Ops Subuh 2 and the “Daffodil Move” (Minnie & Smurfy)

After the failure of Ops Subuh, which was on Wednesday morning, that night, I spent more than an hour covering up the gap in which I saw Smurfy struggle out of and also which I thought was how Minnie must have escaped.

It’s MCO-period, so I could only make use of whatever we have in the storeroom.

Using remaining netting and what’s left of an old roll of twists, I secured the gap.

But on hindsight, if Smurfy, being so much smaller had problems struggling and squeezing out of this gap, Minnie couldn’t have escaped through it. Then, how did she escape?

It was here, on the left.

It was a “Daffodil Move”.

This rolled up netting was done by my friend, Cathy, to help secure Daffodil inside a few years ago. Daffodil was able to squeeze out by digging a hole of the soil, so Cathy had put a bamboo roll to block it. But by now, the bamboo roll had rotted without our knowledge. This is most likely how Minnie escaped. Now, we only have this block of wood, so it would have to do as a temporary measure, that’s assuming another Ops Subuh can be carried out.

Yesterday,  I got up at 4am and prepared for Ops Subuh 2. I fed all our cats, gave them all their medicines, then I slowly closed the kitchen windows (this time, securely locked), then the living room windows too. Ginger and Heidi were in the patio and Tabs was in Bunny’s Place.

I was all set.

But the time I got out to the porch, what do you know….Minnie and Smurfy were NOT there.

What??

Yes, they were NOT there.

But they are always there every single morning, waiting for food. They even sleep on our doormat.

I searched everywhere and called out for them, but nobody came.

So, you tell me, aren’t cats mind-readers?

So, Ops Subuh 2 failed.

It was only at 9.40am that Minnie came.

Without Smurfy.

Oh well, our vet is off on Friday though she had already left word with her colleagues on what to do if I managed to bring Minnie and Smurfy in. The plan is to do a blood work on Minnie, determine if she is healthy enough to be spayed. Check thoroughly to ensure she is not pregnant first. Do the FIV/FeLV test as well. For Smurfy, probably deworming and vaccination.

I’ll still feel more comforted if our vet handled this case.

So I let her eat first. Smurfy was nowhere to be seen.

It was only after an hour that Smurfy came.

And they ate again.

Later in the afternoon, on my way out for groceries, I spoke with the Chief of Security again. Previously, he had said that there were no more homeless cats in our neighbourhood and that most of the free roaming cats came from the few houses which he identified. I showed him Minnie and Smurfy’s photos and he said he doesn’t think they have a home.

Based on what he had told me earlier, I thought they came from the house down the road. The Chief said sometimes certain houses just let out the cats and they live on the street after that.

Now, from the time I started feeding Minnie, which was just last week, I think she’s already pregnant. I hope she isn’t, but from the looks of it, I think she is. Gingertom came a few times but have stopped coming now.

The vet did ask me if there were signs on Minnie coming into heat – there were none. Was any tomcat hounding her? Well, I dont know if Gingertom’s few visits qualify as “hounding” or was he just hoping to get some food?

Cats come into heat every 2-3 weeks. They breed all year round. And very easily too.

However, when Heidi first came, I took her to the vet with the intention of getting her spayed. Heidi was very friendly so I caught her immediately. The vet said she was a very old cat (with practically no more teeth, suspected due to neglect and not age) and she had an abdominal hernia.  Instead of getting her spayed, the vet asked if I could just keep her confined for 2 weeks. If she does not come into heat, it means she has already been spayed. True enough, Heidi did not come into heat at all. So, she was a spayed cat (without the ear-notch). I suspect she could have been abandoned because of her hernia. Heidi just showed up in front of our gate one morning. She was sitting there waiting for me to come out to feed Rosie’s family.

Now, back to Minnie’s story…

A few days prior to the neighbour alerting me about Minnie clutching a piece of chicken, he said he’d been hearing the sounds of cat yowling so he thinks there is going to be another litter soon.

Initially I thought of going to the house down the road to ask if Minnie belongs to them, but they weren’t friendly the last time I tried to speak to them. They saw me at the gate and refused to even come out but that was many years ago. I wanted to ask if Minnie has already been spayed. It would be heartbreaking opening her up for the second time, hence we are so strict about the ear-notch.

But I discussed this with the vet and she offered a brilliant observation. She thinks, looking from the photos, that Smurfy is probably 3 months old, so if Minnie had been spayed, the surgical scar would still be noticeable. Now, why hadn’t I thought of that? She said she would check thoroughly before doing anything.

But can I even catch them now?

Minnie did not fall for the carrier trick. I tried for a whole day. I think that’s also because she saw me taking Bunny in the carrier the other day, so she already associates the carrier with bad news (being taken in the car).

Minnie might not come into the house again, after the first failed Ops Subuh.

Smurfy would be easy – he’s always hungry, and at this age, he throws caution to the wind.

In the evening, they came again. This time, both.

Come in, Smurfy, come in….

But no, “No thank you”, they both said.

Thank you for your kind invitation but if it’s alright with you, we’d just eat out here, please.

Minnie looks so good now. Just one week on Coco&Joe’s.

Hello, you hungry little one…

Eat up, eat up, little ones.

There was a water cut all day yesterday.

Someone must have left the garden tap turned on because at 2am just now, I was awakened by the sound of water.

The water’s back! Finally!

I came out to turn it off and saw Smurfy on the road outside.

Couldn’t go back to sleep, so I came back down and have now closed all the windows, all locked in the entire downstairs, in preparation of Ops Subuh 3 today.

Please wish me luck.

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