Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Catatonic - Trapping Blabby

Sunday night I was catatonic, at least.  And Nik was a close second.  I don't know how other people who trap and alter feral cats handle the inevitable stress.  I guess every one is different.  There are people here who do astonishing numbers of cats consistantly.  For me, it wipes me out emotionally and stresses me out to the max.  Nik and I eek along, with our time constraints and logistical difficulties, our sensitive natures, and financial challenges, we do the best we can.  We have so many pets, caring for them takes a lot of time.  Daily feedings of the cats we watch over in the village takes time.  And since we live in the middle of nowhere, (according to most), we don't have a lot of support immediately available.  Our wonderful vets, George and Christina, are up in Nicosia, but that is an hour away.

Doctors, could we interest you in a seaside practice?

George and Christina, our wonderful veteranarians in Nicosia, are very good people, they give us their time, they are compassionate and they listen, and a bonus, they are married to eachother!

Nik takes the cats in for altering on his way in to work in Nicosia when time allows, and picks them up on his way home.  (The only vet near us does mostly sheep and goats.) Cats in Need helps us with the costs of the spay/neuter, we finance the feedings.  An occasional shot of Jack Daniels or glass of wine helps with the stress.  uh, but not during Lent, of course.

So the stress started like this.  Late Sunday afternoon we set out to trap Blabby at the park. 

First Blabby had to take a free drink of water on the village tab

Then we had to try not to catch the wrong cat, Greyboy in this case; the more cats we've trapped, the harder this gets.
Nik laughs as we almost catch the wrong cat

Next we had to play a bit of cat and mouse.
  Nik, here, playing it cool, is the cat; Blabby, playing silly buggers, is the mouse.

Then it was like magic, and through the miracle of Altered Cats state of the art scientific time lapse photography, you can see for yourself.

Yep, like magic.  Except it was a killer because he is such a sweet, scared little cat I really felt for him.  I also felt for Greyboy, his best mate, who was very distressed about the whole thing.  These two are always nuzzling, finding reassurance in one another, particularly lately against Moonpie's harrassment. 

Littermates and BFFs Blabby and Greyboy eat head to head on an earlier day. 

Greyboy shows concern for his trapped friend

He finally parks himself next to the cage

Cindy, on the other hand, has other things on her mind, like looking for the mackerel we used to trap Blabby

Trying to maintain some detachment is hard.

On our way home from the park, hearts tight in our chest, with Blabby in the back seat, we passed our friends, Akis and Maria, who stopped in to see Muji, our dog.  They live in Nicosia.  Muji used to be their dog before we adopted him.  Their little girl Annie was with them, and she got to say hello to Muji, too.  It was a grand reunion, because we haven't seen them for a while.  They have two children now, and, like us, struggle for time enough in the day.  I love this picture.   Muji looks so chuffed to be surrounded by so many people who love him.

he's pretty proud
getting a good scratch
Akis was pretty happy to see Muji, too

After a bite to eat, (take out!), it was time to pack up Mandy, because she was going in to the vet the next day, too.  We didn't need a trap for her, but she doesn't like to be picked up (yet, hope springs eternal), so Nik had to wrangle her into the cat carrier.  And you probably know the rest, Nik got bitten and then both cats overnighted in the kitty hotel.  If Mandy wasn't pregnant, she was to be spayed.

You remember this joint
After that it was time to walk Muji (he gets 2 one hour walks a day), an hour through the fields with man's best friend helped us to unwind, and then we both passed out on the couch.  Amen.

I was pretty much stressed until the cats were on their way with Nik to see George and Christina in the morning.

Then one of our young cats, little darling Krystallos (Crystal), a park refugee, decided to go up under the kitchen cabinets through a small opening, the one where all the jingle ball toys, play mice, and dust bunnies end up, and stay for hours. I was worried sick about her.  Nik heroically made the hour drive down from Nicosia on his lunch break, pulled out the washing machine, ripped the skirting off the kitchen cabinets, and eventually pulled out the dishwasher as well ( it doesn't work, how I wish, the only dishwashers around here that work are me and Nik), and all of this in only his underwear.  He had taken off his work clothes so he wouldn't get wrinkled and furry.  It was quite a sight.  Once we ascertained that Krystallos was alright, I really wanted to get a shot of Nik stretched out on the floor in his underwear (for the blog), but he wouldn't let me, in fact, he looked a little annoyed when I asked.

But that ended alright, and we were both like, "THANK YOU, GOD."

Blabby weighed just under 2.5 kilos (nearly half the size of Moonpie!), and little Mandy weighed just under 2....She wasn't pregnant, so she was spayed.  George and Christina said Mandy's curly ear was the result of an old injury. 

We released them Monday night, Mandy first outside our house:

Mandy hated the evil carrier
Very relieved to be out
the gourmet we promised

Then we released Blabby at the park:

Cindy and Tweeny, curious 
Opening the door

Blabby has a joyous reunion with Greyboy, left, while Petey, Cindy, and Tweeny look on
And, of course, a little snack, not gourmet in this case, but Blabby is not so hard to please

Handling the stress?  I guess you have to keep your eye on the long game.

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