Ah winter. To be sure this story could just as easily start with “Ah Summer, Spring or Tuesday.” There’s always a point during an activity that we must, yes must take a look at our next step and decide to go forward. Regardless of fear or common sense. Okay here’s my story. And I’m sticking to it.
I live on the edge of a wonderful hay field. Sometimes alfalfa sometimes orchard grass. An amazing view every season of the year. During each of those seasons the mice frolic and play in the field. Like, well like field mice will do. They also make baby mice. Think rabbits, smaller in size but bigger in numbers. That is why I have cats on my property. A lot of cats? But. Yes a kitten soft “but.” I don’t have too many cats, well not anymore.
Last winter, you remember last winter right? More snow dropped on the west than we had seen for 50+ years. The winter of ’48-’49 was brought up more than once. I do believe the snow of ’22-’23 surpassed even ’48-’49. Quite a feat. Well as the snow began to fall in late fall of 2022 I found myself with more cats than I’ve ever had. That’s saying a lot. I have raised cats for years and populated many a farm, ranch and little girl’s bedrooms. For some reason I ended up with three mommas with 4 plus kittens each. This was too many for my cat food budget. So I contacted Healthy Paws of Eureka, a non profit started and run by my friend Cindy to help with just this problem in our county. I called to get some advice and help on how to either thin the herd or take care of the re-productivity that was happening out at Casa Trina. The latter was the way I decided to go. Well besides the fast vehicles on the road out front and the hungry coyotes in my neck of the woods. It was determined by me and my math there were no fewer than 20+, (I’m so embarrassed by this), but yes 20+ cats. Where I usually have 5-8 on constant mouse patrol. Summer it seemed, was quite prolific. I do not like mice. I do not like them leaving their teeny “raisins” in the silverware drawer or on the towels and sheets in my closets. I prefer to have cats—outside. Working all the time.
With Cindy’s help I found there are programs to help with the cost of “fixing” cats. Whew! Grants and donations help pay the costs. Not every veterinarian is in on this program. It happened that Dr. Robin Eldridge of Eldridge Veterinary in Ely, Nevada had a grant and would snippety my cats. One tiny problem, most of the outside cats and especially these newly minted and never been touched by humans were about half wild. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Some of them were quite tame. They ALL CAME TO EAT EVERY DAY. They all knew who I was. Just “look and don’t touch” was the unspoken language between them and me. So I was to learn how to live trap cats. AARRGGHH!!
Cindy had traps and carriers. Oh goody. We filled the back of my truck with about 8 traps and that many carriers for transportation. All of the equipment I took home in mid fall, about September 10th or so. Placed it all on my back deck, and there it all sat, and sat. I have a tendency to think, okay I hoped that by some miracle of osmosis the cats would catch themselves and take themselves to Ely for snippety-snip procedures. Yes I fell down on my end of the plan. Until the snow started. Well of course the snow!
I learned how to trap. Over and over again. I learned the procedure to hold cats until Thursday when Dr. Eldridge did the grant work, how to go back over on Saturday and retrieve the new versions. It was a very long winter. But I was committed. Even when the snow on the FOUR mountain passes between me and Ely were covered with a foot or two of new and old snow. I caught, Dr. Eldridge snipped, over and over again. Until. Ta Da. All done. Except! One female that had a new batch of kittens in the wood pile then moved them to under my neighbor’s deck. NOOOOO! Oh yes!
Let me just say that yesterday in the snow of a new winter, I took the last two to get fixed. I now know that the fear of this happening again has brought common sense to me.
Trust me here, spring is just around the corner. Spay and neuter now!
To donate to the cause contact Cindy at Healthy Paws of Eureka, 775-237-7672, Eldridge Veterinary 775-289-2423 or your local shelter :O}
Reach Trina by email, email@example.com