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Mandy Is Out On Adventures, And I'm Not Pleased

Freedom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Oct 29, 2014
654
344
Methuen, MA
Somehow Sunday, Mandy got out.

About her: Mandy is an all black girl, about 9 pounds. Trapped her when she was about 8 months old, she is now 12 years. Been indoor only all that time. Mandy never really tamed up; I walk down the hall pass the bedroom she is in and she will jump down and hide. Getting her for periodic vet visits is an ordeal for both of us. So approaching her outdoors is not going to happen.

I got a trap from the MSPCA yesterday (they are closed on Mondays), was ready to set it out in my backyard last night but a neighbor's outdoor male cat was enjoying my catnip plant, so I knew I'd just end up with him. 7 houses away, another neighbor said she was sitting on his stone wall watching him mow his lawn, so I set the trap in his yard - this was about an hour after he saw her. I checked the trap just after dark, nothing, so went to bed. Went down first thing this morning, I had a young gray and white who became very vocal when she saw me. Released her, she went 15 feet away and sat grooming, lol. Brought the trap back and reset it in my backyard.

Since I did TNR (which is how I got Mandy initially), I have some knowledge of how to trap; though its been at least 8 years since I did that. I'm using canned salmon as bait. I have the base of the trap covered inside so the cat won't feel the cage on her paws, and a white sheet (hot here, upper 80's to low 90's and humid) draped over it to make a cozy den. I found it interesting that the gray and white had somehow pulled that full-bed sized sheet IN to the trap with her, no clue how she managed it!

Not sure if I should have left the trap down at the other location? There are a LOT of cats which hang out 2 doors further down, at an overgrown currently uninhabited house. I have visions of trapping and releasing all of them. Repeatedly.

Prayers, fingers crossed, whatever you believe in, appreciated. Hard to focus on the other things I need to get done, knowing she is out and about on adventures.
P1000366 Mandy (1) A.jpg
 
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Freedom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Oct 29, 2014
654
344
Methuen, MA
No news.

I've been talking w/ all the folks in the area. No one has seen her. No sightings, just that one on Tues evening that I mentioned in the initial post.

I've got one litter box outside, and a bowl of food. Neither have been touched. The food is attracting ants.

I had the trap at that neighbor's again overnight last night, 15 hours total. I set it early evening, checked it before going to bed, and then first thing in the morning. Nothing. Did not even get one of the other cats who are out and about.

Every time I'm out in the yard I am calling, talking to her. Walk the dogs around the neighborhood, talking to the missing cat. Walk down the street to get the mail, and I'm talking to Mandy. Nothing.

We had a wild weather storm come through, sky got so dark my outside night lights came on - this was 3 in the afternoon! Bit of thunder, not much, but the rain came down in sheets. Pretty strong winds. It has since brightened up again, and now heading in to dusk and night.

I'll take your suggestion, and shake some food / treats and call her, after dark. May even walk around a bit. But, she was NEVER one to come running for food, treats. She was always too busy running away from me, to hide, while I prepped meals (morning and evening) and delivered treats (morning, before breakfast meal).

Not seeing any point in setting the trap tonight. I need to figure out where she is and get her to repeat return to one spot for food, THEN set the trap once she is in the routine of coming to the same spot to eat. But for now, I have no idea where she is. Mmm, maybe I'll just set it up in my backyard, but not hopeful she is in this yard or the next 2, not at this time.
 

FeebysOwner

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Jun 13, 2018
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Central FL (Born in OH)
Just stay in one place for a while when you try calling her with the treats/food. If she is a bit away, and perhaps is hungry, it might take several or more minutes for her to get to you.

Also, and if you already said this, and I missed it or have forgotten, please accept my apology. The neighbors - any sheds/buildings/etc. on their property where she could be trapped or hiding out?

More :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:
 
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Freedom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Oct 29, 2014
654
344
Methuen, MA
Sheds, garages - the nearest neighbors have been notified she is out, and I asked them to check, let me know if they find her and to NOT kick her out of the enclosed spot.

