Where is the Last Little Cowboy?
Little Cowboy in his "kitty condo" and 3rd story bedroom
A Continuing harrowing story
Where is the Last Little Cowboy?
It’s been too many days since I last saw the little yellow and white male cat who used to join the abandoned cats at a neighbor’s home. My best friend Al and I had started leaving food on the front porch of that empty house in order to save the kitties from a degenerate man who lives down the alley. We hoped to keep the cats near their ‘home’ so that they would not wander near his property where he enticed hungry, cold kittens with tuna and a trap. When they could no longer resist, they would enter the trap for that tasty food, only to be betrayed by the trap which contained it. Once they were captured, the despicable man would call animal control and have the cats carted off, as if his to order this, to their death.
The Little Cowboy was not/is not a part of the kitties whose home had just sold and who have been ordered off the property when the new owner takes possession on the 17th of this month. No…the Little Cowboy is a ‘stray,’ a ‘feral, thrown away cat.’ Since the other kitties were familiar with people, they were each quite easy to save but, the small bi color kitty is not used to people and, so, his fate is still to be decided.
We had been going twice a day to feed the cats and we continue this to the present, hoping that the little cat would appear and allow us to save him. He stays away from the Hav-A-Hart trap; I think he’s seen several of the other dining club caught in it’s forgiving grip. But, sadly, he does not know that there is no harm at the other end of the story; that a warm, loving and kind home awaits him. No, he only fears the trap, fears our attempts to save him.
Each day passes and we might see him for a second as he surveys his options, smelling the delicious food which awaits him at the back of the trap. We leave morsels just to keep him coming back but, not too many so that he will feel a little hungry; again, so that he will come back. But, our days are numbered; soon, we will no longer be able to use this location as the new owner has ordered it to cease once she has ownership…only days away.
The nights are very cold now; sometimes dipping into the 20’s with promises of colder and colder am hours just around the corner. I am so afraid that the Little Cowboy will not return; that his time will run out and we’ll not know where to find him. We’ve searched the area and asked around but, as of now, no one claims him and no one knows where he goes; where he stays. Only that they “have seen him around here, yeah, it was yesterday, or the day before…I don’t know.”
So, with heavy heart and sinking hopes, we still stop by, using Al’s truck with the loud muffler which the cats had become familiar with and would come running from their hiding places upon his approach. We wait…and watch…and wonder, “what has become of the little cat whose wellbeing seems to be in our hands?”
It rained like Hell the other day and he was there then, huddled just out of the downpour, fur drenched, eyes closed and his little feet tucked under himself. Waiting. We pulled up and did not have the will to try the trap again, he looked so cold and must have been very hungry. We left a little food and drove away. Sorrow does not describe the way I felt as I watched him diminish in the rear view mirror. How can we convince this little guy that we want to help him? To love him?
A later addition to this story:
Well, it is now almost a week since the little boy has been seen. We’ve actually trespassed on nearby properties looking for any sign of him. We’ve knocked on doors and called out. How does one nab a frightened cat? We drove Al’s truck to the old feeding place and allowed it to idle hoping he’d return to his old habit of running to the porch, just as the other cats did, when hearing that familiar engine rumble. It was cold…so so cold. The wind is biting our skin as we keep the windows rolled down for a better view of his hoped for approach. The trap is set; this time we went to a deli and bought warm chicken to heighten the smell we hoped he’d notice. After an hour, we talked about turning the truck back on and drive round the block; perhaps he wasn’t within earshot and now, maybe he is. Just as Al was about to turn the key, I noticed movement across the street..from an old abandoned, falling down house. Again, a quick flash of light fur…is it him? And then, here came the Little Cowboy, bounding across the street, straight for the feeding place. The trap was set, we were patient…would he finally decide to give in? We waited
Little Cowboy sniffed the air, he walked around the trap. He started to enter but decided against it. Minutes passed; a half hour. I asked Al if we might entice him w/more, fresh food; maybe move the trap in a different direction, anything to stimulate the cat’s interest. Al slowly and quietly left the truck and did just that, adding more food, switching the position of the trap. He got back into the cab and we waited. Little Cowboy was stirred to action. He sat directly in front of the entrance of the trap. One paw in..another…and then, he’d back out! Ohhhh, our hearts were beating rapidly. Again, one foot, then the other. This time, he was actually inside the trap but he reached with a paw over the spring step and grabbed a morsel, quickly backtracking to safety. This was torture! A third and fourth time, that little cat repeated the action.
Al whispered, “he will become less afraid, Kath, don’t worry, we’ll get him. If not tonight, then tomorrow or the next day. Look at it this way; each time he enters and exits the trap without harm, he’ll be that much more likely to do it again.” No sooner had Al finished the sentence then the Little Cowboy walked right into that trap and began eating. NO CLOSING! We were astounded! Then, one little paw inched a little bit closer and ‘CLANG!!!!!’ The back of the trap dropped and the Little Cowboy was trapped! Oh MY GOD!@!! We laughed, ‘high 5’d’ and jumped out of the truck to our little ‘prisoner.’ Talking sweetly, we drove him to the other cats in my downtown home. Ran up the stairs, prepared a scrumptious meal of more warm treats and his favorite dry food and opened the cage door. Out he ventured and under the nearest chair.
Well, relieved is not even close to how we feel! This little man is now safe, cared for, nourished, dry, out of the elements and with his familiar dining partners. He has cushions and heat, toys and treats. Soon, it’s off to the Veterinarian for a good neutering!, tests and vaccinations. Then, he and his room mates will be moved to their permanent indoor/outdoor residence where they will live out their lives with each other, in loving hands, caring hearts, with nourishing food and excellent medical care.
The Last Little Cowboy has come home!!!