Saturday, May 17, 2008

Like-minded Folks

While at the post office today (to mail 5 packages and 17 letters, geez), a guy asked why I had so many letters, did I run a business or something. I tried to explain succinctly (not wanting to bore him), that I had raised money to save a lot of cats and that I was sending out some thank you notes. The guy inquired further, and I explained about feral cats. While doing so, another woman in line explained that she, too, had done the same for cats at he work place, for probably 20 cats, but she had bought her own traps. (Okay, but did she have a blog? Heh.) So, I met someone like-minded, and spread the word a little further to some strangers. (Not about this colony, I mean, that's not necessary at the moment, but about feral cats in general, and about Altered Tails.)

I also spent some time outside this afternoon and got a few pictures, but not many. Naturally a whole bunch of cats were out and about this evening when I got home and it was too dark to properly see who they were. I tend to ask them "Who are you?" when I see a cat I can't immediately identify (an orange, for example, or a moo-cow, or when dark, Mr Mistoffolees and Gremlin.) Yes, I ask aloud. No, I don't expect them to answer. Yes, I've gotten some strange reactions of late.

Oh well. So, I'm eccentric. That's hardly a surprise!

Just 7 pictures today: Walsingham, Pigpen, and Little Grey (first sighting since the release!). All available in Flickr Set #2.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Blurry Pictures

I spent the better part of the day writing notes to donors, making wee gifts for sponsors and boxing up raffle prizes. This meant a lot of writing, a lot of sitting on my couch and a lot of DVD watching, so I really don't know why I'm so tired! (Raffle winners who won stuff from me: your stuff's going in the mail tomorrow.) But I did get outside for a half hour of "wildlife photography" so that's good. The cats are out and about again-- I've spotted most of them-- but they're a great deal more skittish than they were before the Great Cat Nabbing of 2008 and who can blame them? The downside to this is that a lot more of my photos are blurry. I'm posting them to Flickr anyway because I figure sponsor (and other curious people!) might like to see how their cats are doing and will settle for a blurry photo over nothing at all. So, 19 new photos in the Part 2 Flickr Set. (Cats include: Aloysius, Bozo, Crooked-Kitteh, Daisy, Daphne, Gandolf, Pigpen, Walsingham)

Walsingham (previously "Little Orange") was particularly good today, lazing about and letting me take his picture. At one point I did get too close, and he got up, but he also lay back down again approximately one foot from where he'd been before. He and Crooked-Kitteh also were hanging out together and eating food (but CK got scared faster than Walsingham did.) In his pictures you can see his ear-tip. His looks a bit odd, like maybe he scratched at it? Still, as much as it pains me that we had to ear-tip them, it's absolutely for the best. Not only does it tell me who has been TNRed, but it can tell other people in the future, and even potentially save the cats' lives.

Earlier in the day, both Crooked-Kitteh and either Gremlin or Mr Mistoffolees were lounging in the grass. The other mystery is the Cat Under the Bush. She has the markings of Pigpen, but, and presumably it's just the photo, she looks a slightly different shape (and cleaner.) I hope she's not another cat-- I'm about 95% sure it's Pigpen just looking odd in the picture... I hope. (I really don't need matching nemesises! Nemesisii? What's the plural of nemesis?!)

Oh! And Downstairs-Neighbor-Lady came outside while I was taking pictures and on the phone. She asked about the cats and wanted to know if any of them could be found homes. I tried to explain that even Daisy (who was, apparently, born on Downstairs-Neighbor-Lady's porch) is much too feral.... it was an odd conversation, but most of them with DNL are. Still, she seemed happy that I would continue to feed them.

So, that's today's news. :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Leeetle Update

No cats were out and about at 12:30 when I left the apartment today (which is not a surprise-- they usually aren't at that time.) Alas, this means no pictures today.

