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Today’s goal is to trap the one last remaining cat at the RH site using a drop trap. This Siamese we are after is the mother of a litter of kittens, most of which have been adopted out. This kitty is very spooked by unfamiliar things, so the trapping operation requires remaining well hidden.

The cat blind we get to occupy as we wait for the Siamese is a small dark room adjacent to the garage. We sit on 5 gallon buckets peeking out a dirty window toward the small yard, where the drop trap is setup. As I watch spider crawl around, I’m thinking the blind is not very pleasant however Nancy tells me as far as cat blinds go, this one is luxurious.

The few inches of uncovered window provides the view of the yard.

It was 2:48 pm on a very cloudy day when I relieved Nancy. She had been watching the drop trap since 9 this morning. She saw many cats come and go but the Siamese we’re looking for remained asleep on the porch less than 10 feet from the drop trap!

The yard as seen from the blind.

As Nancy was leaving she refilled the bait with tuna. She also left a trail of tuna juice and bits leading to the trap.

Mr. Ratty Ears expressing interest in the bait.

Now as I’m watching an older boy, Mr. Ratty Ears, is chowing down all that fresh tuna. A black and white, brown and white and old tortie are drifting in and out of the yard. Hopefully there will still be some bait by the time Mr. Ratty Ears is done! No telling how long I’ll be here. I’m hope she comes along any minute now!

Mr. Ratty Ears gets more bait.

5:00 pm, still no sign of the Siamese moving toward the trap. Nancy’s back, all freshened up from her break and ready to take another shift. So, I have time to run home and use the bathroom as well as to snatch some fresh made chocolate chip cookies that Laura just baked!

5:45 pm, the hot from the oven cookies are quite tasty! I’m back in the secret at blind now, waiting with Nancy for the Siamese to appear. The cookies take our mind off the waiting. We joke about how bummed we would be if the fancy wireless trap trigger we are using fails to work when it comes time. We hope that doesn’t happen!

Toby watches us watch him.

7:00 pm the kitty action is intensifying. Lots of cats coming and going, but still no sign of the Siamese being interested in the food. Saw a small female non-ear tipped tabby that I thought was one of the ones we did, but upon later later realized it was a different one. I will have to come back for her someday.

7:16 pm, Siamese finally comes down from her perch and shows interest in the food under the trap. She sniffs around it, and cautiously makes her way under. As she’s eating up the food, Nancy slowly picks up the remote control for the trap trigger. After over ten hours of waiting, the moment has finally come!

Even though I’m not the one pushing the button to release the trap my heart is pounding in anticipation. This is the moment in the TNR process that produces a crazy adrenaline rush. Nancy notes her heart is also pounding.

At long last, Nancy presses the “trip” button. Nothing happens. We’re shocked. She tries again and nothing. We’re starting to freak in disbelief. Nancy promises me she had tested the remote at the start of the day and the batteries were replaced mid-day. She wiggles it, brings it closer to the window and tries again. Still nothing. After a big more wiggling and a few choice words, the wireless trigger finally activates.

The wireless trigger has a small motor that is activated by the remote control. The motor retracts a pin which allows for the trip support to quickly pivot out of the way. After the pin is out of the way, gravity does most of the work. It’s rather slick and well designed. It’s possible downfall is the split second from the time the motor is activated to when the supports pivots out of the way. That split second was enough time for both cats to spook and dart out lightening fast from under the sides of the falling trap and avoid capture! Can you believe it?!

In absolute horror we watched the trap activate, start to fall and two cats dart in opposite directions before it reached the ground. The trap actually smacked the Siamese on the back as she was escaping. Ouch, I sure hope she’s ok.

All that waiting and no cat to show for it! And now that she’s good and spooked from the drop trap, so it’ll probably be awhile before we get to try again. Sigh.

The new plan calls for having the caretaker feed exclusively under the trap for the next week or two and then we try again once he reports seeing her eat under there. And I think next time, we’ll forgo the fancy electronics and go with the trusty string trigger!

6 Responses to “the trapping of the Siamese”

  1. OMG – how terrible. At least you know she would go under there, but it is certainly going to be harder the next time. And, as much as I hated to laugh, I can only imagine the horror of hitting the button over and over with nothing happening and then seeing cats fly as it finally tripped. :)

  2. Oh no! I hope you get her next time.

  3. Katie Isabella says:

    Oh I am sick that happened and she is probably hurt quite a bit too with all that weight dropping on her. I imagine you’ll probaby not see her again. I’m so sorry for you all and for her.

    • thecatguy says:

      I’m doubtful she is actually hurt, although we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for her. The drop trap isn’t all that heavy, I’m sure it scared her more than actually caused physical pain.

  4. Katie Isabella says:

    Thank goodness. I trust your judgement .

  5. Mary Ann says:

    What a bummer. I would have felt so defeated after a whole day of watching. I’m sure you will catch her in the end. Sorry Cat Guy.

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