Dry Creek Hill

Cat Trapping 101: Practice Test

Fate has a way of testing us all, and immediately after posting about cat trapping we had to put our skills to the test. The weather here in the Texas Hill Country is headed into the worst extended cold in many years. The local weather folks said the last time we had cold like this was 1951. I don’t remember those days (I was only 6 months old or so) but my parents talked about the 1951 ice storm in Houston for years after it happened.

MiniMo hadn’t been restrained in any way since being trapped and spayed nearly 12 years ago, and we needed to protect her from the brutal cold. She had been keeping close to the house and on our deck since Starsky died, sleeping in a cat bed and fleece blanket Starsky favored and using a straw filled-box for warmth on cold nights.

We put a blanket-covered crate with a fleece bed next to Starsky’s old cat bed and the straw-filled box. MiniMo would have none of the crate at first. As I lay awake that night trying to plot how to get her into the crate without damage to her or me, I remembered we had a small electric heating pad. We hadn’t used it in so long I’d forgotten we had it. The plan was to heat her bed so even if we couldn’t catch her she would at least have some warmth.

For a series of pictures of MiniMo’s rescue from the cold, see Loretta’s photo essay here.

The next morning we discovered MiniMo in the crate, but she would jump out of it before we could get near enough to close the door. We put the heating pad under the fleece in the crate and went back inside.

Later that day, Loretta went out to collect an empty dinner saucer. MiniMo stayed in the crate on her heated bed. Loretta came back inside, had a “Doh!”moment when she realized MiniMo stayed in the crate, and quickly went back outside and closed the crate door. MiniMo is now in my office, watching quietly from the crate as I type. I think she thinks she’s in heaven.

MiniMo warms up in my office.

She’s been so docile and quiet that she may become my office cat. It’s rare that a feral like MiniMo can become so tame, but she’s been gradually taming down and getting closer to us with the loss of her colony-mates. I’ll see what she does outside the crate in a day or so. The weather forecast says she’ll need to be inside for a while.

3 thoughts on “Cat Trapping 101: Practice Test

  1. shoreacres

    I think I just figured out how to leave comments on Loretta’s photo essay, but in the meantime, tell her how much I enjoyed it.

    MiniMo is one wise kitty. I can’t imagine any critter — or human, for that matter — would reject a warm and cozy spot in these conditions. I see you have freezing fog in your forecast, so it looks as though you’re going to get the whole range of possible weather afflictions before this is over. Have you kept power? It was spotty for my friend in Kerrville, but the last time I talked to her yesterday, it was on. Her daughter and son-in-law still are on their hill. They tried early on to make a run into town, but realized even if they slid down safely, they’d never get back up.

    I’ve kept power, save for a half hour last night when I ‘m sure it went off while they were bringing other people online. I’m convinced now that I’m hooked up with some sort of essential service. After hurricane Ike, my complex had power again in less than 24 hours. The fact that we’ve been connected through this whole thing suggests more than sheer chance.

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      I’ll let Loretta know. She’ll be happy to hear about figuring out the comment system.

      MiniMo is out of the crate and seems quite happy in my office. I found her napping in my desk chair when I came in this morning and she has been nice, quiet company up here. I had to put a few fragile things away just to be safe, but so far it looks like she may make the transition very easily.

      It’s good to hear you’re doing well. We’ve kept power so far, although a lot of people I know have lost it. Bandera Electric is working hard to fix outages, but you can imagine how remote some of their lines are and how hard it could be to get there and work in this weather. They’re doing rolling outages at ERCOT’s order, but so far we haven’t been affected. I hope it stays that way. Like you, I’ve been wondering if someone on our loop is deemed essential in some way. It has to be a fairly large loop geographically because of the terrain and how widely spaced everyone is, so it wouldn’t be out of the question that someone or something a good distance away is identified as having a special need for uninterrupted power.

      We haven’t tried to go anywhere. I’m afraid our driveway would be like a ski slope going down, and it has an S curve in it as well. I’m pretty sure we’d have to hike back up the hill if we made it down without mishap. We’re well stocked up and can sit here happily all week if necessary.

      1. shoreacres

        Ha! Just when I finished reading your comment, the power went out. Verizon’s having real problems, too. Texts are getting through, but calls are spotty, and when I lost my wifi, the iPad wouldn’t switch automatically to Verizon. I do hate that little spinning wheel.

        Somewhere I read last night that an assortment of auxillary generators are freezing up. The one in the Galveston Daily News went down, and the South Texas Nuclear plant’s offline as of yesterday. We should be happy, though. Some Wind Power Association or whatever gave Governor Abbott an award for his forward-thinking when it comes to wind power. We all can bask in the warmth of his award, don’t you know!

        Now that the power’s on again, it’s time for some coffee and a hot shower before it goes off again.

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