However, upon my return this evening (ie: just now), I did see Amaranth. I also had just bought a new big ol' bag o' dry food, and filled up the now empty dish down on the first floor. I also put out a dish on the 2.5floor (where they fed for the longest) and while I was doing so I saw Pigpen come trotting to the building, attracted, I think, by the sound of the pouring food. She paused upon seeing me up on the second floor.

Anyway, as I said, the food dish was empty, so they're definitely eating, and around, even if they continue to avoid me in the daytime.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cats Returning & Clarification

First, the personal news about this colony. After releasing the 13 spayed/neutered cats, I didn't expect to see them for a few days. I mean, were I abducted by aliens, and taken to the mothership for surgery, as this experience must have seemed to the cats, then I wouldn't go near the person responsible either. But actually the cats are starting to be out and about again, albeit slowly. While waiting for the Volunteer this evening (he came by to trade clean traps for dirty-- I *so* got the better end of that deal), I saw Bozo and Athos (who I must say I *really* didn't expect to see today), then Daisy and Walsingham. Then, as it got dark and cats became more difficult to identify, we saw a number more, including Amaranth, Gremlin, Mr Mistoffolees and several oranges. This makes me happy, 'cause even in just the day it's been since their release I'd been missing them!
Secondly, the Volunteer clarified some guesses I'd made in this previous post. AzCATs, as of January, has actually merged with Altered Tails, the owner of the mobile clinic. (AzCATs has become essentially the Feral Cat arm of Altered Tails, which is an organization dedicated to low-cost spay and neutering.) The veterinarian who I met at the mobile clinic is an employee of Altered Tails. The Altered Tails website is being redesigned, but you can still check them out and see their mission. Also, they have been given a brick-and-mortar building to turn into a clinic, but they need to raise money to do so. As Project-Cat has been amazingly successful in gathering funds, you certainly need not donate here anymore (at least not for a while!!) so you may wish to donate to Altered Tails in order to help stop the breeding cycle of the 350,000 stray and feral cats in Phoenix. (The numbers of cats that AzCATS and Altered Tails have spayed/neutered seem high, and stopping the breeding cycle for those cats means all the difference to those individuals, but there has yet to be a decrease in the kill numbers in the area shelters. So, we simply have to work harder.

Sometime in the next I'm-not-sure-but-soon I will be opening a Cafe Press store with Project-Cat merchandise. (Yes, really.) Proceeds from those items will be going to Altered Tails. I will, obviously, be announcing its grand opening here in the blog. :)

Sorry that there's only the one picture today-- the cats came out after dark, past when my camera is of any use.

Athos Recovered & Returned

Because the Moo-Cow -Kitty-With-a -Mustache is both too long to say/type all the time, and because he has no sponsor, I decided to name him after a Musketeer because his mustache/goatee made me think of, well, musketeers. Oddharmonic and I decided that he shall be Athos.

Athos was a quiet guest in 'recovery.' I don't know if he ate his dinner -- he certainly didn't before I went to bed, but when I cleaned out his trap this morning I also didn't find much in the way of dinner remains. Then again, I didn't look closely. He did, apparently, get bored during the night. He pulled much of his cover into the back of the trap, and shredded his newspaper and the paper plate that held his dinner. So we know that Athos likes to keep busy.

He was alert faster than any of the kitties that came through here in the first dozen. By evening, when the Volunteer came over and changed the newspaper, Athos seemed as awake and feral as if he'd never been trapped and altered. This morning he seemed okay, no sign of trouble, so I took him downstairs and released him. He was actually quite patient, not running towards the door at the first sign of grass but waiting for me to slide the gate up.

Bessie was waiting near the tunnels to welcome Athos back. (Okay, actually Athos ran right past Bessie.)

I haven't been out much today other than to take Athos out, so Bessie is the only cat I've seen. Other than my nemesis, Pigpen, who sat in the grass while I was up on the balcony with Athos. She taunts me.

