Yes. I had caught something in my trap. It was mid-morning. There shouldn’t be ANYTHING showing up at that time of day. My expectation when I set the trap last Saturday morning was that I would have to battle through the spiders sometime late Saturday night to check for a possible catch – a raccoon or a possum. Now here it was the middle of the morning and as I hurried down to where it was set I could hear something crashing around inside the trap. I could not imagine what it was. I rounded the corner and stepped underneath the lean-to. I saw dark fur and, upon identification, I started talking in a soothing voice. But this animal was so wildly terrified that it was beating itself against the two ends of the trap trying to escape. I had to get this animal calmed down. I’d had this happen before – SO much fear in the trapped animal that we were looking at the possibility of injury. I didn’t have time to fully experience the massive surprise I was feeling.
I had my eater-of-the-food, my night creature . . . a cat! I WAS THRILLED.
On the walk to the kennel I was making sure this cat did not escape the trap. It would be virtually impossible for it to get out, but I wasn’t taking any chances. This was a cat!! This was why I kept feeling like there was another feline in that woods. And this was certainly an animal I would not have wanted to leave out there fending for itself, especially headed into Winter. My joy and satisfaction were overflowing.
When I got safely into the kennel “kitten room,” I set the trap in the middle of the floor. The cat crouched in the back corner of the trap. Now I could get a good look. The first thing I noticed was that this cat looked so much like Yardley it would be impossible for them to not be related. The second thing I noticed was that there was a tail. (Remember Kizzie and Bunny are bobtails.) And the third thing I noticed was that this kitty was exactly Yardley’s size. NOT the size of Kizzie and Bunny, but the size of Yardley. Hmmm.
I didn’t have my camera with me so I shot up to the house to get it. When I got back to the kennel, I found Yardley and Kizzie closely investigating the new arrival. Of course, this had to be family. Here was another cat who came out of the West Woods, just like Yardley, Kizzie, and Bunny did. As I snapped some pictures and observed yet another reunion, I marveled at the resemblance between Yardley and this new cat. Same coloring. Same beautiful eyes. Same SIZE.
I couldn’t touch this cat yet so there was no way to check gender. There was also no way to investigate for ticks. I opened the trap into a cage and this kitty shot in. I gave dry food and canned food and fresh water. I also briefly put Yardley into the cage to see if she and this cat would nuzzle each other like Yardley and Bunny had done. They were not antagonistic, but they also did not show much interest in each other. The amazing thing was their similarity.
Since Saturday I have been reaching into the cage several times a day, eventually actually touching this night-only visitor. I’ve been able to check out some things. One – we have a female. Two – ticks. Not the tiny deer ticks, but several of the larger dog ticks. I pulled those off and applied treatment. Three – Older Daughter came and looked at teeth to attempt to “age” this gal. ADULT. This was NOT a sibling to Kizzie and Bunny, but rather a sibling to Yardley.
Her name is Nisha (pronounced Nee–sha). It is a Hindi name meaning night.
Evidently, Nisha and Yardley are sisters. I still believe Yardley is mom to Kizzie and Bunny. Of course, it is almost impossible for this new kitty to not have had her own litter of kittens out in that woods. The most likely scenario is that both females had kittens, and Kizzie and Bunny are the only two survivors out of two litters. There’s only one problem with that theory.
I’ve continued to put food out every day. And every night it disappears . . .
Have a great weekend. See you Monday.