Monday, April 2, 2012

Big Van, a Big Challenge

We set out to trap Big Van for altering this weekend. Big Van, at the moment, is our neighborhood's most imposing Tom cat, and he proved to be as big a challenge as we suspected he would be. He could not have cared less about our mackerel; it was no competition for the female cats about! 

Yesterday evening Big Van was more interested in Tweets than our mackerel

The night before we found him rendezvousing with 2 other female cats. It's not a good picture, but if you look closely, you can see two cats in the middle of the road of this dead end street.  One of them is Big Van, the other is an unknown female, and the third cat, a spayed female, is our neighbor's cat, Julie, looking on from the sidewalk.

Big Van canoodling the night before

He has proved to be a challenge so far.  Big Van is not a regular.  We on occasion see him at Sammy's, where he sometimes causes trouble at the feeding bowls.  Less often he drops by our house, and via the house next door, sneaks around the back of the our house to eat.

A rare glimpse of Big Van at our house

He's an attractive, handsome little cat, round and stocky, quite tough, with glaring, but innocent eyes.  I have wondered if Big Van was Theo's Dad, firstly, because his expression and thick build resemble Theo's, and, secondly, because he seems to have that same defensive offensiveness, (or is it offensive defensiveness?) toward cats that Theo sometimes has ( at any rate, he would have made a good American football player).  But we don't know.  We can't help but wonder.

Cutie-pie Big Van not always so cooperative, but he would have made a stellar football player

 Our Theo looks and acts a little like Big Van
Last week we got a clue where to find him when Muji and I saw him when we were coming home from our walk, first from a distance, and then closer up:

Our eagle eyes spotted Big Van from afar
We get a closer look at Big Van behind the tree

Last night, as we set out to trap him, we found him very near the same spot as above pictured.

This must be where all the unaltered females hang out

Well, at least now we know where to look.  Hmmm. 

Nik set the trap.  To his left is Tweets, and to the far right, Big Van

We waited, and we waited, and it began to rain, and we still waited (Nik is the most patient person I have ever known).  And as it grew dark, I moved over to the fields to try to trap there, and Nik continued to try to lure Big Van.

Neither of us was successful, which is always a disappointment, but we have learned more about Big Van's haunts and ways, and so we will be better prepared for him on the next occasion.

Next weekend Big Van. We'll see you then, and maybe sooner - until then, God bless you, and please stay safe! 

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