Monday, March 26, 2012

Trapping Bugsy and Mustafa

Last night we set out to trap Bugsy and Mustafa, 2 males, for neutering.  Bugsy lives down at the park, and has been hanging near out where Strike is, between the slope to the sea and the parking lot.  I only started seeing him very recently so I don't have a good picture of him.  But he looks a lot like Baby, and since Baby had a slew of kittens last year who used to come feed with her at the feeding station, and then they suddenly began to disappear, he could in fact be Baby's boy.  Strike belonged to Baby, so it is possible, as siblings, they found it necessary to escape the madding crowds near the feeding station.   

I went down to the lower park to feed the cats, while Nik stayed up top to do the trapping. 

I fed the cats while Nik did the trapping

Nik readies the trap for Bugsy
I could hear for myself he was likely having no luck, because the sound of a motorcycle doing wheelies in the parking lot was deafening.  I waited and waited, and finally packed up the food, and walked up there to see what was going on, and it was about just then Evil Knievel our wheelie man decided to pack it in for the night.  Thank goodness.

Meanwhile Blabby was loitering about because the smell of the mackarel was in the night air, and Nik accidentally caught him instead.  If you'll remember, we already trapped Blabby and neutered him a week ago, so it is nice to know he doesn't think ill of the experience.

Blabby here is to the left of the trap, and Bugsy is right behind it
Finally, Bugsy went in the trap, while Blabby looked on.

Here Bugsy is in the trap, while Blabby stays nearby
We then covered the trap with towels to keep him calm up and put him in the back of the car.  We then set straight out to trap our second cat, Mustafa, down near the apartments.

When we got there, Mustafa was waiting for his dinner. 

That's Mustafa in the center, Braveheart is off to the right
Mustafa is Starlight's baby from her last litter, and the only remaining one of her litter.  His brother Lionel disppeared some time ago, which is sad, because they used to play a lot together.  But Mustafa has made new friends.

I won't go into a lot of detail here, because we weren't exactly in a place we were supposed to be, and therefore I couldn't get any more pictures than this, and even this one, which I took in a flurry of enthusiasm, had Nik raising an eyebrow and giving me a gentle scolding.  He was right; camera flashes in the dark where we were trying to be discreet was probably not a good idea.  I hope it will  suffice to say, we finally caught him and popped him in the car, drove down the road,  got our quick picture then, and immediately covered the trap with towels to keep him calm.
Young Mustafa in the back of my Jalopy
When we got home, we immediately took both cats to the shed where they overnighted until this morning when Nik drove them both up to Nicosia and dropped them with our vets, Christina and George, on his way to work.  Hoping and praying all goes well, he will pick them up on his way home and we will release them tonight. 

our old friend, the shed, provides a quiet place for the cats to feel safe overnight
We can't say this ever gets easier, trapping cats.  And we don't think we will ever get over the feeling that we are some kind of thieves in the night.  But when we see cats in the road having been hit by cars, and cats being poisoned, and cats starving, and kittens starving and malnourished, we can only hope by reducing the cat population, or at least keeping it from ever-exploding, we can reduce the suffering in the future.  I don't know about you, but it really ruins my day when I see any animal in the road having been killed by a car.  But the thing is, we need to do more than just spay and neuter them; that is the solution to the long term problem.  We need to take responsibility for their care and safety now.  We need to get them off the streets to safe places, ideally to people's homes.  I have not met a feral cat yet that without love and patience and time would not come around to being a person's friend.  And it is a wonder to see, and a witness to the power of love and security in any creature's life.

Sylvia in our garden, once a feral cat, and now our friend - she deserves a home of her own, and to be off the dangerous streets

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