> Marco’s Web Log

Marco’s Web Log

17 September 2004
The saga of “El Gato”

cat with tabby upper body and sides of face, white elsewhere, sitting on computer keyboard, one paw raised.

There’s another feral cat colony near the campus police station. Sheila, the police dispatcher, told me that she had seen a new cat that was scaring off the other cats. This new cat had a collar, so it must have belonged to someone and been abandoned.

We set the trap for it on Tuesday, and caught it, and had it fixed on Wednesday (at which point we found out that the cat was male.) Luckily, this guy hadn’t had enough time to revert to feral. After he was fixed, the vet was able to pick him up and handle him easily. It turns out he is completely tame, and just a really loveable guy; he wants his ears skritched and his tummy rubbed, and purrs like crazy.

Unfortunately, I can’t take him home, nor can anyone who already has a cat adopt him right now–he has an upper respiratory infection, and we are giving him antibiotics. Once he’s over his illness, he’ll be good to go.

The cat has no name, but Mathew, our technical guy, came by yesterday and asked me, “How’s ‘El Gato’ doing?” So that’s what we are calling him.

Here are a few more pictures of him. The little patch under his nose at the right of the first picture is his fur color; the blob on the other side is the evidence of his runny nose.

looking up at the camera ready to depart the keyboard on the keyboard with a devilish look on his face

31 August 2004

The mighty cat trappers strike again! We captured a tabby (again, probably male), and I’m taking it in to be fixed tomorrow. I actually saw this one go into the trap; it didn’t see me standing about 2 meters away, and I barely dared to breathe, lest I frighten it away. It headed in for the mackerel, and *wham*. Gotcha. Here’s its picture. [Update: it turned out to be a female.]

tabby cat inside cage

27 August 2004

The tortoiseshell recovered from her spaying nicely. I (like an idiot) decided to let her out of the trap and hold her in my lap. She took off and literally bounced off the bathroom walls until I was able to get hold of her with a towel and put her back in the trap.

I took her back down to the school yesterday, where Cathy put her into a carrier to recuperate. We re-set the trap, and this time it took an hour and a half before we were able to catch another cat. We caught the gray and white one, whose picture is at the right below. I took it in to get fixed this morning, and now have him at home. (They figured out he was a “he” when they tranquilized him.) He’s still a bit groggy from the operation, but I don’t think I'll let him out–I don’t want a repeat of the excitement of a feral loose in the bathroom.

So now we’re two for two– we’ll set the trap again on Monday and this time Cathy will take whomever we catch in to get fixed on Tuesday.

24 August 2004–Cat Colony (Continued)

Last night, I bought a Havahart model 1089 animal trap. After a fair amount of shoving & hauling (I have no mechanical aptitude whatsoever), I got the trap put together.

Today I took it to the school, and Cathy and I set it, using mackerel as the bait. Mackerel is great for attracting cats because it is really smelly and cheap (well, that’s the good part for us). About fifteen minutes later, Cathy called me to say, “We got one!” It’s the tortoiseshell that you see in the picture on the left below.

As I write this, the cage is in my bathroom with a towel over it. I was able to put in a small bowl of water and a jar lid with some dry food and baby food in it. I’ve also put in a towel for her to cuddle up in. She hasn’t hissed at me or made any moves to attack, so I may be able to pet her later this evening. Marco has been a perfect gentleman; he has waited outside the bathroom door without scratching to be let in, and hasn’t uttered a sound.

She’s going in to the Humane Society of Silicon Valley tomorrow to be spayed.

26 July 2004–Cathy’s Cat Colony

Cathy, one of the administrative assistants at Evergreen Valley College (where I work), discovered a small colony of feral cats near the building where she works. She and I are taking turns feeding them. The plan is to trap them and get them fixed. They are scared of humans and run away whenever we approach. The pictures below were taken with a 300mm zoom lens. The colony also includes a pure tabby, another gray and white, and the momcat.

tortoiseshell cat ready to take off gray cat with white face and neck

The remaining pages are about my cat, Marco Polo, whom I adopted in June of 2002 (see the first log entry). No, he is not up for adoption!

26 June 2004

Some random pictures of Marco waking up, stretching, and yawning.

curled up on bed stretching sitting up deciding what to do next yawning

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