Doesn't hurt to try, right?
The bait...shh, I mean, the food.
The specialty of the day: Assorted mix of kibbles from Pet World 2013 (including Addictions' Salmon Bleu).
Welcome, welcome to Jojo's Feeding Station!
But Mr Zurik was too smart. He wasn't fooled at all. He just stayed inside the drain.
Hmm...okay, not going to work. Oh well, never mind. Then it started drizzling and I'm told this is chemical rain, so I brought the carrier back into the porch.
I'm not giving up, though. No haze, I can afford to wait a bit in the porch.
I sat on the bench and waited patiently, pretending to read some letters that had just come in.
Here he comes...
He hunches. Sensing hostility, Daffodil moves away.
He goes around Jojo's.
As he was about to go in, suddenly, the gate opened.
My son came back! The concentration is broken.
Never mind, never mind.
He goes away.
Oh well, another day then.
Vincent watches from atop my car.
He goes back outside to the drain.
Wokay....show's over, folks.
I keep the carrier, but left the food inside. Maybe one of our patio cats will eat it later. Or, maybe Mr Zurik will come back and eat it. Not catching him today. Let him feel safe eating inside the carrier first.
He's back! But he keeps a safe distance.
Since he is there, maybe I should put the carrier nearer to him?
Rosie plays with the raffia string.
Daffodil is interested in the food. She goes in cautiously and starts eating. Well okay, but I was really hoping against all hopes (I know this is wishful thinking) that (1) Mr Zurik will watch and "learn" that it is safe to eat inside the carrier, (2) Daffodil leaves some food behind so that maybe, just maybe, Mr Zurik might just go in, and I get to pull the raffia string and WHAM!! Success will be mine!!
Dream on....I know, I know.
Hey, hey....he's coming.
I thought he might terrorise Daffodil into leaving, but...
He just sits and watches.
My, my....we are so patient here, aren't we?
And well-mannered too? This is certainly unlike Mr Quack who would stomp on everything and everyone. And everyone would run helter-skelter when he so much as approach.
Patience is a virtue, folks.
You sit, I sit. You watch, I watch. The evening is still young. We have time.
Let's just sit and smell the roses, shall we?
Daffodil is done eating and leaves the carrier.
I pray: Let there be some food left to tempt Mr Zurik. Please, please, please...
Mr Zurik isn't moving in?
No, looks like he isn't.
Shh....(be still, my throbbing heart, be still).
I've learnt to stay really calm through the years of doing animal caregiving work. Work fast, work effectively, but keep the heart calm at all times. That's how you get things done efficiently. Ahem...
I left my camera on the bench, and slowly tugged a little bit on the raffia string. The moment I did that, Mr Zurik backed out.
Oh no...he's too sensitive. He has already learnt that any movement of the raffia string means danger.
No can do.
Never mind. Wait.
He goes back into the carrier. The menu is too good to be resisted, eh? Thank you, Pet World 2013.
So we went back and forth this way for about 3 times: I tug on the string, he backs out.
I figured I cannot use the string method.
What else could I do? I had no stick, I had nothing with me except myself. I hadn't even gone into the house to get a towel yet.
So, I moved closer, one step at a time. Barefooted.
One small step at a time. That's all. Don't be greedy. Just one step at a time. If you don't catch him this time, never mind. Just let him feel confident with eating inside the carrier.
So, that's what I did. One small step, and by then, he had eaten half of the food left behind by Daffodil.
Taking one small step each time, I was now close enough to quickly slam the door shut, if I wanted to, but it would involve a really swift move. Will I be fast enough?
I doubt it, but what is there to lose, right?
Just do it, Nike's motto echoed in my ears.
And I did.
As swiftly as I could, in one stroke, I slammed the door shut and Mr Zurik pushed hard on the door. It was him against me. And he was very strong. I pulled up the lock and slammed it in. Took me twice to do it properly.
I trapped him, I trapped him!!
My Zurik struggled and the carrier was bouncing up and down, with the kibbles flying all over the porch. I was so sure he would break free as this is a new carrier and it hasn't been reinforced with tape yet.
"Get me a towel!!", I shouted to my son.
He didn't struggle for too long. Smart cat.
I decided to take him directly to the vet's and pay for one night's boarding.
He can be fasted for tonight and the procedure can be done tomorrow.
We drove to the vet's.
He was quiet throughout the journey. I talked soothingly to him and of course I felt bad, but it's for your own good, Mr Zurik. You'll be a happier cat and you'll be protected from testicular and prostate cancers later in life, you know. I sounded like a medical insurance salesperson.
We reached the vet's and I enlisted help to take the carrier safely into the clinic without any jailbreak. The vet said she had never seen any cat break out of this type of carrier, but I said I have - my own Bunny and Indy!
We got the carrier safely inside the clinic. Phew! The vet said since Mr Zurik is fierce, she will put the whole carrier into a larger cage and leave him be for the night so that he could calm down. This is how they do it with fierce TNR-cases. They will be okay, she assured me. He's also eaten half the food already, so he shouldn't be too hungry. In any case, the vet assured me he'll be okay as this is their normal procedure.
My Zurik weighed a healthy 4.75kg.
Tomorrow, they will see how he is. If he is calm and not aggressive, they will take him out, examine him and then sedate him for the procedure. If he is still fierce, they will transfer him from the carrier into the squeeze cage and sedate him inside the squeeze cage. The vet prefers the former, so that's good. They will not use the squeeze cage unless it is absolutely necessary.
I told the vet Mr Zurik isn't particularly fierce, just incredibly smart.
The vet also showed me the next cage where the iron bar is broken. It was broken by a cat who then escaped and ended up on the ceiling. Yes, cats can break iron bars and escape. When there's a will, there's a way.
I said some comforting words to Mr Zurik (who appeared calm) and assured him I'll come take him home tomorrow afternoon.
I reached home and saw the scattered kibbles in the porch. A reminder of the adventure and successful trapping of Mr Zurik half an hour ago. My heart was still pounding. I don't feel particularly elated, actually. Feeling a little bad at having to trap him so unceremoniously, but consoling myself that it is for the greater good. Hopefully, he will stop terrorising my patio cats after being neutered (hopefully!). And hopefully, he will be happier cat after this - no more mating instinct, just eat and enjoy life, right?
I pray all will be well for Mr Zurik and that we will have him safely home tomorrow evening.
Connie says I should go console the shrews later. Yes, I should. They might miss Mr Zurik tonight and wonder what had happened to their leader. And Igor might launch a counter attack on me... Yikes! I had better go out in protective gear tomorrow morning.
But most importantly, please pray for Mr Zurik's safe surgery and may he be back home soon...happily.
On hindsight, the credit for today's successful apprehension of Mr Zurik actually goes to...Daffodil! She helped me "trick" Mr Zurik into entering Jojo's Feeding Station! And our brave girl was so cool through it all (check out the photos above)!
Hooray for Daffodil!
P.S. And do you remember, it was Rosie who tricked Mr Quack into getting trapped last time? Like mother like daughter, eh? What will I do without my able assistants!
http://myanimalcare.org/2012/12/19/ladies-and-gentleman-may-i-present-mr-q-plan-d/ (the same modus operandi too!)