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.
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.
- Feral Cat Fridays: Cat Trapping 101
- Feral Cat Fridays: A Snowy Interlude