The Drama of Project Treadstone, My 1000th Post!
Well, I didn’t see this one coming.
First, note to self, make sure the kind women who love the kitties don’t feed them 20 minutes prior to the arrival of yours truly and Trapper Man. We trapped one successfully in the first five minutes. I named him Tres. You know, because he’s the third cat of Project Treadstone.That’s his handsome self above.
But 90 minutes later all we were able to do was provide the cats a place on which to rest while they bathed. No joke. There was stinky mackerel in the trap and one cat was on top of it taking a bath, another was at the front, just lying there, and a couple more were lounging nearby. Not a care in the world, and entirely uninterested in the free food.
We relocated the trap twice with similar results and called it a day. The upside is I did get to meet the kitten the women are socializing and hope to catch soon. They already have a home for the fluffy little guy. S/he will eat from a spoon that you’re holding but is very quick to not allow you to get much closer. None of the other cats will let anyone feed them with a spoon. The women from the site handed me checks and cash and one would like to buy a trap. Three stayed to learn how to trap, which is great. The more people who step up, the better.
Tres wasn’t at all happy to be in the trap. I quickly returned home and put him in the garage with his camouflage cover, checked on him a couple of times, and went to bed. I brought him to the vet and while with a client at 3pm I received a call from the vet–who’s the traditional vet (as opposed to the homeopath) I send my creatures to. He said that Tres was FeLV negative but FIV positive. He wanted to know what my thoughts were.
I told him I had recently spoken with Dr. Julie Levy, and luckily one of his staff vets worked with her for years. Tres is an asymptomatic, shiny, solid, heavy, healthy cat. He’s gorgeous and athletic and quick. The vets agree that “putting him down” wouldn’t be right. (And I did make sure to use the word “kill” as much as possible.) Fine. Tres lives.
This is important, though, because other vets in the area who do this work test for both FIV and FeLV and will kill healthy animals just because they test positive once. As I’ve written previously, the only no-kill shelter in the area routinely kills healthy cats who test positive.
This current vet is creating a protocol, as this is the first time he’s done this kind of work. And now the protocol includes testing for both and not killing for FIV. However, he does think killing FeLV positive cats might be a good idea.
Vet: FeLuke positive cats will get horribly sick and die at some point.
Me: And you and I might get horribly sick and we’re definitely gonna die at some point.
Vet: Good point. But FeLuke is far easily transmittable. A FeLuke positive cat’s gonna infect everyone in no time.
Is that true? Because he’s creating his protocol in real time with Project Treadstone, I want to get him as much information as possible. It’s easier to create a protocol than change one (the vet who sterilized the first two cats received my package of information and told me that people have been trying to change their mind for years about killing positive cats and they’ve received information just like mine, over and over again, and they’re not budging).
The vet recommended releasing Tres today, and I agree as he’s stressed in the trap and getting him into a cage presents a slew of other problems, and he might be just as stressed in there, anyway. His surgery went fine and the faster he can be free with his colony, the better. Fortunately, I have some time this afternoon to return him. I just returned from releasing him and he’s fine.
I’m glad we’re progressing on this issue and educating the locals and getting buy-in. It’s one thing to swoop in under the cover of darkness and work on the problem yourself, and it’s quite another to alert, educate and involve the community. It might take a little longer, but now a bunch of people know how to solve a problem, and perhaps one day they will take the initiative and start their own TNR project or help someone else start one.
Oh, and this is my 1,000th post! Shocking, isn’t it? I’ve posted daily, and sometimes twice a day, since mid-2006! I’ve lost a lot of readers since then, mostly due to my increasingly “extreme” views, but at least I’m being honest with myself and you, and honoring my beliefs.