“Ops Subuh” (Minnie & Smurfy are inside the house now)

It was about 6.30am this morning.

Minnie and Smurfy were waiting for me right outside our front door. As I opened the door to go out to feed them, a thought occurred to me. It’s not a new thought, though, I already thought of it last night. Why not, instead of luring them into the two carriers, just lure them through the front door into the house?

But I know it would be a problem to catch them later to put them into the carrier as the house is a big space. However, I think it would be less stressful for them to be “trapped” in a big place as the whole house rather than being trapped inside a small carrier for at least 3 hours – that would be sheer agony and it would definitely break my heart.

So, I decided with this plan. There was no time to think anymore. The opportunity was there. They were hungry. Well, they just ate a lot last night, but they get hungry real fast.

The first thing I did was to put Heidi out in the patio with Ginger (who was already napping there after his breakfast). Closed the patio door. OK, that’s done. Then, I put Tabs inside with the Cow Clan. She has dual citizenship, so she should be fine. They don’t bully her.

Then I went to the kitchen, took two bowls, placed the bowls inside the front door and scooped a very generous portion of Coco&Joe’s (neat, no addition of kibble) into both. Then, I nonchalantly, with as blank a mind as I could muster – remember cats read our minds, calmly, opened the front door, greeted them and sort of invited them in.

Smurfy is always hungry, so he came in first. Yes, through the front door, and started eating. Minnie was hesitant, so I just waited.

But hunger overcame her (she isn’t really THAT hungry, she just ate a lot last night, but never mind, hunger works to my advantage), and she stepped inside too. My mind was still a total blank and I was calm. Nope, there’s no hurry.

So, she stepped cautiously over to the other bowl and started eating.

Now, there is the grille and the wooden front door, right? Both were open. Which should I close first? The grille is netted but only to a certain height, not all the way up. If it’s all the way up, the operation would have been a success at this moment (just close the grille and that’s it).

I decided it would have to be the front door. All these thinking happened in split seconds. Microseconds, if you will.

So, I slowly and as quietly as I could, I gently closed the front door.

Minnie immediately tried to escape!!!! She knew….!!

No, no, no, no….no!!

I managed to grab her before she got out. I was very sure she would have bitten me, but she did not.

Okay, front door closed!!

Success!!!!  They are in the house now.

But Minnie was frightened and desperate to escape.

I quickly went to all the windows in the house and closed them. Every single window downstairs.

Minnie was going all over the house trying to find a way to escape. She scaled the mosquito netting, and scratched at it, she went upstairs and tried everywhere.  I knew she was stressed so I just let her be.

Minnie refused to eat too. But Smurfy did. He’s a hungry little thing. I gave them the usual Coco&Joe’s – Minnie refused, but Smurfy ate. Then, I offered AD, Smurfy ate that too. Multiple times. Minnie just refused all food. Poor thing. I felt really bad. But I’m comforted that she isn’t starving because they ate a lot last night.

It’s three more hours, so I thought that after 3 hours, Minnie would be more settled and hopefully feel less stressed. She’s not trapped, she is in a big space where she could move around with no restrictions (except to get out).

I let her explore.

Smurfy was feeling quite at home by now, but not Minnie. Minnie hid behind the curtain. Smurfy just followed his mum.

They are behind this curtain and Smurfy was using the grille as a jungle gym and playing on it. I gave them a bell-ball to play with but that did not work. I took out silvervine powder and  rubbed it on a small pillow – no reaction too. So I decided to leave them be to settle down.

These two photos were taken by Yui Ping from the porch.

So I was chatting with Yui Ping in the kitchen, waiting for 9am so that I could start the attempt to catch them and put them into a carrier, then it’s off to the vet’s for a check-up. If not pregnant, Minnie will go through a blood test (yes, already discussed with the vet) to check her kidneys and liver to see if she is fit to go through spaying. Smurfy, if fit, will be dewormed and vaccinated. If pregnant, I plan to keep Minnie indoors until she gives birth then we will see what we can do from there.

I had also already texted the vet to tell her that my mission had been successful and that I will take them to the clinic by 9.30am. Everything was in place. All arranged. Should go like clockwork. It’s just catching them and putting them into a carrier. Would not be an easy task (be prepared to be bitten), but I didn’t think it would be impossible too. So far. Minnie has not been aggressive to me.

For the past few days, I had already thought of adopting Minnie and Smurfy but then, I would need to live for another 20 years to see them through. That might be a problem.

So many plans, but let’s take it one step at a time.

It was 8.50am, so I came out of the kitchen to look for Minnie. Found Smurfy sitting at the window, quite relaxed and happy.

Minnie was nowhere to be found.  I searched everywhere.

Where is Minnie??

Oh no….she had escaped, but how?

She pushed open a window (yes, my mistake of not locking it), went to the Ginger’s patio and escaped through this gap.

So near, so close….and yet….so far now.

She was gone.

I had wanted to net up this gap yesterday, I did. But I forgot.

My heart sank completely.

By now, Smurfy also jumped out to the patio. Heidi wanted to attack him, so he also squeezed himself out through this same gap.  I could have grabbed him but I was too dejected to even try.  The urgency was to get Minnie to the vet, not Smurfy, but on hindsight, I should have grabbed him and taken him for vaccination and deworming.

But never mind, what’s done is done.

So, Smurfy also escaped, but it wasn’t easy. As small as he is, he had to squeeze through with great effort and that took some time.

So, HOW did Minnie escape through this small gap then?  Maybe it wasn’t this gap. Maybe it was somewhere else. I should have just watched them instead of letting them be.

But it’s too late for all these “should”s now.

Maybe it’s not meant to be.  The Universe works in mysterious ways.

Minnie will either not trust me again OR maybe hunger will prevail and she might come again for food, I don’t know.

But Smurfy was happily sitting under the car looking at me. It’s good that he isn’t traumatised by the experience.

I went out with some Coco&Joe’s and Smurfy did not come out.

It just took less a week for me to gain their trust and now it’s all gone down the drain. All of it.

I am heart-broken. I didn’t mean to create any stress for them.

I left the bowl of food and sat on the bench. Smurfy came out from under the car to eat.

I hope he will still come daily for food and maybe he will trust me again.

The next round, if I can get him, I should take him for deworming and vaccination, with or without Minnie.

Will Minnie come back? I don’t know, but I certainly hope so. But it will be a long time before she trusts me again….if she would.

I feel so sad….

On hindsight, I hope the experience wasn’t so traumatic. They weren’t “trapped” in a carrier or small place. They were “invited” into the house (I opened the door, they walked in, then I closed the door quietly and gently. There were no loud sounds in the entire process). Hopefully, Minnie can see it as me just inviting them into the house, that is all. No other ulterior motive (fat hopes, cats read minds).

Will just take it one moment at a time.

Ops Subuh – GAGAL. “F” grade.

I’m going in to sit with the Cow Clan. Cow will comfort me. He always does.

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