Thursday, March 22, 2012

Trapping Gunther


I mentioned Gunther before, here, and how after feeding him through the winter months and his kittendom, he had disappeared after Moonpie took over the park.  So as soon as we neutered Moonpie, and Gunther began slowly showing his intact behind, he became next on our list.

Gunther, left, as a kitten at the winter feeding station alongside his mom, Baby, right

I mentioned here that we went to the park to trap Gunther on Sunday evening, amidst all the noise and haste and teenagers on four-wheelers.  We actually did get him in the end, though not without him making us run the gauntlet first.  Gunther is a clever, suspicious cat, slippery but bold.  He was the only one bold enough to jump up on the table during feeding time where Cindy and Tweeny always ate, and he would steal just about anyone's food. It's no wonder Moonpie ran him off.  As said, he disappeared when the females went into heat this season, and Moonpie took over the park.  On the rare occasion we did see him, oddly enough, for such daring and clever cat,  he was still tagging along behind his Mom, Baby - yes, even after she was pregnant!  (Actually, we do see this, male offspring tagging behind their mothers long after their female siblings have struck out on their own.)

Gunther still tagging behind pregnant Mom, Baby

A very pregnant Baby

By the way, we haven't seen Baby this week, and I am assuming she has had her kittens.  I hope that's it.  We did not have a trap at the time we could have interceded before this litter, and Baby is impossible to hand catch; we've tried unsuccessfully several times when she was very sick with a bad tooth and hadn't been able to eat for days.  Thank God that problem fixed itself, because we were beside ourselves with worry over her.  We even camped out a few nights trying to capture and help her.

So, anyway, since we neutered Moonpie, and Gunther started venturing back into the park, we knew it was time to neuter him, too, lest he should have it in his mind to become the new park stud and bully.  His face was already changing into that of a Tom cat, becoming broader and more triangular.  Yes, it was definitely time. 

But, not only did we have the problem of noise and people around, we had to lay out a trail of mackarel as long as the Yangtze River just to get Gunther anywhere near the trap. 

Here I am laying out a trail of mackarel
Gunther keep his eyes on me
He ate all the mackarel, but wouldn't go in the cage
Greyboy and Blabby watch, glad they already got it over with

I was ready to give up after a while as Gunther kept eating the fish and going off his merry way.  But Nik was firm to persist.  Then, frustrated, at some point I picked up the trap and moved it to a greener, more private area, close to where the secretive Zsa Zsa hangs out and then, success, except we almost caught them both!

 This is when you hold your breath

 Then the next evening, Monday night, we released him back at the park:

up and Adam
ready to go
he exited like a perfect gentleman
He has to grab his gourmet reward off the plate before Petey scrumps it
Sigh, food connoisseur Petey finally wins

Tuesday morning this is about as close as he came to me.  I had to put his breakfast down on the property next door and step well away before he would eat:

Hiding at the property next door
Finally he eats

It's Thursday and I haven't seen him since then, so I pray I will see him this evening.  Please join me in praying he lives a long, happy, and healthy life.  The best to you, Gunther.  You gave us a run for our money, clever boy.

No comments:

Post a Comment