It doesn’t happen often, thankfully, but here and there it is bound to occur. A trapped cat gets loose. We have a pretty good record on this one: only four loose cats in over four years. There have been some daring retrievals, but until yesterday, I never had to be involved in one. Yesterday, however, I earned a merit badge in TNRology.


This guy was my merit badge helper. While he was being set up with food and water he got out. Fortunately our cat house is closed up and there aren’t places he can go but still, catching a feral cat who is truly ready to be out of the trap is just a little challenging.

Others were present and helping but we only have one pair of the fabulous leather and kevlar gloves, and, perhaps foolishly, I felt like I should be the one to try to get him. If anyone was going to get hurt, I would rather it be me than one of our volunteers. Gloves on hands…


and towel handed to me by those present, this cat played cat and mouse with me for a bit. Others tried to herd him in various directions while I focused on getting near enough to catch him. I got him in a corner once and had him, and was very glad that the gloves kept his rather intense bite from actually reaching my hand. He mostly had a solid mouthful of leather. He got away, however. I didn’t have a good enough grip on the guy.

Years ago I learned a lesson from the man who is now my husband. When faced with people who were overly stressed, even hysterical, my husband gets very quiet. The calm in the storm. That was the tool needed here. Quiet, calm stalking of the cat, and a real quick, firm grab,  hold on tight, and I finally had the guy. My husband, standing by with an open trap, swooped in, and the cat was captured.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t an adrenaline rush. Even so, I’d rather not have to do this very often. Still, it is good to know that I can do it. Four years ago I had no idea how to work with feral cats, and yesterday I caught one without a trap. Not bad. I’ll wear that merit badge with pride!

13 thoughts on “Stay calm, grab fast, and hang on

  1. I am very glad that you are all right. I cannot participate that sort of hunting due to my surgery and shall never be allowed so I have to do it so I root for you and your sisters.

  2. More than a decade of experience tells me this works for all species; from plucking brand new butterflies off their chrysalis to giving injections to the 20lb. geriatric Boa constrictor.

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