When Thomas Moore first showed up at Stone Ledge I had several other names for him: Evil Catnievel, Nasty Bas---d, Ol' Flat Top, and a few other choice ones. He growled at the other males and terrorized the females. He was, to put it mildly, full of himself. After tolerating his shenanigans far longer than I should have, and with spring mating season just a few weeks away, I knew I had to trap him. The other reason I hesitated was that, other than young cats and kittens, Thomas was the first adult feral I would have to trap on my own. Until this time, I had relied on Donna. Yet I knew that if I was going to be involved in cat rescue then I had to solo trap. While the idea of trapping a thrashing, snarling, feral made my heart race, the part I was absolutely terrified of was returning to the woods and releasing the cat. I had visions of an enraged twenty pounder stepping out of the trap and lunging for my jugular. Or worse, running up my leg and then ripping my throat out!
One morning, after the others cats had eaten, Thomas came strolling into the area. I made a quick call to the local shelter to reserve a spot on the day's TNR list and then went about setting the trap. It is my opinion that male cats are more controlled by their hunger than females--especially females that have been mothers. I can only guess that having to care for and protect kittens makes the queens wary of anything out of the ordinary. Thomas, being a typical guy, went straight for the bait.
I was a wreck and barely remember driving him from Stone Ledge to the shelter. Then, all day I worried about his release.
When I returned to the shelter clinic at the end of the day all of the cats were resting except for Thomas. He was rolling and thrashing in his trap. 'He certainly looks alert enough to be released,' the receptionist smiled at me. Mt stomache was in my throat. By the time I paid and returned to Stone Ledge the sun was setting.