Animals · Rescue · Uncategorized

Cat Catcher Extrodinaire (I am not)…

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I awake to the thunderous sound of hard rain against my bedroom window.  I bolt upright, for once not having to shake off a sleepy fog. I’m alert and already throwing off covers and jamming my feet  into tennis shoes. My thoughts are of whatever small animal has managed to get caught in the trap I set last night.  Poor thing! It must be drenched already, and I’m trying to remember if I had hidden the trap  far enough in the underbrush to protect whatever got caught.   I brush my teeth, don’t bother to drag a comb through my bed-head hair, and keys in hand, head out to my car.

All the while I’m driving in the rain, I think about Timmy cat.  I am half hoping that mission is accomplished and he’s been successfully trapped, and half hoping that NO poor, unfortunate animal has been trapped and is now, forlorn and scared, in a cage. Exposed to the rain. Mother Nature is not cooperating this morning.  It’s hard enough for me to scrunch up my courage to fight the thick underbrush, fearing poison ivy and all creepy crawlies….and to tentatively approach the trap in the dead of night with only a sliver of moon shining through deformed branches and eerie moss hanging from dead trees.  My footsteps crunch along a bed of dry, fallen leaves…magnified in the silence of a quiet night.  Any manner of wild creatures could hear my approach and there goes any chance of trapping Timmy.

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My Timmy is Jack’s Boy…and that’s a whole story in itself.  Timmy, like Jack, just showed up in my backyard one day and I have been feeding him ever since.  No, I am not a crazy cat lady…but apparently I am a woman who can’t turn her back on a stray waif who is obviously hungry given their pitiful meows.  Oh no, I am not that woman.  So, after forming a mutually meaningful relationship and gaining his trust, we bond. (Believe me, that’s easy to do when the first time I pick little Timmy up for a cuddle, he wraps his small paw around my neck and oh boy, there goes my heart).  Welcome home I whisper into his soft fur as we snuggle.

So, needless to say, Timmy becomes part of our household. Did I mention that my household already has three other cats? Oh, what’s one more for a good hearted, cat lovin’ woman? Introducing a new cat into our home has not been without it’s challenges.  Especially when one of the other cats has been the alpha male.  (There’s actually another male, Boots, but since he’s much smaller, he had no interest in asserting his male dominance and is quite happy to chase butterflies in the backyard). He leaves all the manly cat activities to the big O.  (That’s  O for Orange cat in case you’re wondering). Things that Orange is actually quite adept at, stalking and killing squirrels being one of his particular skill set.  (And there’s a whole other story right there).

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So back to my Timmy.  When he missed several days of free feedings at my house, I began to worry…soon worry turned to activity as I began to walk my neighborhood at all hours calling his name like a fisherwoman. When that didn’t work, I took to driving around in the car, banging his food bowl with a spoon outside the open window.  (Sorry, neighbors).  I expanded my searching by prowling around at all hours of night with only a small book light for a flashlight. (Why is there never a real flashlight when I need one?)  I ventured into places unknown and probably only ever inhabited by little woodland creatures.  I leave no bush unturned.

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My dear and good friend Lorri came to help with cat reconnaissance.  Hence the Have A Heart trap.  We have spotted him and know that he’s hiding out in the yard at an abandoned house.  I have called and cajoled…he knows the sound of my voice but is too scared to come to me.  He is injured.  I saw his little body silhouetted in the glare of headlights as he was trying to run, hobbling along on three legs and holding his front paw up in the air, unable to put any weight on it.  I don’t know which is worse, to catch glimpses of him like this, knowing he needs help, or to think of him being vulnerable, and easy prey.  I long to capture him and make him safe.  I long to pick him up and assure him I will always keep him safe and far from danger.  I want so much to cuddle him and whisper welcome home.

Until next time, friends…

 

 

 

Country Living · Farm · Wildlife

Hog Wild!

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Hogs! And wild hogs at that!

After a long absence, I am happy to catch you up on what’s happening in my world.  So, if you like, read on…

Back on the farm, we notice deep ruts randomly scattered around the yard surrounding the farmhouse.  Never having been a problem previously, it now appears these nocturnal night-scavengers have taken to “rooting” on our farmland.  It dawns on me perhaps that’s what I saw the last time Glenn and I were here.  We had arrived late and it was already dark as we pulled into the yard at the rear of the farmhouse.  After an exhausting day preparing to leave the city, and after the long drive to the farm, we decided to just relax on the front porch with our drinks. (As my little grandson likes to say, “let’s have a party on the porch!)”

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I saw something small and black run along the dirt road in the bright moonlight.  Not used to seeing critters of any sort, it caught my attention.  I sat up. Glenn peered into the darkness, too.  Not able to  distinguish what it was exactly, I guessed a cat.  Hmm…a feral cat? It dissapeared into the night.  We have seen the occasional rabbit cross the yard, and I’m sure there’s a bunny family living in the old goat field, but other than that we have not seen any animals around the farm, wild or not.

 

After googling description of torn up yards, Glenn determined that oh boy, we probably had hogs. Wild hogs. Now what were we going to do? Going to shoot them was Glenn’s swift and sure answer.  Now this was not my line of thinking.  I was already in save our sows mode. I wanted to think of a plan to get rid of them in um, a manner that did not involve the words gun. shoot. kill.  No siree…this girl was mentally making a note to call the local county extension office and find out about traps and perhaps figure out a relocation plan for said trapped hapless hogs.  Or research natural deterrents, (mothballs, soap?) that might persuade these rooting tooting rascals to move onto other, more appetizing and appealing pastures.  Maybe.

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My thoughts were interrupted by Glenn’s conversation with his mother.  Explaining the invasion of the pigs, she had only two words of advise: kill them.  Apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in these here parts…

Until next time…..