Monthly Archives: December 2008

Trapped! The bestest news in a long while

So, btmao got hold of a master trapper, V, and tonight he helped alleviate the situation that’s been developing in Area 2.

Our main aim was BambiBaby, who bit btmao’s hand in our first (failed) attempt to trap him, and Saba, whose recalcitrant family has allowed her to continue to get pregnant.

As we walked out to Area 2, who should we spot but a new young male cat, probably a yearling, lounging in front of the late Charlotte‘s home. A new member to Ian’s gang, btmao had seen the very friendly boy a few times, once sauntering out the family’s front door. We briefly discussed our options as we walked along the school buttressing Area 1.

Who should we see but Stanley swaggering his way in parallel on the other side of the fence! I shadowed him while btmao went to meet V and direct him over.

When V and btmao met up with me, Stanley was in between blocks of Area 1, As V set up the cat trap, an Indian grandpa and his two young granddaughters watched a little distance away. Though language was rather the barrier, I managed to explain to the granddad what we were up to, and he considerately pulled his young charges a little further away.

Stanley showed no interest in stepping inside the trap, so V went to get his net. While V was away, Stanley went into gladiator mode, as another tom, a young (we estimate 2 years old) Tabby Tuxedo male crossed his path. It was pure happenstance, but as concentrated on posturing as Stanley was, V was able nab him without incident. At last, our second enfant terrible was in the carrier!

V quickly brought Stanley back to his van, and then came back to work on the other male. When he showed no interest in food and was thus not going into the trap either, V went ot get another carrier.

Jut as V was walking to his van, who should come walking up but Brenda, another newbie female who resembles Freda. She was first spotted only on 12 Dec 08. A skinny, famished cat with some balding parts on her rump, she was scared and wary at out first meeting, but who last week, allowed btmao to touch her upon their first meeting. She was a bit malnutritioned then, but has since fattened up a bit. V simply picked her up and brought her to the van.

To cut a long story short, the tabby tuxedo boy got away.

So we decided it was time to go over to Area 2 and try for Saba and BambiBaby.

We spread out in different directions.

Saba was nowhere to found.

As for BambiBaby, btmao found him in his usual hiding place behind the eatery. Since our last report, he has learnt that hearing btmao means dinner but that she’s not to be trusted so much. btmao has to put the food down among the bushes, and step back at least 3 metres before he will cautiously approach the dinner “plate”, check out the coast in an elaborate 5 to 10m minute ritual before he starts eating, gingerly.

By the time I joined btmao and V, I could see BambiBaby cautiously sniffing outside the trap and calling as loudly as ever.

An audience was also gathering. There was a gazebo nearby, and some among the usual evening gaggle of men who gathered there tried to sabotage the operation by distracting BambiBaby with catcalls of their own. One of them even stamped his feet loudly just as BambiBaby took his first step into the trap. V tried to explain to the group but the saboteur started posturing. Fortunately, he had open-minded companions who were more receptive and managed to keep things calm.

BambiBaby got spooked nonetheless and ran a little away and almost into the drains that surround the eatery, so btmao went to drop a dollop of canned food at the trap entrance.

At this time, a family walked by and obliviously gathered, less than 0.5 m from the trap. btmao asked them to move back and they did, though they continued to watch.

It was a very tense time, but after 10 minutes, BambiBaby finally did enter the trap. It took him another 10 minutes to venture deep enough to trigger the trap door. Success!

Then V took the trap one side to transfer BambiBaby to a carrier… and he promptly escaped. Looks like getting this growing scaredy cat will take more doing. The head of the spectator family then came up and started sharing clandestine info – that there were a few cats around, 1 “mother” and 3 or 4 kittens and that the mother was often there calling. We suspect he meant Saba and that he may have mistaken other kittens (as yet unsighted by us) for BambiBaby’s litter as Bambi (who is still MIA) had never been seen with any other kitten.

The peacemaker from the men gaggle also offered some insider news: there’s a family of cats whom people are feeding. We suspect he was referring to the calico cat we spotted that day. She definitely has a litter, and he confirms the whole family is being irresponsibly fed.

With the double setbacks of not finding Saba and BambiBaby’s escape, we decided to go and get Indy instead.

Strangely, he was afraid of btmao but would respond to me. As the family was home, we did a bit of stealthing: I carried Indy to the next block where V met us and I put him into the carrier with no effort at all. In fact, he purred all the way.

Frankly, I was wavering over whether to sterilise Indy or to leave him for his family, even though we are quite sure they would probably do no such thing, given their history, but years of accumulating peeve made me want to try for a game of brinksmanship with them. But Iggy came to mind. Frankly, we have more than enough kitty-sized albatrosses around the neck to deal with, so I surrendered as we did not want that to befall another beautiful cat.

