Thursday, 16 July 2015

Best Laid Schemes

The following excerpt from the Robert Burns poem, To A Mouse, pretty much sums up my day.

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, gang aft agley.

Today was my appointment with the Ottawa Spay Neuter Clinic to have Fergus (a.k.a. Gus, formerly known as Oscar) neutered. Things went 'agley'. We didn't make it!

Fergus is a feral tom and not nearly tame enough to handle. So I decided the best approach to nab and transport him to the clinic was to trap him. And so for weeks I've been feeding him pieces of roast chicken on a saucer placed on the floor of a disarmed cage trap. Prior to his surgery appointment, I set the trap and filled his dish with an extra succulent helping of roast chicken as well as a bit of cheese for good measure. But as the cage door slammed down behind him, the slippery critter instantly backed up and forced his way back out to freedom. He took off like a scared cat.

A fertile looking Fergus awaiting yet another chicken dinner.

No rendezvous with a scalpel blade today.

So, just in case he might try his luck at outwitting the trap again, I left the trap baited and set. I also set up a closed circuit camera in case an unintentional target -- like a skunk -- might show interest. 

Unfortunately, I dozed off for a few minutes and when I awoke I wasn't pleased with what I saw. A young skunk, perhaps born last year, was trapped. So I put on safety glasses, just in case, and went out to the scene. The cute little fellow didn't seem too upset considering the pickle it was in. I put a rubber sheet over the cage and released the cage door catch. My captive escaped within minutes and left only a slight puff of scent in the air. Such lovely manners!

Standing on the bait pan and looking for a way out.

Watching me come to the rescue.

Licking the dish clean while awaiting freedom.


  1. The best laid plans all went awry!!! Never mind, another day, and so glad the smelly one didn't misbehave too badly.

  2. Our cats are just getting so we can pet them...put cat doors on the porch for them...we did the same thing ..trapped..neutered and released. We used a big dog pen...and kept them in it for a few days..

    I trapped a couple of skunks when I lived in NY in the late 60's...thought I'd make pets of them...after keeping them in a cage for a few days I decided they should be free...they never attempeted to spray me. Very nice skunks...

  3. This is classic! I think cats are mind readers - we had to try to get ours to the vet today - he hid!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  4. Oh my gosh - how funny. Not only is Gus still a Romeo but a skunk enjoyed a great lunch. So glad you weren't sprayed!

  5. That's so silly. But typical, isn't it?


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