13. I Don’t Know Why We Can’t Catch Him


 And….that brings me to an elusive and seldom seen very tall, handsome, gray and white male feral who was first spotted in 2005.  We had named him Earl Gray.  We’d gotten into the habit of naming every neighborhood cat who came into our yard or been presented at our front door, like Juliet was.  Well, how else can one talk about those outdoor cats without a name?  In addition to enlightened conversation about them, it seems that once they were named that we’d take responsibility for their welfare and also worry about them when we didn’t see them.  Well, I have to admit we’re “cat people” and those of you reading this probably are as well.

Yes, I know that many people don’t and won’t understand those feelings and sense of responsibility; after all, they are just cats. 

 We initially spotted Earl Gray in 2005 near our home.  He would appear intermittently.  At that time, sometimes a week would go by and sometimes an absence of several weeks would mark his next appearance.  Earl was a ghost cat or so it seemed.  Then, he mysteriously disappeared for about two years and it was during that long interval that we thought he’d probably died, but hoped he was being cared for in the neighborhood by those who feed ferals.      

Earl Gray is a handsome cat with many of the usual feral characteristics such as avoiding eye contact, keeping a very safe distance, warily approaching offered food, and for too long impossible to trap.  Secretly, we admired his suspicion about traps and simultaneously, we were outwitted by a cat!  That’s not something to admit to friends and you didn’t read it here, did you. 

 For Earl Gray, TNR (Trap – Neuter – Return) was just a theory.  At times we’d see him looking wounded with scratches on his nose, tufts of fur missing, and walking with a slight limp.  At other times, he came without a scratch and it appeared that he was a peerless competitor in the field of defending himself and/or finding a mate!

So, how does one catch a cat that refuses to be trapped or even seen?  My wife, Nancy, is a “cat charmer” and has been since she was five.  She had first observed and named Earl Gray.  During warm weather, she’d go outside to work in the garden beds or read.  She noticed Earl watching her and she would speak to him, but did not look at him.  He wasn’t ready for that yet.

I began investigating and read what experts far and wide had to say about ferals.  I started reading and reviewing.  Nancy didn’t need to read, she knew since the age of five what to do.

Our FIV cats, Snowball, Tangerine, and Earl became buddies, never attacked another household cat, and became bed cats.

These are our Meowsers in order of their arrival to our home:

  1. Lexie
  2. Sasha
  3. Hunter
  4. Clyde Died: 19 Feb 2015
  5. Hope Died: 13 Feb 2014
  6. Sam Died: 11 Oct 2011
  7. Tangerine
  8. Snowball Died: 25 Jan 2015
  9. Stripes
  10. Morgan
  11. Greta
  12. Abby
  13. Stallone
  14. Winston
  15. Rosaline
  16. Paladin
  17. Ingrid
  18. Juliet
  19. Rigby
  20. McGee
  21. Maggie
  22. Earl Gray Died: 07 May 2016

 Below is a list of our other purr babies that we TNRed and lost. 

We will meet them again at the Rainbow Bridge.

  1. Mercedes (Sadie)
  2. Midnight
  3. Callie
  4. Madison (One Bad Cat)
  5. Kyle
  6. Simon
  7. Cleopatra
  8. Oreo
  9. Charlie
  10. Eleanor

Revised: 26 September 2016

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