Before you know it, the Quack was right in front of Ginger's cage. I tiptoed and saw him just staring at Ginger. He fled when he saw me. After that, Ginger was so terrified he dared not eat his food which was in the cage.
I was quickly reminded of a scene from The Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) whispered something through his cell wall to the next prisoner and the next thing you knew, the prisoner had killed himself out of fear, by swallowing his tongue. Yikes...perish the thought, please! Yikes!
But wait..here's what I did last night, after reading Christine Ewe's email (she told me about the carrier and string trick and I thought I should try that since I'm just not gutsy enough to use the trap, I might be traumatised for life after that and end up a psychiatric dodo).
I have three carriers, but this ought to be the biggest with a door that swings well (without creaking).
First, I joined up three pieces of cloth strings and tested the pulling effect. No good. It had some elasticity, and is not taut enough. Now, it was late at night and I had no raffia string or parcel string. I dug my needle box and found this blue ribbon. It would have to do.
I tied the ribbon to various parts of the door to test for best leverage and found the "perfect" spot (or so I thought), ie. nearest to the lock. I tested the pulling effect - it worked fine.
Now, for the bait. I had already bought fish yesterday but I only have chicken meat in the freezer (for my cats).
How about Monge Atlantic Tuna, it's the most aromatic of all the 5 flavours?
Yes, will use that.
Plan D was all set. Was I optimistic? Never mind, just do it.
That was last night.
This morning, after feeding my brood and leaving food for Ginger (he dared not eat after the Quack came to intimidate him), I laid out my trap.
I tested my leverage. Okay, it's good enough (or so I thought). I'll hide behind my car.
Ginger was making noise so I went to see him. He was still so terrified (what on earth did Quack say to him?) that his food was untouched.
I had to take him out, handfeed him and coax him to eat.
Then, I put Ginger back and went to check on my "trap".
I tested the leverage again. Not so good. When I pull (and I know I have to be real fast), my ribbon might still get stuck.
So I tied the ribbon to the top of the door at the left corner (tested both corners, the left side is more "efficient") and slid the ribbon through these two hooks on top of the carrier. That should give me better leverage. As you can see, I am a totally inexperienced trapper. CNRM, not TNRM.
I made the ribbon taut.
And tested my leverage.
The door swings back to too wide an angle and that is going to affect my speed in closing the door when I pull.
So, I tested several angles and decided it just had to be at 80 degrees. Nothing more, nothing less.
Now, how to make the door stay at 80 degrees?
My porch slopes down a little, so that's not helping at all.
Aha..a brainwave (childhood addiction to MacGyverism pays off (never missed a single show) - always make use of whatever you have, and of course, use your brain, silly!). Thought of using one of the garden rocks, but decided to use the other carrier, placed conveniently beside the "trap" so that the door stays at exactly 80 degrees. Nothing more, nothing less.
Tested the leverage. Perfect!
The only thing missing was my target. No Quack in sight.
Oh well...never mind then. No effort is ever wasted.
Ginger was making a racket again, so I took him out. And we sat, both of us looking at our contraption.
Oh, by the way, the bait is a small tupperware of Monge Atlantic Tuna with dried catnip sprinkled beside it.
Just then, Ginger and I heard a sound of the most horrible kind - catfight.
Then, we saw Rosie and Daffodil running from the pavilion towards my house. Oh no...it's the Quack. He must be terrorising poor Rosie.
Rosie came to my gate.
Rosie was attracted to my MacGyyver contraption. Oh well, never mind, the Quack is not going to come. Go ahead, Rosie. Test it out for me, please. So Rosie went in.
Hmmm...another possible flaw. If the whole of Rosie cannot fit in (the tail sticks out, see?), how is it going to fit the Quack. He's as big as Rosie. Hmm....no can do. Maybe I would have to use the trap tomorrow morning.
Ginger wanted to see what it was all about too.