I'll keep trying to update this blog daily with pictures/reports of the first 13, so to speak, but things will probably quiet down here a bit until the next attempt at trapping, which isn't actually all that far away. (Pigpen, you will be mine. Also need to catch Moo-Cow #5, Black-with-White-Toes and Splotch.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dozen Cats Returned to the 'Wilds' of the Apartment Complex

Well, it was both a relief and a little sad to set free the first dozen altered cats this morning. The day was cool, which was good given the many stairs I had to walk, and the cats were definitely happy to be out of their traps and back in their territory. Out of the released 12, 9 immediately ran to the double tunnels. One (Daisy) ran through the building opposite, another (Bozo) ran around the side of the building and into the bushes, and one (Daphne) ran into the opposite tunnel.

Oh! I forgot to mention that upon checking on the recovering cats first thing this morning, I discovered that Mr Mistoffolees had not only torn up all of his newspaper (not unusual) but he had also managed to get most of the plastic sheeting on the floor in front of his trap pulled in with him and tore that up as well. You can see it in the picture at the top here, and there's two more that show the mess he made (clever kitty!) better here and here.

I've uploaded pictures taken of the kitties just moments before their return. (I knew I wouldn't be able to take pictures of them when they were actually let out of their traps-- they'd just be a streak of color dashing to hide!) Those are in the second Flickr Set. Thanks to Oddharmonic, cat names are starting to be added to the Flickr pictures in both sets so that you can search for a particular cat. Some cats have been sponsored but not yet named, so the process isn't complete.

After releasing the first dozen cats, then picking up Mustache and settling him in, I wrote another update for the apartment management. (I had run into a maintenance guy who seemed shocked that I was letting the cats return, so in my worry I wanted to keep the management apprised of the situation, remind them that the cats are being returned here, etc.) Then I cleaned out the 18 empty traps, swept up, and washed/folded all of the covers. Man, I hate laundry and cleaning and lugging things, so it's clear that I *really* like these cats to do all these 'chores' especially while already tired and sore from lugging traps around! :)

And, of course, tonight I'll keep an eye on Mustache, poor boy. Does he not have the most perfect mustache and goatee you've ever seen on a kitty?!?!

The Volunteer is coming over in a few minutes to collect the majority of the traps. I'm keeping some because there will be more clinics coming up soon and there's still the hope of catching Pigpen, Moo-Cow #5, Black-with-white-Toes and Splotch. ::fingers crossed:: Still, having ascertained (in whichever way) that 15 out of 19 cats are altered, that's pretty darn good. Yay us!

The Thirteenth Cat.

All of the first dozen are out and about and I've already seen some of them again. (I expected them to be off sulking!!)

Mustache is home, and resting comfortably in the "recovery room." It's windy and chilly today, but he's tucked into the area with walls around it, out of the wind. He is, no surprise, a big heavy tom. But that's good, a girl kitty wouldn't want a mustache.

Half a Dozen Release

Six are out, 5 of them bounding down into the tunnels, with Daisy going her own way (as per usual) and heading to another building. Next up, six more-- but I needed a break! I'm a bit tired of being some-smoking-guy's entertainment, and my knees are filled with much pain. (Do I have the knees of an 82 year old instead of a 28 year old? Ow!)

Back to the release!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Dozen's Recovery

First I want point out that while the photos might imply otherwise, all of the pictures of cats in traps were taken with the trap firmly shut. I just put the camera really close to the mesh so that the camera took the picture *through* the bars. The doors were *closed*, as they should pretty much always be when a cat is in a trap.

That said, you can look at the pictures of the kitties in the new Flickr Set, Project-Cat Part 2. (I figure we've moved into a new phase, past the simple observation phase.)

So, where were we? Right, the surgery was done by 10:45, the cats were picked up by the Volunteer around 11:45, and by just after noon, when I got home from a meeting, we were ready to lug all 12 cats up to my balcony. (Did I mention I live on the 3rd floor?) They'll only be there until tomorrow, when I'll release them back to where they came from. That was ... hard work. Especially in the heat. Tomorrow when I release them I have to lug them all downstairs, but I'll do it one at a time, and it'll be *down*.

