I have an art gallery in Spicewood, Texas about 30 miles west of
Austin on Highway 71. Sharing the gallery with me are Roo and
Squad Car, two feral cats I trapped and moved into the gallery.
They have been with me for six years and they have been extremely
good companions and gallery promoters.
The Trapping of Squad Car
Squad Car was the third member
of a litter out of Momma Kitty (older black and white kitty with
many litters under her belt) and Squad Car was the spitting image of
Momma Kitty. The other two kittens were Siamese (one male, one
female) with those wonderful blue eyes. Momma was very mellow and
let me pet and hold her without any problems. But, the kittens were
very, very feral and would not come near me. At the time, they were
living under a building that was about to be razed. The trapping
procedure was instigated.
I use a live trap set up to
close when the cat steps on the lever where the food is located. The
entry door closes and that is that. I use the trap to take them to
the vet for their shots and spaying or neutering operations. Works
great almost all the time. With the two Siamese (Lucy and Bert)
things went according to plan. In fact, I caught Lucy and Bert
together in the same trap. Off they went to the vet.
When they returned, I released
them and set about trapping Squad Car. I named her that because of
the old police cars. They were called Squad Cars and were black and
white. The name really fit her. Now that the two Siamese were back
and healed, I put my trusty coonskin trapping cap back on and
plotted how to trap the remaining fertile kitten. Squad Car had
I ran into problems almost at
once. As I put the trap out, Momma, Lucy and Burt would get into the
trap and spring it to get the food. They knew I would come and let
them out, so this became a great source of extra chow for the two
blue eyed devils and Momma. They would lay down and wait for me to
come and let them out of the trap. I moved the trap to different
locations, but they always found it and pillaged the trap. Squad Car
never had a chance to get the food.
Of course, while the cats where
springing the trap, Squad Car learned what would happen if she went
into the trap. Burt was adopted to a good family, and I locked Momma
and Lucy up in the gallery so I could get Squad Car before she
became pregnant. Squad was wise to the trap. Also at this time, the
building they lived under was being torn down. I still had to feed
her and supply water as all this was taking place. I would see her
sitting in the rubble every day as the building was destroyed.
I put the trap back out in
different locations trying to lure the little poop-head into the
trap. She would walk on the trap, sniff it, and even stick her
little black and white head into the trap but would not go in. This
went on for three weeks. I tried all kinds of food to lure her in
but she was not fooled. I was getting desperate because it would not
be too long before she went into heat. And, there were three or four
male cats that routinely made the rounds looking for love.
As usual, I put the trap out
within sight of my back door at the gallery. I watched her walk on
top of the trap, sit down and start cleaning herself. There was
rubble all around as the building tear-down was just about finished.
I had some yummy raw tuna in the trap today hoping she would be
tempted by by the smell of fresh fish. Nope! She preened a little
longer and laid down to catch some rays as I fumed in the gallery.
Then I had an epiphany. The cat
gods spoke to me and the word was “sardines”. I walked up to the
store and bought a nasty can of sardines. I replaced the tuna with
the sardines and headed back to he gallery with hope in my heart.
I was still twenty yards from
the gallery when I heard the trap snap shut. I turned, and there she
was in the trap, ravaging the sardines. Could this be true. Am I
seeing things? I headed back to the trap and sure enough, there was
Squad Car in the trap with a sardine head in her mouth.
Since it was very early in the
morning, I called my vet to see if they could get her in to be
spayed. Yes, I would have to leave her and pick her up in the
afternoon. As we headed to the vet, she continued to gorge herself
on sardines. I had to put a towel under the cage to protect the seat
from flying sardine parts. What a little pig
I picked her up that afternoon
and she was still groggy. I always keep surgery patients in the
gallery at least overnight. We got back to the gallery and I put
some water and a small litter box in the cage to make her overnight
stay a little easier. When I left the gallery, she was sound asleep
and purring a little.
When I came in the next morning,
she was wide awake and had used the litter box with litter all over
the place. No one ever said she was a neat freak. I closed the door
to the other side of the gallery and lifted the trap gate to let her
out into the gallery. I expected the worse. Hissing, hiding and
Squad sauntered out of the cage,
sat down, did a little cleaning and started the purr motor. I was
sitting on the floor about ten feet away from her. She headed for
me. I was glad I decided to wear long sleeves today. She stopped in
front of me, looked me right in the eyes, and started rubbing up
against me with purr motor in overdrive. I picked her up and moved
her to my lap. The purring got louder, and she went to sleep in my
lap. So, I had to sit on the hard tile floor for about fifteen
minutes before she awoke, started kneading my leg, and then headed
for the litter box. I was surprised. I thought she would be so hard
to bring into the flock. Wrong again!
I went to the back door and let
Momma Kitty in and there was a happy reunion between mother and
Take a look at the picture below.
Roo – The Good Samaritan
Roo meandered into my life
early one morning out back of the gallery. I will explain later why
I named her Roo. She was with another kitten, (I named her Lena),
and I had not seen either of them before. They were not afraid of me
and walked right up purring and wanting to be petted. I did what
As we walked toward the
gallery, I heard this really pitiful meowing coming from above. I
looked up, there was Bert (a Siamese male kitten) out on limb of one
of the oak trees. He had decided it was too dangerous and difficult
for him to get back to the ground and was voicing his distress to
anyone within hearing. The limb was too high for me to reach even
with a ladder. He would probably figure out how to get down and
there was nothing I could do.
Lena and I headed back to the
gallery and when I turned to look for Roo, she was sitting under the
tree looking up at Bert. Roo was only about three or four months old
and was still really small. Then it happened. I have never seen a
cat do this before.
Roo ran to the tree trunk and
zipped up the tree to the first big limb. She sat there for a
moment, and then moved up to the limb Bert was stuck on. She walked
out on that limb to within about a foot of mister chicken and
started talking to him. At first, Bert was having no part of this
rescue. However, after about five minutes of talking, he moved
toward Roo. Roo turned around, walked down the limb to the trunk of
the tree with Bert following her. They both got to the trunk and Roo
scampered down to the ground. Of course, the big baby was scared of
coming down the trunk. Roo sat at the bottom of the tree and talked
to him. Finally, he acted like he had a pair (he did not have a pair
any longer – he had been to the vet already) and listened to Roo and
inched his way down the trunk to the ground. Of course, when he was
on the ground, he started strutting around and completely ignored
Roo. Roo ran over to Lena and I and we continued to the back porch
of the gallery. All in a day’s work for Roo.
Lena and Roo were eating a
great dinner as Bert wondered over to mooch some food. At that time
I had thirteen cats out back that had to be fed twice a day. It was
dinner time and they all showed up. Roo and Lena were accepted into
the pack without any problems. Bert probably had put a good word in
The reason I named her Roo
(short for kangaroo) was her jumping ability. Roo ended up being a
large cat and she could jump like no cat I had seen before. If they
had a cat Olympics, Roo would have won many gold medals in jumping
competitions. Plus, she seemed to like the name.
Roo (six years later) is now
one of my gallery cats along with Squad Car. Listen to this! She has
never scratched or bitten me since she has been in the gallery. She
loves to be petted and have her fur rubbed the wrong way. She is a
good kitty and I do love her.