Sammy this evening
When Sammy first showed up in our yard in 2010, he hung back and hid from humans, but if there was a meal to be had…he found a way to get it! I used my handy drop trap (see above) to capture him, and he was neutered in May 2010. Some months later he was suffering from an injury to his front leg, and I drop trapped his furry self again. I cried on my way to the vet’s office, and cried in the waiting room, and cried when I put the Sammy-loaded trap on the table. I thought they would tell me to euthanize him. Instead, they said he had a bite wound, and $95 for the knock-out shot, plus $95 for the antibiotic shot, and we were on our way again. Whew!
I’ve been concerned about Sammy’s health for awhile. First it was the huge patch of itchy, yucky furr-less skin on his back, then his general demeanor of quiet suffering. His teeth maybe? Can’t tell. His bloated stomach, or the way he always manages to pee on his leg? No telling. So over this year I’ve tried three times to trap him, to get him thoroughly examined by the veterinarian. Now that Autumn is here, the idea of him toughing out the cold makes me sad. The first time I tried trapping was in the late spring, and I stood out in the sleet waiting for him to get close enough to the trap. He never did. The second time I set the trap up for days, hoping he’d get bored with being afraid and get in there. Nope.
So today, I tried a different approach. I grabbed an old sheet, and a cat carrier. The idea: throw sheet over cat, scoop up and drop into carrier. So I set the carrier on end so the door was open and then pretended that everything was just fine as I approached the deck. Mama Mia started eating, Patty started eating, and Sammy did too after a moment of looking at the cat carrier and the sheet. After a beat, I slowly picked up the sheet in my hands…and Sammy hit reverse and backed away. I put my hands down, and Sammy came back to the bowl. I waited a little while, then I pounced. That slow, tired Sammy got the drop on me, and he wriggled and shot out from under the sheet, sending food bowls flying and Patty and Mama too. But then Sammy came back! Miraculously, he gingerly stepped up and tried to eat again. What did I tell you about Sammy always finding a meal? But one twitch from me sent him flying again, and then there were no cats, one overturned kibble bowl, and a defeated (for now) human.
Maybe the vet can prescribe knock-out drops, so I can slip Sammy a Mickey and gather him up in my arms while he sleeps. Or maybe this isn’t a choice that I make; he’s the one who obviously has plenty of fight and vigor. Perhaps Mother Nature and NOT fuss-budget me is making the decisions around my deck full of cats.
But here’s the really funny part! When I pulled the carrier out from the closet, Chucky took one look and he simply vanished. He did not come out for his usual lunch snack. He did not come out when I rattled the kibble bowl (he’s in love with kibble, but we limit his access due his urinary tract issues). I finally found him hidden inside the clothes basket of freshly-laundered socks. Poor Chuck thought he was taking a ride to the vet’s himself, and he was having NO PART of that! Ha ha ha!