They were still pretty groggy. Any time that one held up his or her head, s/he'd be bobbing around like, well, one of those bobble head dolls. (But much cuter. Bobble head dolls scare me.)

The Volunteer let me borrow a fan to get some air circulating around (since, while they were in the shade, it still got to 97 degrees today, I think.)

Mainly I let them rest, although mid-afternoon I did take their pictures because I couldn't resist. (And, in their state, neither could they.)

Oh, sexes-- since the only way we'd ever know is from the vet!!-- Four girls, eight boys.

Girls: Little Grey Girl, Crooked-Kitteh, Daphne (previously known as "Calico") and Daisy.

Boys: (everyone else) Gandolf, Bozo, Walsingham (previously known as "Little Orange"), Pastel, Moo-Cow #4, Mr Mistophiles, Cyrano and, heh heh, Bessie.

Um, Bessie's sponsors might want to rethink his name now... Apparently our "pregnant female" is actually a big tom-cat!!! Well, I wasn't the only one fooled-- so were the neighbors who a month back were trying to catch "her" to save "her kittens." Heee.

"Bessie" is the most angry of the feral cats at the moment. (Although, quite frankly, the just caught Mustache-kitty is none too pleased just now either.) When the Volunteer came over this evening to change out messy newspapers (oh thank goodness for his help!!), "Bessie" lashed out fiercely, shifting the whole trap about. The Volunteer, who laughs about his moniker here on the blog, joked that "The Volunteer nearly lost The Hand."

Tonight, just about an hour ago now, I gave them all a little food and water. The orange boys (well, 3 out of four) actually chowed down: Bozo, Gandolf and Walsingham. Walsingham even gave me his best little orphan Oliver Twist look for more. Daphne also ate, which surprised me, since she'd seemed pretty lethargic pretty late into the day. As of last check none of the others showed interest, but I'll check again yet.

They all seem pretty good. Pastel has a nasty gash under his left eye, unfortunately, but it doesn't look infected (I hope.) Crooked-Kitteh's left eye is oozing goop, which explains why he has it half closed a lot. But there's not much we can do-- how would you put ointment in the eye of a feral cat? When I got one of my cats, she had an eye infection and it was hard enough to put ointment in her eyes, y'know? Sigh.

Tomorrow, the Dozen's Release.
And Mustache goes to the Mobile Clinic. Which sounds like a particularly strange children's book, doesn't it?

Got one!

I went out to retrieve a trap while the Volunteer was here so that we could switch a recovering cat from a messy trap to a clean one. I decided to get the one I'd set out the farthest, to save me the trouble of retrieving it later.

Lo and behold, there was a Mustache-Kitty in it! He really does have the *most* perfect mustache and goatee. So it looks like I'll be getting up in the wee hours of the morning again to take this guy to the mobile clinic.

Alas, Pigpen is still my white whale. Er, so to speak. (She's neither white nor a whale, but you know what I mean.) And Moo-Cow #5 is still in the wind. I saw Splotch, as I said, but no luck catching him tonight.

This means, though, that if my counts are right (if there aren't more moo-cows and oranges that I couldn't tell apart), that there are only 4 missing kitties, 2 of whom are regulars, 2 of whom are more transient. All things considered, not bad at all. It does mean that I'll be trying this again later on (next month?) By then I may no longer be so violently ill at the thought of tuna smell!

Night Two

I have definitively spotted Pigpen, Mustache and Splotch (!!!), but none of them seem the least bit interested in the traps. Eight traps are set out, and they're all empty and all have been. (I've also seen Gremlin and Amaranth, but of course we're not trying to catch them.)

Also, I might have heard kittens when I stuck my head in one of the storm drains. When the Volunteer calls, I'll get his opinion on releasing the two females that I have up here on my balcony. (Um, I hope it's clear I mean releasing releasing, not, like, releasing on my balcony. On my balcony is where they are currently not where they'd be when released.)

Some nights the ferals outsmart the humans and their boxes of tuna. And entries like this one show that this particular human isn't all that hard to outsmart, some nights!

