "source" was mistaken, or this cat is somewhere where I won't find her. Keep your fingers crossed! If this doesn't pan out, we'll have to concoct a plan to start TNR'ing the adults, which I put off because I had the kittens, and didn't have the space to recover adults.

The big beautiful cat I saw the other day has been seen quite a bit lately. He actually comes up to the sliding glass door & meows at them! Maybe he's nice...I hope so! If he's someone's pet, and not neutered, they will shortly have a neutered pet.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by clixpix
... If he's someone's pet, and not neutered, they will shortly have a neutered pet.
You GO girl!!!!!!!!

And that poor kitty! It dropped into the single digits here, too. Those poor cats. And don't forget to keep those fingers and toes warm. So, now I'm including STAY WARM and BE WARM thoughts along as well.
post #23 of 26
Oh Kelly, I just remembered. I learned something new the other day. I don't remember which thread it was - you may have read it already. But if you're trying to trap an un-neutered male, Hissy has a great trapping tip. Cover the bottom of the trap with litter - but then instead of using food as the bait to get the cat in the trap, sprinkle some used litter over the top of the clean stuff. This should bring out his territorial instincts, and an unneutered male could/should react by spraying inside the trap (which should trip the trap with him in it).
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG
You GO girl!!!!!!!!

And that poor kitty! It dropped into the single digits here, too. Those poor cats. And don't forget to keep those fingers and toes warm. So, now I'm including STAY WARM and BE WARM thoughts along as well.
Thanks Laurie! In retrospect, I wasted alot of time out there...the "bait" froze probably about 10 minutes into the vigil. By the time I packed up, it was frozen solid.

It's up into the 20's now. It feels mild in comparison. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Friday!
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG
Oh Kelly, I just remembered. I learned something new the other day. I don't remember which thread it was - you may have read it already. But if you're trying to trap an un-neutered male, Hissy has a great trapping tip. Cover the bottom of the trap with litter - but then instead of using food as the bait to get the cat in the trap, sprinkle some used litter over the top of the clean stuff. This should bring out his territorial instincts, and an unneutered male could/should react by spraying inside the trap (which should trip the trap with him in it).
Would my cat's litter work? She's a spayed female.
post #26 of 26
Don't see why not! It's the scent of the pee that they react to - they need to cover it up with their scent to make it "their" territory, as I understand it.
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