Wow, talk about stress.
For those of you who are not familiar with trapping, here is how my morning went step by step.
3:30 a.m.: Out the door, place mackerel on newspaper in four traps, place traps in back of Jeep. Head to 386 Parsells in hopes of trapping four cats so that two can go to one barn and another two can go to another – both expecting them. This is AFTER they are vetted today at a clinic that is expecting them also. Place two traps on porch, and two on the ground next to the house. Drive off to begin my normal routine of feeding cats at 16 other locations.
3:50 am.: Head back to check on traps. Raccoon in trap on ground. Go let him out – reset smelly food, reset trap. Leave to feed more kitties.
4:10 am.: Head back to check on traps. Same raccoon in trap on porch. Go let him out – Take trap away because newspaper is shredded inside, and I don’t think kitties are going to go for this trap. Drive off to do more.
UPDATE: SHE was PREGNANT.
4:45 am.: Drive back, GOTCHA. Fluffy grey feral kitty. Hissing. Cover him up, and drive off to do just a few more spots.
5:15 am.: Finished up with all my locations: Rebuild shelter for the 8 or so on Central and Second. They are so confused. They now will have to cross two lanes of street to get to their food. Although I did leave dry under the mailbox for them. I tried to make the kissy sound for as long as I could from across the street, trying to lure them over. Thank God no druggies were out this morning to disturb me. I did leave a note on the step of this man’s house, pleading with him to allow me to feed there. I will share it below. Head back to check on traps. One kitty in trap. Cover him up with blanket, place gently in Jeep. Drive home to get ready for tomorrow’s feedings (no more dry food after today – another trip to Walmart tomorrow for $100+ just for dry food), get ready for work (I spiff up for work!)
6:50 a.m.: Head back to Parsells to check on remaining trap. POW!.WHAMMM! ZWAPP!. (I know, what is WRONG with me? What can I say, I like Batman words....) 😁 Got another. All going to vet where they will be spayed/neutered, ear-tipped, defleaed and dewormed.
Hopefully, they will live a long life in a barn in Marion, where three others went. I need to count how many were rescued since the last trapping – within two weeks its something like 15? Three of those are now being adopted.
There are still at least five more – two red with white, one very fluffy red, one black (who allowed me to touch him), and another very fluffy tabby – Maine coon looking. I will continue as long as I have to, as long as I can pay for the vetting, and as long as I have the vet appointments.
Here is the note I left for the man, with edits from some of you! Thank you very much!:
Dear Mr. Plakosh,
Let me introduce myself. My name is Janine Wagner, and I am a one woman rescue organization, mainly cats. I am writing this letter to humbly ask if you would allow me to continue to feed and shelter the cats on your property, temporarily, until I can trap them and find them homes. My intentions are good if you would kindly allow me to explain my actions.
Late last year I noticed kittens running down your driveway near the road, and back under your fence. Since then, I began to notice many other cats. My plan was to rescue the kittens, and get the other adults spayed and neutered. As you may be aware, this kind of action doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you are a one woman rescue organization. It requires trapping them, getting veterinarian appointments, time and money. I operate out of my own pocket for food, travel, spaying/neutering and spend $250 a week feeding the stray cats around the area. I go to 14 feeding stations 7 days a week/52 weeks a year. I am trying my best to help your neighborhood, and at the same time help the animals have a safe haven, as well as keeping mice away.
I honestly did not know the property was privately owned. I thought it belonged to the city. I became worried with the winter looming so I began to provide shelter for all the cats. The shelters allow me to set traps. I have since rescued three cats from this location and found them good homes. If the cats were too feral I had then TNR’d (trapped, neuter and returned).There are still several more that will reproduce if they are not spayed and neutered. In order for me to keep on trapping. I need them to maintain their trust in me and it is necessary that I feed and house them in familiar territory, for me to trap them. I will then place them in other territories or when possible, find them homes. I humbly ask that you allow me to carry on feeding and housing these cats, on your property, so that I can continue to TNR and rescue those that I can. There is nowhere else for them to go. Please, please allow me to continue the work I started. Isn’t there some arrangement we can work out at least temporarily?
Have a nice day. PS, today is my Friday - 'vacation' day. Right.