Things were quiet (TOO quiet) for a couple of weeks when we had the unseasonably warm, Spring-like temperatures. I hadn’t seen the white & calico girl at the feeding station for over a week, and the most regular participant–the orange and white girl–hadn’t show up for several days. My co-worker, who picks up the food bowls most evenings, said that some nights there was food left in the bowls. That information–combined with reports from members of the maintenance staff who said they’d seen coyotes moving closer and closer to the main campus–left me feeling quite concerned.
To try to find out if the cats were still visiting at all, I set up the trail cam on Friday, February 24th and let it run through Monday morning, February 27th. When I had a chance to review the pictures on the card, there were some big surprises!
First up was the orange and white kitty. She apparently noticed the trail cam when she came to the feeding area a little before 5:00 pm on Friday. I love these pictures of her, and I was so happy to see her!
Shortly before dark on Friday, the girls (who are helping with the ferals on the weekends) picked up the food bowl. A little later, at almost 7:30 pm, an unfamiliar cat showed up on the trail cam. I’m not sure what’s up with the bottle-brush tail, but I guess something (the flash of the camera?) startled it. I wish more of its face was in range of the camera, but the mark of white on the back right foot may help to identify it in other pictures.
I was absolutely DELIGHTED to see pictures of the white & calico girl in pictures from next evening, Saturday, February 25th. She, like the orange and white kitty, intently checked out the trail cam, and this made for some nice “selfies.”
As I went through more pictures, however, I realized that THIS white and calico was the first one I trapped, and not the one (white & calico #2) who regularly comes to the feeding station! Well, whatever–I was very happy to see #1, too!
The food bowls were picked up again before dark on Saturday evening (thanks, girls!), and shortly before 2:00 am on Sunday morning, there were some totally crazy happenings at the feeding station. Yikes!!
I don’t know who this kitty is…. I thought it was the gray cat I first saw in late January, but the markings don’t seem to match, especially with the dark patch under the throat in the pictures above. Edited to add that I HAVE seen this cat before–saw it on the trail cam on February 1st:
At any rate, the cat apparently escaped safely, because the next image just showed the raccoons!
About a half hour later, at 2:16 am on Sunday morning, the raccoons were gone, and the camera captured a cat investigating the feeding station. Is this the same cat as the one with the bottle-brush tail in an earlier picture? Notice the white mark on the back right leg…. I don’t know!! (BTW, if you click on the picture, you’ll get a much larger view. Just be sure to click back instead of x-ing out of the picture.)
A little before 9:00 am on Sunday morning, the orange and white girl was back….
The next surprise–HUGE surprise!–was an image on the trail cam Sunday afternoon. I think I know this kitty! Several weeks ago, my co-worker and I saw this cat and a gray cat down over the hill, some distance from the feeding station and the dumpsters. My co-worker had said they were being “noisy,” and at the time I wondered if it was possibly two males getting ready to fight. Well, this is pretty obviously a male, given the big, fat face with the injuries on the left side, and it’s the first time I’ve seen it near the feeding station.
On Monday, February 27th, shortly before I got to school, the other white and calico girl (my regular visitor) had her picture taken, too.
While I was so relieved to see 3 of the 5 TNR girls over one weekend (the orange and white girl and both white & calicoes) I’m again made aware of the number of cats on campus. Just because I haven’t been seeing anyone during the school day, they’re still out there, but following a different routine for some reason.
I’m going to set the trail cam out for another day or two to try to get a better idea of who’s visiting and when they’re most often visiting. I may have to try trapping during the late afternoon over Spring Break, but obviously it will have to be before dark to avoid trapping raccoons….