Raffle Winners

I am going to be emailing winners (and CCing donors) so that they can get in touch with each other. Remember that I'll be using the email address with which you donated. If that's not your 'usual' email address, you might want to check that one in about an hour or so. (I'm about to start, but there are 35 prizes to be claimed-- more, since some have multiple winners!)

The Mobile Clinic

The AzCATs schedulers try to assign 75 cats to a high volume spay/neuter day because you can never tell with cats-- how many will you be able to catch? The Volunteer and I were the last ones there (because the Volunteer has super-powers and got us permission to be there an hour and a half later than we were supposed to!) and at that point, my 12 included, they had 53 cats. I think they said 4 more by the time I left, so very close to the 'ideal' of 60. Everyone was very nice and very efficient, and very reassuring. And very congratulatory, too, for catching 12 cats and for raising so much money. The scheduler (I never know whether it's okay to use names online, so I guess I won't) said that she'd seen my blog, and even told another woman who'd brought in a cat for spaying about the blog!

There was one vet and 3 techs working. And man were they working. 60 cats, mine were the last and mine were done by a 10:40am. Seriously. They needed another hour before they could be picked up, but they'd only been dropped off at 8:30, and that was with other cats ahead of them. That is fast work. I watched one of the techs anesthetize (is that the word I mean? I am so tired), one of the cats ahead of our crowd, and he was very deft, knew what he was doing, despite the cat being angry, feral and in a trap. That made me feel better about the whole process. (It's always nerve wracking to leave an animal, even if not a family pet, for surgery, y'know?)

The clinic is actually a truck (see picture), that was parked at a private residence for these two days. I think what happens (and I know enough AzCATs people are reading this blog that someone can correct my mistakes for me!) is various organizations can rent it, and hire veterinarians for various spay and neuter days.

Anyway, everything seemed to go fine because I had a call from the Volunteer at 11:45 saying he had the cats and that everyone was okay.

The cats are now up on my balcony, recovering. More on them later. :)

Kitties home safe!

I have 12 groggy moggies on my balcony. All 12 came through their surgeries fine. One of them had already been altered, but hadn't been ear-tipped (he is now. ) Little Grey was not only not pregnant, but is a boy... ::blink:: O-kay.

[EDITED TO ADD: Actually, no, Little Grey Girl is a girl. But not pregnant. I read the sheet wrong.]

I'll give more details later. Now I must needs go get an extension cord so I can have a circulating air over the kitties as they recover. (I wish I had some place air conditioned for them, but alas, no.)

Morning, ugh.

(Didn't go to bed 'til 2am, then didn't sleep well, hence the title.)

Mustache kitty is sitting out in the grass right now taunting me. He's very rarely so out in the open, but of course he'd be so this morning, staring up at me (I was spreading plastic on my balcony for later), as if to say Nyeah, nyeah, nyeah, can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man! Except, y'know, a cat. Who will not be eaten.

I so needed more sleep.

Raffle Winners have been chosen (yay random number generator!) and there are ELEVEN Brownie winners (Tamnonlinear baked her fingers off), and everyone will be notified ... later. Not now, as I am now heading over to the mobile clinic to meet people, pay people (thanks to *your* generosity), and see our colony before they get altered. Whee.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

So. Tired.

So many cats.

I can't possibly go to bed until I've updated this blog. What a surreal experience.

We (myself, the Volunteer, W (my co-worker), and S (his girlfriend)) started by setting out a bunch of traps just after 6pm. Little Grey Girl and Little Crooked-Kitteh had been watching us and sniffing around, and almost immediately went into traps. It's really awful to see how scared they are, how they bang around in the trap in a desperate attempt to escape. Fortunately, though, as soon as you put a cover on the trap, and set it down somewhere else (they don't like being moved, obviously), they settle down. So LGG and LCK (oddly, the two cats I once thought were one) got put into the Volunteer's van.

