Knowing I needed to transplant my little possum boarder, I'd asked the Animal Control officer to put me on the waiting list for a loaner humane trap. After a month of waiting without working my way to the top of the list, one Saturday in September, I went to Home Depot and purchased my own trap.
Since John Boy so clearly liked cat kibble, that was the bait I used when setting up the trap. I put the contraption near where I'd previously put the possum's bowls and removed the dishes I'd been using to feed him in order to provider further encourage-ment for him to enter the trap.
Sunday morning, I jumped out of bed and ran to the French doors, expecting to see John Boy in the trap.
Stifling my irritation, I opened the door to let Bob out. I was on my way to the kitchen to make a cup of tea when I heard a tremendous caterwauling (no pun intended). I ran to the back door to find Bob a prisoner in my trap.
Torn between laughter and exasperation, I went out and released him. He called me names in at least three different feline dialects as he tried to retreat with dignity.
I left the trap sitting there open all day. Sunday night, I set it again--after Bob was safely inside the house.
About midnight, I awoke to a commotion outside. I ran outside to find I'd made another catch ... yet another cat.
This one was a young long-haired black-and-white cat; an absolutely frantic black-and-white cat. It was thrashing around, trying to find a way out of the cage. I opened the door and got out of the way. The cat ran across the backyard and disappeared. Disheartened, I climbed back into bed with Bob only to be awakened about 45 minutes later when John Boy returned home. We listened as he scrambled up the inside of my bathroom wall to what seemed to be a perch about five feet off the floor.
Monday was Labor Day, and I labored. I went around the entire outside perimeter of my house, looking for places where the possum might be getting under my foundation. I found four holes of varying sizes. I spent a good part of my holiday lugging limestone rock from the rockpile in the northwest corner of my yard. Over the years that I've lived in my house, I've planted lots of bushes ... which meant digging up lots of rocks, some of them pretty sizable. I've made a habit of piling the rocks up in one place. You'd be surprised how often a good-sized rock comes in handy.
Anyway, I crawled behind my foundation bushes to plug up three of the four holes. I left the largest one open so John Boy would have a way to get out from under my house later that night. I marked the location of that fourth hole and set my alarm clock for 11 PM.
That night, using a flashlight and a bucket of rocks, I closed up the last of the holes under my house. While I was on my hands and knees behind the Burford holly bushes, I heard Bob issue a warning scream. I scrambled out and ran to the backyard, fearful that he was about to get into a confrontation with John Boy.
More later ...