Last Wednesday night was when I stepped into my mother-in-law’s garage and got my first glimpse of a cat. Thursday morning, on his way to play golf, Husband stopped by and set the trap. That way he could stop again on his way home to see if we’d caught it. Nope. No cat. So he left the trap set and came home. We had plans to work on some things at MIL’s house that day anyway so we went back mid-afternoon. I opened the door to the garage and peeked in at the trap. Nope. No cat. But as I pulled the door closed and turned to go to the house, a streak of gray fur flew past me SO fast I literally saw nothing but a blur. I shot around to the back of the garage and that cat had completely disappeared. I scanned the field in every direction trying to pick up a running cat somewhere out there in the distance. Then I looked all around the outside of the building. Nothing. After we did what we needed to do in the house, we checked the garage one last time and went home. Our plan was to go out about suppertime to check again. I got caught up in some kennel work, so Husband offered to run out by himself. Nope. Still no cat. He texted to ask if he should trip the trap for the night. But I said I’d like to keep it set and go out about 9pm that night. And that’s what we did.
I walked over to the garage in the dark, opened the door, and tried to see inside. I flicked on the light, and immediately saw that the trap door was down. There was fur in the trap. But it wasn’t my cat. It was a big ol opossum. Husband and I discussed what to do. If we released it on MIL’s property, he’d come right back to the trap again. That yummy canned food smell would be too much for him. For sure, if I kept catching the same opossum over and over, it was quite unlikely that I would catch a cat. So we took the opossum and released him in a wooded area near a creek, and then we went home.
As I was thinking about the events of the day, I realized something. When I’d first seen the cat in the garage, even though he was really moving fast, I was pretty sure he was a tabby. However, I thought I remembered him having a white fluff on the end of his tail. The cat that had streaked by me on the outside of the garage was nothing but a blur. But what I thought I saw was a solid gray blur. Were there possibly TWO cats? Of course, none of this was necessarily accurate. Cats streaking by at full speed don't offer up clear-cut descriptions. The next morning I asked the girls if they remembered whether or not the cat had a white tip on its tail. Older said she didn’t think so. She thought the cat was a gray tabby. Younger said she never saw the cat because she was moving towards the little back room when the cat shot through the hole and was gone. Older’s description would seem to indicate that there was ONE cat and that said cat was a gray tabby. The gray blur on the second day was probably the one and only. But doubt-thoughts kept sneaking up on me. I know myself. I knew that if I ended up catching a gray tabby cat, I’d have to keep setting my trap for several more days. Because what if there were two? Leaving behind either male or female to continue the breeding cycle is not acceptable. And if female, I’d be back out there in a couple of months to find mom AND KITTENS. Couldn’t take the chance. I had to catch one cat. And then I had to keep trying to make sure there wasn’t another.
See you tomorrow for the rest of the story.