A lady from Wembley asked us to collect three kittens living in a storage cupboard in her garden. On arrival, she presented us with her favourite, a black bundle of fluff, which she had handled from an early age. It was completely tame and we were able to home it within two days. Had she only done the same with the other two! They were behaving feral and dived into various hidey-holes as soon as they saw us, as fast as little while mice. Fortunately, there was just enough space for a manual kitten trap and a stationary torch shining on a delicious chicken meal. After hours of waiting, I managed to pull the string of the trap through a narrow crack in the cupboard door. We also caught the mother and briefly saw Daddy, watching us from the top of the fence, who was a big, rather smug looking white cat wearing a collar. Hopefully, his two pure white boys would take after him.
After intensive handling and taming during the rest of the summer months, we advertised for homes for Snowdon and Nevis. After refusing several unsuitable offers, we found the ideal home, Jacqueline and Malcolm living in Surrey fell in love with them. Their big airy flat on two floors was ideal, and not being able to go out the cats would not be at risk of getting skin cancer.
A few months later I received devastating news, Nevis had disappeared. He had still been on the sofa with the family watching TV at 10.30 p.m. but was soon after nowhere to be found in the flat. The top light in the second floor kitchen was flapping open and there were scratch marks on the tarmac outside, only a foot from a deep drop. A neighbour saw him around that time unharmed walking through an alleyway towards the back of the house next door. As soon as I heard about it the next day I left immediately, equipped with traps and torches. Since calling him had failed, I searched around and found a perfect hiding place; the debris in the back of a wide open garage next door.
Early one morning he was spotted catching flies in a neighbour’s front garden, but he always lay low for the rest of the day. We needed to use our imagination and trick him. I replaced the Perspex end of the trap with a fitting wire door (borrowed from a transfer basket), and used a birdcage feeder filled to the top with his favourite food, this was hooked onto the wire two inches above the ground. In order to eat Nevis would have to stretch his neck upwards and support himself with his front feet holding onto the wire. Hopefully he would then step forward onto the treadle with his back legs to trigger the trap door. It worked like lightning!
The next morning we took Nevis, still in the trap, to the vet for a thorough check up and booster vaccination under sedation. He was unharmed but dirty and dusty and had already lost weight. On his return Nevis enjoyed his home comforts and the company of his brother even more. Although the boys look identical, they have very different personalities. As if trying to live up to their names Snowdon – our little Welshman – is easy going, chatty and very accessible but Nevis wants to be conquered every time.Share this...