Rosie ate up all the Monge Atlantic Tuna and that's that. Show's over, folks. Let's call it a day for now.
I kept Ginger back into the cage. Then, as I peeked at the trap, hey hey...hello there, Mr Quack.
I held my breath. But oops, there is no more food in the tupperware. Rosie had eaten it all up except for a few bits and pieces. The Quack sniffed about the trap, then he sprayed on it and went off.
Let's give it a last shot, I thought. So I took out my precious Halo Liv-a-Littles. I placed a small scoop of kibbles into the tupperware and 3 pieces of the precious Liv-a-Littles.
Then, I went back to the patio. When I next peeked, Rosie was looking under the car and then she ran up to the pillar. The Quack could be near. That's a sign...
So I waited...true enough, the Quack came out, Rosie looked from the pillar. I watched from my hiding place. Very slowly, he crept into the trap and started eating (or whatever, but his whole body was in). I had put the tupperware at the furthest end of the carrier.
YES!!!! He's in. Slowly and cautiously, I pulled on the ribbon to make it taut enough, then WHAM!!! I pulled it as tightly as all my strength could muster. Then as "quick as lightning", I ran to the trap to snap the door shut. The Quack was furious and banged his head on the door and I held back as tightly as I could. As I was trying to snap the door shut by securing the lock, he was clearly stronger than me, his whole head had come out so I just forced it back in by pushing the door back, as hard as I could. It took three tries and I did it! I managed to snap the door shut!!
Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls...may I present....Mr Quack!
I grabbed the towel and covered the door then ran upstairs to wake my husband up. Two heads are better than one in cases of this sort. I don't think very well in such situations anyway.
Rosie was still at the pillar.
I ran into the room to get a bigger covering for the trap.
The sarong - it's kinda of dark-coloured, so it might calm him down.
I know the door of this kind of carrier isn't very secure (even Indy can bang on it and the door would come off), so we put the door against the leg of this bench. I also want the Quack to calm down because if he is calm, he will not attempt to escape. So, the less we meddle with the trap, the better it would be.
Then, we put the other carrier beside the trap so that we "trap" the trap as much as we can. All done slowly, silently and cautiously, without antagonising the Quack. I kind of feel sorry for him, actually, to be trapped this way, it must be a big blow on his ego. Poor guy. Sorry, Mr Quack. But neutering will protect you from getting testicular cancer and all that, you know.
Now...to wait for the clinic to open at 10.30am.
My heart was pounding so badly, I quickly texted Agnes and Connie to tell them the news.
To console myself for having done this to the Quack, I need to think of Ginger, Rosie, that Bunny-coloured cat down the road, Mr G (ear injury now) and many other cats that he had terrorised.
I don't know if neutering will "pussy-fy" him, but let's hope it will. I hear from a friend that the ultra-terrorist cats cannot be pussy-fied even after being neutered, so she has to release them elsewhere because they continue to wreak havoc in her peaceful cat community. And once released elsewhere (she has a friend monitoring), they become pussycats. It's that change of environment theory - like Wii being a total pussy in my house, but becoming a terrorist taikor in Roselin's house. Neutering certainly did not pussy-fy Cow, Bunny or Indy, or even Pole and Cleo.
The Quack is not afraid of me, but he is afraid of my husband, so I told my husband to keep watch on him. With me, the Quack would start banging his head on the carrier, but with my husband, he doesn't dare.
So while I was writing this, there was a "stare-down" contest between the Quack and the husband. Husband won and successfully "stared the Quack down" until he (the Quack) crouched low.
From now, until we successfully transport him to the clinic, I am aware that he may still escape, and if that happens, well, it happens. But we are planning to secure the carrier with tape before moving it into the car. I know this type of carrier isn't very strong. The whole idea now is to make the Quack slightly under-confident, so that he won't try any tricks.
Stare him down?
Yes, stare him down.
More news later....my pounding heart needs to settle down first.
Thank you, Connie, Agnes, Christine and everyone who has helped!