Thursday, May 29, 2008

A yarn about a cat

Knitters like cats. So I figured you'd be interested in my latest problem.

Each spring we're confronted with some sort of animal crisis that we have to deal with. It could be a bunch of baby bunnies living in my garden, ready for a predator to eat. Or a bird that put its nest too low to the ground where the eggs are easy prey for one of the neighborhood pussycats. Or a sick squirrel. Or a bird that won't fly. It's always something.

Invariably, I drive myself (and Alex) crazy until the problem is resolved (often with the help of the Ohio Wildlife people who scold me for bringing them the critters to save rather than allow "nature to take its course.")

Anyway, I was wondering what crisis would find me this spring...and then it arrived in the form of a cat. A pussycat passed through our yard about 8 weeks ago and I was distraught because it was quite badly torn up from a fight. But it was a heavy cat, so both Alex and I assumed it had a home. I opened a can of tuna, coaxed it over for a meal, and off it went -- while I worried for days about its injuries. The next time I saw it, the wounds were healing somewhat, and it was skittish, but could still be coaxed into eating some tuna. Then off it went again.

We didn't see the cat for weeks.

Then, on Monday Alex and I were working in the yard when a cat head poked up out of our garden. Alex whistled and it came running toward us...but never within reach. It was obviously the same cat, but much skinner. And it had a very serious wound to its face. Very serious. When we saw the open wound, we both knew this cat didn't have a home.

I got some tuna and cream, and coaxed the cat to eat, but it wouldn't let me get near it. The poor little thing ate and ate while I tried to get a good look at its wound, and Alex got his camera to take photos so we could look at it close up on the computer. I could tell that the cat is part Siamese. It has lovely blue eyes, and is the beige you'll see on Siamese cats, but with a few little patches of tabby.

We've decided we need to save this cat, and our vet has agreed to let us bring it in as soon as we can catch it -- if we can catch it. So each lunch hour and each evening we've been going home to try to capture the pussycat with offerings of tuna and cream. Last night Alex almost caught it when it entered our doorway to feast on our bait. But as soon as Alex moved, the cat scrambled away.

We're still trying, though, and we won't give up. I've been leaving bowls of cream and tuna on the deck, and I noticed this morning they were empty, so either the raccoons had one heck of a party last night or the pussycat's been by for dinner.

I'll keep you posted on our progress. And if any of you know how to capture a wild pussycat, please let me know. I'm losing sleep over this poor little guy!


catlover said...

Your stray was pregnant--now she's had the kittens she won't leave them. Don't attempt to catch her. Put out a ready supply of water and Iams cat crunchies. If you make things seem safe she may bring you the kittens to eat the crunchies, too when they're older and she's weaned them. Don't put out cream--many cats are lactose intolerant. Water is best.

Deborah Knight said...

Thanks for your note. Good news! She wasn't pregnant because she's a he. Isn't that great? Otherwise, I'd have about seven new cats. Alex managed to capture Scarface with tuna. But we're trying to switch him over to crunchies now. I think they're better for him.