We have more than enough cats in Area 2 needing de-mojoing. The calico mothercat‘s brood is 3-4 months old: 1 short-tailed and small-sized black kitten with white mittens, 2 cream-coloured tabbies, 1 torbie calico and 1 short-tailed agouti. All are scaredy and scoots readily into their drain of a home. The good thing is, they are not difficult to find though their schedule is also not fixed. All are ravenous and we hope they will stick around for another month or 2 until we can get them sterilised. Their mother, who has the most lovely large blue yellow eyes, we hope to settle sooner.

Along with the family, BambiBaby, Saba remain on the radar, so V will be back.

We are going to burn a hole in our pocket, taking on responsibility that so-called pet owners, who own their own cars I might add, at least for Indy and Saba, and most likely the escaped tabby tuxedo boy, but the alternative is not something we want to happen.

So 3 cats down… X to go.

Mr Safety’s advocacy for cat trapping is a great public service, but all that advocacy can’t work without MIWs, minions-industriously-working, aka you and me.

Merry Christmas, and here’s to hoping all the kitties without roofs over their heads remain safe.

(Note: No pictures of tonight’s operation as I did not want the camera to get in the way nor to spook our quarry)

Advertisements

Mr Safety got Singapore edition?

It must be providence.

Marty_frontview_full_20080713_01x
Marty: Yeah!

Mr Safety goes cat trapping just as  the Cat Welfare Society announces a TNRM workshop on 20 Dec 2008.

Please do consider signing up. You’ll be doing GOOD.

Marty_Henna_BYLegs_20080713_09x

Mr Safety goes cat trapping

Remember the purveyor of meankitty pop? Yes, Mr Safety himself is spreading the necessary message: STERILISE, DAMMIT!

Ok so not in the same tone… just watch the vid please:

Remember, it is up to us, people, to change Singapore’s Love-Hate Relationship with TNRM, to remove the tormenting paradox. Don’t hope for a national pet project, because neither authorities nor Singapore’s straitlaced leaders will lead the charge. Bureaucratic red tape is perfect foil. Reduce the number of animals on the streets, reduce the number who die every year under the guise of humane termination.

Slackers

Knowing that BambiBaby is out there trying to make sense of what’s happening to him, I am glad the slackers are safe at home. I hope BamibiBaby gets a chance to be in a home too, even if Bambi won’t be coming back to him.

Teddy_face_20081129_02x
Teddy

BamBam_bellyup_sleeping_20081129_01x
Bam Bam

Philly_face_20081129_03x
Philly

Joey_posting_20081129_01x
Joey

Rheilly_sleeping_aerialview_20081129_01x
Rheilly

Lost baby tries to eat dried leaves

Bambi remains missing. And for the past two nights, we were not able to locate BambiBaby either. We thought he might have been chased off by either Omi or Twinkie.

Bambi_BambiBaby_crouching_20081122_04x

But earlier tonight, we did spot him nosing about the perimeter of the eatery where his mum used to beg for food. He wasn’t quite able to get the hang of the beg-for-food business, did not dare to approach people and generally stayed off the concrete floor of the eatery. The shrubs that used to mark the eatery perimeter are gone as we’ve said, but stumps remain along with a few dried leaves scattered on the still-loose earth.

At the edge of the perimeter, while waiting for btmao to come, I saw BambiBaby trying to chew at least 2 dried leaves before giving up. It was pathetic.

He was very scaredy but meowed his heart out when btmao called him, attracting the eatery customers’ attention. He kept to the outer perimeter as btmao tried to lead him to a quieter corner to feed him, meowing at the top of his lungs all the while. I kept away to avoid stressing him more than he needed to be.

But there were obviously communication problems between btmao and him. Without Bambi around, he simply wasn’t going to trust anyone easily. It took 5 mins just to lead him 2 metres. It was also attracting too much attention. Finally, btmao decided to just feed him at one end of the eatery perimeter. While he hesitated between waiting for dinner and scooting off, btmao cooed and struggled to dish out the mash. He seemed to clue on to what she was trying to do and waiting nervously and expectantly behind a potted plant. Finally the food was ready.

However, the kids at the nearest table did their best to scare him. He was obviously bothered by their hackling and wavered between eating and running off. Sad to say, the annoying kids succeeded while their proud guardians watched in amusement.

BamibiBaby’s nerve broke and he ran for his life before he even took a bite. He ran like mad, first under one car then another and then straight into a drain where we lost sight of him.

Thankfully, his “home”, a rack of potted plants, was nearby. We last saw Bambi there, and he seemed to be sticking to it failthfully too. While I was searching in the opposite direction, btmao caught a glimpse of him on the homerun.

Carefully, btmao presented dinner and stepped away. Finally, he was able to eat. He was so hungry and so relieved that he gobbled up the mash without posting any lookouts, to the point that btmao managed to inch her way to his side. He moved away only upon her second attempt at petting him.

From this encounter, we’re quite sure Bambi has not voluntarily abandoned BambiBaby. We can only hope she was taken by some good samatarian and is safe somewhere.

As for BambiBaby… anyone willing to foster him? We believe all he needs is a bit of time to get over his loss and some tlc to settle down. We just need him to be socialised before taking him over and hopefully into Foster Mum’s.