Cat Shorts


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 other plans.

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 overall mayhem.

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 daughter.

Take a look at the picture below.

momma and squad car

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 they wanted.

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 for them.

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.

roo small