Spook status report

Almost a month to the day when I first mentioned my efforts to woo Spook, the feral cat living in our barn, I nabbed the little guy! Well, actually, I caught him, lost him, then caught him again.

In the past month since the Spook post (see: http://furnaceford.blogspot.com/2009/02/wooing-of-spook.html), I’ve spent a little timeeach day edging closer to him, standing nearby while he ate and eventually graduating to resting my hand next to him. Finally, one night the temptation of canned cat food was too much. With his face buried in the dish next to Drippy, he let me pet him.

That’s about as far as I got. Sometimes I could sit on the hayloft stairs and he’d inch down a step or two to meet me. But Frog would inevitably chase him away.

Today, Spook ventured down for a drink of water and Frog chased him into the tack room. I quickly shut him in and planned to box him up when I was done riding. But when I returned, Spook had vanished… he shoved the door open and squeezed out.

By now, I was hyped to catch him. My friend Liz, who has worked in vet clinics, had given me a crash course on cat wrangling 101: grab the scruff of the neck and if you can, his hind legs so he doesn’t scratch you; put him in the cat box hind-end first.

I lured him from the loft with food, pet him for 10 minutes and before he knew what had happened, I had grabbed him and plopped him in the box.

He was one ticked off kitty, and quickly shoved his little paw through the grates to take a swipe at me. (I dropped the box and cat twice, thanks to that move). But 10 minutes later he was at the vet, where he will be tested for feline HIV, get vaccinated and lose his manhood.

No doubt, the month of winning his trust just evaporated, but if all goes well, he’ll be a happy, healthy, ball-less barn cat.