Neighbors told me they saw kittens in their yard. That in itself is an emergency, so my friend Marta and I set traps all last week.
We scoped out the two locations. These locations were in secure yards, the weather was mild, and there was no set feeding time for the cats. So, we decided to set traps overnight, otherwise known as what I call “stealth trapping.” I’ve done it many times in my area. It is a great way to get cats that you never knew existed in the first place. And on this occasion, it turned out to be a lifesaver for a cat.
One of the locations is in a churchyard. We had the, ahem, pastor’s “blessing” and full access to her secluded yard. Neighbors told us that cats go in and out of her garage.
There’s a gated area next to the garage where we placed traps.
I’ve trapped here before. This church is on the same block as a hoarder/drug house that I worked on for a few years until it was finally shut down last summer by the city. Many of the cats on this block obviously came from that house. But I do believe all of the cats thrown out of that house are now TNR’d, because we never trapped or saw any kittens last week (although I’ll keep trying just in case I’m wrong). All we trapped were ear tipped cats. They were all returned immediately outside.
Except for this big tom cat with a head wound. I named him Iglesio, in honor of the churchyard, or otherwise known as Iggy. He was already ear tipped, but I did not recognize him.
Dr. Harschut explained that the wound was an infected abscess from most likely a cat bite. They sedated Iglesio, thoroughly cleaned and shaved the area, administered pain medication and antibiotics, and graciously gave me a rescue discount. The total cost was $219.
Iglesio looked like this when I came to pick him up later that day.
Unfortunately the wound was now bleeding into his eyes, so the vet also gave me an eye cleaning solution to avoid infection. She said he could be released within 48 hours if all went well.
I set Iglesio up in the feral cat recovery lounge in my house.
The vet had also scanned for a microchip, and gave me his number. I traced it to Tree House, who called the person who TNR’d him. She then called me. Iglesio was the only cat she had ever TNR’d in my neighborhood almost exactly two years ago to the day I re-trapped him. She had trapped him up the street from me, and even named him after the street I live on! She has since moved to Vegas, and did not know who was feeding Iglesio.
Asides from the wound, Iglesio is in good shape, and weighs fourteen pounds. Obviously he has found someone who feeds him regularly. There’s a feeder on almost every block in my neighborhood.
Within the next few days he looked a million times better. Antibiotics are a beautiful thing.
In the meantime, he started showing signs of friendliness.
So I kept him for a few extra days to see if he wanted to stay indoors.
Ultimately Iglesio really likes to be pet, and is very motivated by food. However, once he’s fed, he then clearly was looking to escape the entire time. He was stressed out by the crate and the room he was in. He would hide from me once he finished eating. I decided to return him to the churchyard.
It turned out to be the right decision. He bolted from the trap and ran to a very specific location. I know exactly where to keep an eye out for him should he ever require additional vet care, or if he ever shows that he would want to come indoors permanently. I’ve also transferred his microchip information in my name.
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