A stray cat adopted us a few months ago. She wasn’t a feral cat. She was someone’s pet who either was abandoned or got lost and couldn’t find her way home. (For the backstory: Apparently, we have a cat.)
I spent time trying to find her owners, with no luck. So my next goal was to find her a new forever home. To tell the truth, my husband and I, and even Riley and Stella (our 2 dogs) were getting used to having “Felix” around. I enjoyed coaxing her out of her hiding place under our shed, feeding her, petting her, and talking to her. It broke my heart to see her sitting alone on the deck, looking in the windows of the house. Rick enjoyed watching her in the evenings when she sat on the deck looking at the sunset. It really seemed like she was just taking in all of the beauty. Riley and Stella. Well, they’re dogs. You can imagine why they liked having her around. They liked to bark at her and let her know they were here first.
But it was impractical to keep her as an outdoor cat with the cold winters we have, my cat allergies, and 2 dogs who loved to torment her. Besides that, she was an indoor cat. She needed to belong to a family that would love to have her inside with them.
I posted in a local Facebook Group and found a woman who wanted Felix. Bernie came and met Felix and immediately fell in love with her, promised to give her a happy home, and even wanted to give her a name that was special to her, Roxey. Now we had to catch Roxey and put her in a crate.
I was confident it would be easy. After all, she came to me when I called, and she let me pick her up. How hard could it be to put her in a crate?
I think I can hear you all laughing. And if I showed you the scratches on my hand, you would probably just shake your head and quietly chuckle at my naivety. Needless to say, my first attempt at crating Roxey was a miserable failure.
So next I laid a bath towel down on the deck and placed a dish of cut-up chicken just at the edge of the towel. My plan was to flip over both ends of the towel quickly, and have Roxey safely cocooned in the towel. That didn’t work either. She scooted backward out of the cocoon and skittered back to safety under the shed. I decided that was enough trauma for the day. For both of us.
This morning I posted in that local Facebook Group again, asking for advice on how to “catch a cat.” Within minutes I had multiple suggestions and encouragement.
This is what worked. I placed the crate below the raised deck, open-end up. I set down a dish of chicken and called to Roxey. She came to me, a little more slowly than usual, but she did come. As she was eating, I pet her head to calm her (and quite possibly to give me time to work up more courage), and then grabbed her by the back of the neck, just like a Momma cat would carry her kitten. She went limp, and I very carefully placed her in the up-ended crate, bottom first.
Success! But I tell you, it broke my heart when she looked at me. I felt that I had totally betrayed her trust, so I kept telling her that she would soon thank me.
I drove Roxey to her new home, and during the ride, she stuck one paw out of the crate two different times to try to reach me. I’m not sure what she was trying to do, but I’m choosing to believe she was trying to thank me and tell me she understood.
I’m VERY happy for Roxey. But the deck around our shed looks quite empty this evening…..