Then it was waiting time. We went up to my balcony to watch the traps. Bessie, however, held court over a trap, showing all the other cats how to get food from the side of it instead of going in!! For a while we thought Bessie would be our nemesis, and then I thought the nemesis would be the Calico, but no, the cat who defeated us tonight was Pigpen.

Then we caught 5 cats in quick succession-- first a small orange that I didn't recognize who just "mau"ed at me when I went to put the cover on. Next was Cyrano who didn't seem to know he'd been caught until I approached. Then we found Pastel (one of the oranges) who promptly sprayed his trap (ew.) Then an unknown Moo-Cow (#4 or #5 perhaps, but I couldn't tell.) And at this point we also caught the Mysterious Mr Mestopholis, who was really quite calm about the whole thing.

During all this we had a bunch of people asking us what we were doing. One guy was accusatory, thinking we were going to take his cat (we didn't-- I knew which one it was.) Eventually he calmed down and it became very civil and he was supportive. Turns out he's a maintenance guy here, so I explained that I had permission, and that if people complain about the cats, he should tell me, this is my colony.

Then Downstairs Neighbor Lady came out and demanded to know what was going on and where we were taking the cats etc. I tried to explain, thinking that since she knew me and I had tried to explain before, that it would be okay. In the end, though, it was the Volunteer who came to the rescue, explaining everything. She's worried that management will still kill the cats, which was enough to worry me, and get me all paranoid. But no, not after all this.

One guy asked if we were "trying to catch the herd"? I said yes, but we were bringing them back. He seemed rather irritated that they were being returned.

At one point a kid started shouting at the cats, "Run! Run free! Never come back here, they'll kill you!" which really irritated me, but S pointed out that they were just kids and didn't know any better.

Then, oddly enough, we did catch Bessie-- she's the only one who hissed that I noticed, when peeked at. After ages of circling traps, she finally went in. For a long, long time Calico was just sitting around, sniffing at traps but never going in until the Volunteer just put down a trap and she ambled on in. So that's, what, 9 cats? Hm. It's really hard to tell the cats apart when they're moo-cows or oranges in the traps, and while I wanted to take notes, I didn't (because we caught five in quick succession and I couldn't be sure of who #3 was already, so it go very confusing.)

Gremlin kept an eye on all of these proceedings, but we didn't catch him, which was good, because we definitely agreed by this point that he was already ear-tipped.

We caught Bozo towards the end-ish of the evening. He is a *big* cat. BIG cat. Heavy cat. Very handsome. I think we caught another orange, too. I'll have to check tomorrow when they're recovering, or get confirmation from the Volunteer who actually *did* take note of these things, thank goodness. Anyway, by this point we had caught 11 cats.

I marveled that we hadn't seen either the Dilute Tortie (who is now known as Amaranth, thanks to her wonderful sponsors) or Daisy. And then Daisy wandered out and lay down in the middle of the parking lot. O-kay. She was completely disinterested in the traps full of tuna, eventually lying down directly between two of them as if to say, Ha ha, I have no interest in your traps of tuna. So the Volunteer set up a drop trap. You know those cartoons of traps with a box and a stick and a string? It's basically a sophisticated one of those. And Daisy walked directly into it to gobble down some dry food. We transfered her into a trap with no trouble, too. She was definitely the 12th cat we caught.

Pigpen had been lying in the middle of the green field area for, seriously, an hour or more, just being a kitty loaf. She was taunting us. Taunty-taunt, taunt. While I was peeking at her, two black and whites ran (and I mean ran) across the grass. I assume that they were Mustache and #4, but I couldn't be sure. We did not catch them tonight, and in fact I only managed to even spot one of them later on, once, running like his tail was on fire (which it was not.)

We moved the drop trap, and she never went anywhere near it. No Pigpen for us, tonight.