There is one house about 8 houses away, they keep their garage door open A LOT, and that garage is packed with 'stuff.' She could have gone in there; if she did, it would be like a maze, she could need a few months to find her way out again! Joking, I know if she wanted to, she'd find her way out easily. For me or someone to go IN to look for her would be about impossible. Anyway, I already had that on my list for tomorrow, to go chat with them.


I'll sit out there for awhile and call, chat, talk, shake food and treats, use all the key words she knows - num-nums, "foooodindadeeesh" and the like.
 
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Freedom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Oct 29, 2014
654
344
Methuen, MA
FeebysOwner FeebysOwner consider yourself HUGGED!

Went outside with the Temptations treat jar, walked to the back corner of the yard, which is a slope, took a few steps down and stood, talking, calling, shaking etc.

Mandy came running along the top of the slope, right behind me, and down the slope into the overgrowth! This is the first time I've had ANY hope since she got out. So there is where I was ready to give you a hug. And anyone else too. The excitement, relief, elation, made me lose my breath. AWESOME she is still right here.

I've set the trap right there at the top of the slope. Then stood talking, calling, shaking the jar all over again. I don't expect her to come walking up to me, Mandy isn't that sort. But I did quite the 'performance' right there by the trap. She should be in by the time I get up in the morning. She's been out since Sunday evening, and the feedings must have been few and far apart. I've also picked up the bowl of food I had out front, so she has no other food source (that I am providing) but the trap. I did leave the litter box out front for now.

And if not, at least I know she is RIGHT HERE and I can keep working on it from here at home.

Can't tell you how much this has lifted MY spirits!
I'll sleep a bit better tonight.
 
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Freedom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Oct 29, 2014
654
344
Methuen, MA
The best laid plans . . .

I did not set the trap properly! Mandy - or someone - went in, dined, and left!

Fortunately I didn't have a lot of food in there. Just took the edge off. She will still be hungry. And as I recall from TNR, we often placed the trap and got the cats used to going in to eat. Wasn't what I had planned, but this is still a step in the right direction.

We had downpours overnight. I have everything in for now. Washing and drying the sheet and towel, and letting the trap dry. 60% chance of rain this afternoon, and more thunderstorms. Tonight will be clear and dry.

May put the trap out today, but definitely will set it - PROPERLY - tonight. I'll set it up while there is still some light out. I thought about using a tarp last evening. I thought it would be too hot under it.

Thanks for all the support!
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Jun 13, 2018
6,928
8,519
Central FL (Born in OH)
I hope that was Mandy and that she returns today/tonight!!

I thought about using a tarp last evening. I thought it would be too hot under it.
Maybe a dumb idea, but would a large 'beach' type umbrella set up over top of the trap (of course, would have to be anchored down) help any with the rain? Still allow air flow. But, would that freak her out?
 
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Freedom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Oct 29, 2014
654
344
Methuen, MA
Thanks, that is a great idea! For now I'm not setting the trap until about 6 PM, and the rain will end by 4:30 or 5, so I should be good.

As you know, cats are crepuscular, so Mandy won't be moving around much all day. Once it is dark, traffic slows so there is less noise, that is when they are most active. I plan to be ready for her.
 
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Freedom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Oct 29, 2014
654
344
Methuen, MA
Thanks for the laugh! Yep, those Temptations are candy!

Got the trap set up about 2 hours ago, gave a few calls, chatted, all the key words. Just getting ready to go out and call her (again), shake that Temptations jar and . . . what's that sound? DOWNPOUR. SHEETS of water. The towel and sheet are drenched. I'm sure Mandy is, too.
 

Feral Mom

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Jul 11, 2019
105
255
Clearwater Florida, USA
yes i understand, Freedom. I have experienced losing a cat outdoors, not exactly the same scenario, but you are completely right, ----a lost cat IS a constant worry, you are right.
Wishing you all the best. I do feel hopeful, though, since she IS hanging around her own home, and showing up here and there. That is a Very good sign, that your will get her back i think. I think there is reason to hope there!! GOOD LUCK!!
 
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