Last year a cat claimed TESLI as its own. Although I was not thrilled, it only became a problem when he started scaring away all the birds. You may recall how I watched in terror as he plucked a fowl from my birdbath.
I spent sometime debating what to do about the cat and found I was pretty much in non-action. Then when the neighbor’s feral cat had kittens, I decided I needed to at least have him fixed. I ordered my traps from the spay and neuter clinic and set the date for his procedure.
As soon as I got the trap I realized that I would not be able to release him back into my yard. I did not want the beast killing any more animals under my nose. I wanted a peaceful yard again. If I was going to have him in a trap he was going to be released somewhere else.
When relocating animals you must be mindful of the distance. Rodents are good when released at least 3 miles away. When I lived at the Cochise Stronghold, that is about the distance I would drive to release the mice that I was relocating from my trailer. I know that larger animals such as cats and raccoons require over 10 miles of distance for a successful relocation. I think 25 miles is recommended if an animal has settled in.
Due to my ambivalence, I choose a location that was suitable for rodent release, but really not far enough away for cat release. Given the terrain I thought the location would prevent the cat from returning both because of the predators (including four-lane highways) and abundant prey/food available. I was also allowing the possibility of him finding his way back to TESLI.
Back at TESLI, I was pleased with the rapid return of birds in the yard. And, when the cat did not return the first week, I felt secure that he had found a new home. Yet, last night when I drove in I saw a black shadow sweep across my porch. Was I hallucinating?
No. This morning his gray form could be clearly seen under the front bushes. This is one of his favorite places to wait and watch for the birds to come to the bath. I was simultaneously happy to see him and felt like a burden had been laid at my feet. The cat and the cat shit were back. Bye-bye birds. It took him a month to find his way back to my sanctuary.