Amaranth (Dilute Tortie), however, we did manage to trap this evening. She is the most beautiful cat, seriously. Huge beautiful eyes, delightful coloring. And while she was clearly scared, she didn't fight. Which is really good because we had to keep peering at her-- not because she's beautiful, although she is-- but because her ear seemed to have already been tipped. Only it was curvy-tipped so we weren't sure for a while. But in the end we decided that she had been ear-tipped and therefore had already been altered and could be let go. We kept her in the trap for a while in the hopes that she'd eat something (since no food is going to be put out again 'til Tuesday), then let her go. She zoomed away, as one would imagine.

So, we caught 13, let one go. Not a bad night's work. I will say, however, it was far more exhausting than I anticipated. (Ow, my back.) And I seem to have forgotten to eat dinner (oops), and I still have grades to figure out. (Although, total shout-out of thanks to S for showing me how to figure said grades out.)

Tomorrow I get up in the wee hours of the morning to meet the Volunteer at the mobile clinic. Then in the afternoon we'll bring the babies back here to recuperate on my porch.

Only things that currently have me worried:
1: Surgery (always scary)
2: Catching more cats (I hope) tomorrow night, by myself
3: That LGG may have already dropped her kittens, but in that case, where are they, and that means they're without their mama 'til I can let her go tomorrow night (if she's not too woozy.)

Oh, and oversleeping. I'm pretty worried about that, too. So I guess I should stop now.

Sorry no pictures. I tried, but frankly once a cat's in a trap the only thing you want to do is put the cover on it so that the cat can calm down. And before the cat goes in the trap, all you want to do is keep silent and will the cat into the trap.

So, 12 cats in the Volunteer's van drove off tonight. And I cannot wait until they're back here safe and sound.


So, tonight's the night. (Great, now I have the song 'Tonight's the Night' stuck in my head. Oh well, at least it's Gershwin). I woke up to a text message from my dad that said, "Shh! Be vewy vewy quiet, we're huntin'' cats." Hee.

Plans are in place: (AzCATs volunteer will be here around 6pm, some friends are joining me ... at some point.)

Supplies have been bought: (I really, really expected someone (anyone!) to ask why I was buying 10 cans of tuna fish in oil. It's not like they got shuffled up with other groceries-- I only bought catfood (for the indoor kitties), a notebook (for keeping track of anybody we catch tonight), paper plates (for the putting on of tuna), and ten cans of tuna in oil. Turns out that the store I went to, at least, only sells one brand of tuna in oil, even though they have approximately eleventy-hundred other kinds. I also bought a bunch of plastic sheeting (for carpets, protection of, and car seats/trunk, protection of, from scared cats, bladders full) and shop towels (my dad's suggestion. He's a smart cookie) for cleaning of same.

I also spoke with one of the wonderful office people. I asked if she or anyone around knew where the drainage tunnels run (because I know that the cats are often *in* said tunnels.) She didn't, and maintenance can only be called on Sundays for emergencies, but we did the next best thing: we hopped in a golf car (yaaay! Free ride!) and drove around to all of the tunnels and green areas (where the tunnels tend to be.) This was very helpful-- I learned that most of the tunnel openings would not allow a feline to pass through (they're filled with rocks. Um, the tunnels, I mean, not the cats) and now I know where they are. This is good.

I also finally learned what the complaints that the office had heard about the cats were: smell, and noise. Fortunately, both of those issues will be mainly taken care of when we successfully TNR. (Cat fights are mostly mating behavior, and the urine smell was most likely male cats marking their territory.)

I'll at least briefly update tonight yet with how it went (if we caught anyone at all, and who, etc.) with, most likely, a more complete update tomorrow.

Supplies: 10 cans of tuna, tin foil for covering open tuna, paper plates for placing tuna, plastic utensils for dishing tuna, can opener for opening tuna. Shop towels for cleaning messes (tuna and other), plastic sheeting (for prevention of messes, generally non-tuna.) Covers for the traps, and newspapers for inside. There are enough (in this picture) of either of those last because the AzCATs volunteer is bringing more (as well as the traps.)

(Heh, you can also see a bunch of romance novels in the background. That's the "summer reading bundle" prize for the raffle!)