Trapping Tuxedo Twice
One thing I learned when trapping a feral abandoned cat is not to release it for any reason until it has been spay/neutered. I trapped Tuxedo, one of the adolescent feral males in 2007. (He's the black one in the photo to the left, getting his head thumped by his brother) Unlike the ones trapped before him, he went berserk in the cage. I had read about this being normal behavior for a trapped feral. But my husband and I could not seem to resign ourselves to the reality that it was clear he was not going to eat the food that lured him into the cage. So we let him go. It was not the thrashing in the cage that prompted us to release him. It was the fact that he would not be eating for another 18-20 hours since the vet always requires no feeding after midnight. What I did not realize is how difficult it would be to trap him again. For the cat, this is called becoming ‘trap-wise’. Luckily, a little over a year later, Tuxedo got enthused enough about the smell of the tuna bait that he did go into the cage a second time. However, he had fathered at least one litter over that year. I was really fortunate to be able to trap him a second time. I learned my lesson with this one. Subsequently, when any cat freaked out after being trapped, I just covered the cage, placing it in a quiet space and left the cat alone. I heard that is supposed to be a good way to allow them to calm themselves. Contrary to advice from online authorities, my husband had lots of success calming the ferals by sweet talking them through the cage. It was quite a sight to watch him drawing on his innate gifts with wild animals.
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