Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Vienna Sausage To The Rescue!

The title may be a tad misleading, I have visions of you imagining a Vienna sausage with a bejewelled cape and a mask, ready to swoop down and save humanity!

Well, it isn't that dramatic, but in a small way, the heroic act of one sausage, saved our feral female cat Bella from a lifetime of pregnancy, unwanted litters of kittens, and more and more problems as each litter grew to maturity and starting breeding!

Read on;

As you may (or may not know), there is a little feral cat family living just over the wall in the farmland behind our neighbour Emma's garden. For several years we have been feeding Blackjack, who recently disappeared from our lives, and the really sad thing is that we don't know what has happened to him. We have searched, called, asked around and searched again, to no avail. We only hope that he moved on and is safely eating someone else's food.

Then last year a fat tortie (tortoiseshell) female arrived in Emma's garden. We tried to trap her but she managed to avoid being caught for a week or so, and then I had to return the trap so we planned to try again in the new year.

Which we did..... try that is, but each time she just would not go into the trap. We tried tuna, salmon, biltong, special pouches of kitten food.... but nothing worked. I even borrowed a second trap because Blackjack kept nudging Bella away from the original trap!

BUT... we were suddenly aware of a gorgeous black and white fellow who arrived one morning with Blackjack and Bella. Young enough to be her kitten! But a teenager, not a tiny. But Blackjack was not to blame because he had been neutered several months before Bella's arrival. So the newcomer was named Peanut, and as he was quite happy to head into the trap, we carted him off to the vet and he came home a little sore, very bewildered, but safely 'fixed'!

And Bella simply chuckled at us all.
And carried on eating and getting fat!

Daily Emma and I looked at her and I said 'We must get her fixed' and Emma said 'She looks pregnant!'....... and life happened and the weeks passed.

Until one day a few weeks ago, Emma called me to say 'Bella's got three kittens!' I went next door, peered over the back wall into the farmland.... and there, sure enough, were three kittens. Two gingers and one darker. But not teeny ones! They had open eyes, they were playing and leaping on each other, chasing leaves and stretching in the sun.

And Bella watched them proudly and looked at us!

So, I knew it was now desperately important to trap her. Goodness knows where she had hidden them until they were big enough to be seen, but there they were. And she would be pregnant again in no time (if she wasn't already).

Emma started giving her extra food for the kittens, and every day Bella came closer and closer to Emma to get her ration of Vienna sausages, one at a time, that she took back over the wall to the waiting babies.
On Monday Michelle dropped the trap off.

Yesterday I used one of Emma's Viennas as bait and set the trap.

I hid round the corner to watch. Both Bella and Peanut arrived, but Peanut isn't very keen on Viennas, so he had a sniff and moved on to the pellets!

Bella walked round the trap which was covered with a towel. She sniffed and sniffed and finally moved to the open door. She stuck her head in and I held my breath. But the smell of the sausage was all she needed.

She went in completely.... and I waited for what seemed hours but was maybe 10 seconds until.....clunk. The trap sprung, the door closed and we had her!

That is one of the best sounds in the world! A door closing on a trapped cat, especially if the cat inside is the one that needed catching.

Off to the vet we went and we picked her up yesterday afternoon. She spent last night in a large dog-size travelling crate, with food and water and room to move and this morning Rob and I carried the box over to Emma's back garden and opened the door expecting her to shoot out like a bullet from a gun.
She walked out quietly, looked at us all gathered there and went off over the wall to her family.
Emma went to peep and they were all together.

Next month?

Three kittens....

I hope that Emma keeps a good supply of Viennas!

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