Using my Superpowers for Good (Or Rescuing a Stray Cat)

The first time I heard it, I thought it was the cry of an injured animal. The next time, I thought it might be the wail of a small child. Unable to take it any longer, I yanked the curtains open to see what was making such a dreadful sound.

I expected to see a grotesque mythological creature whose limbs had been torn off and was bleeding from the mouth, but instead it was just a cat. And it looked okay. Fine really. So, why was it screaming like a small child who just got their iPod taken away?

A few days later the cat was hanging out in my backyard, and I got a glimpse of his backside. Oh, that’s why. He wasn’t neutered. An unneutered stray cat. Great.

Using the special sense that allows animals to identify me as a sucker for their cute little faces, he quickly realized that my backyard was a good place to take up residence. He proceeded to spend his days eating the food I put out for him and either lounging in the sun or yowling as he paced around the house. Obviously, I’m the encourager of bad behavior.

stray cat

Here he is lounging with my cat.

This began in August and didn’t stop until February. By then I couldn’t take it any more. The temperatures had been dipping well below freezing and he began crying at the door, desperate to come inside. So, this is what I did:

1. I waited for my husband to be out of town to take action. This would have been much easier to handle with his help, so naturally I tackled it on my own.

2. I got my trap and set it right by the window so I could watch the events unfold, aka stare at the trap all day, using my telepathic powers of suggestion to get him to go in it.

Flashback: I tried to trap a yellow-bellied marmot two years ago, which conveniently led to me having the perfect sized trap to catch the cat. See, things do happen for a reason. Or perhaps I have precognitive superpowers, as well.

3. Like I said, I patiently waited for him to cross the yard and, well, walk right into my trap. He he.

4. After almost catching two squirrels and my own cat, he finally went for the bait. The trap didn’t trigger, though. I knew from my marmot trapping experience that this was a problem. If he got full without triggering the trap, I’d have to try again another day. Or worse, if the trap was triggered but he managed to get out, I may never be able to lure him in again.

5. I tried to use my telekinetic abilities to trigger the trap, but I was having an off day. So, I opened the back door and startled him into triggering the trap–just as I had planned, or so I told myself.

cat in trap

Here he is in the trap. I don’t think he was very happy with me at this moment.

6. I celebrated for a second and went into full animal rescue mode. (Yes, in addition to procrastination-panic mode and spousal-manipulation mode, I also have animal rescue mode. I’m quite versatile). So, I prepped my car and donned my non-regulation animal trapping gloves.


My husband’s snowboarding gloves. I’m sure the people at the animal shelter were impressed.

7. Then I was forced to use my superhuman strength to carry the cat. The cat weighed strikingly more than my cats and was thrashing about in the cage. Certain I would be scratched and die from some rare cat borne illness, I held the cage as far from my body as I could and set him in the back seat of my car. Don’t worry; my use of superhuman strength was discreet so that I didn’t call attention to myself. The last thing I need is to end up helping people move.

8. I wasn’t sure what kind of music he enjoyed, so I kept the radio down and talked in that soft, calm voice that lulls all animals into a state of relaxation. You know the one I mean.

9. At the intake center of the Denver Dumb Friends League (DDFL), I explained our situation. This time I used my verbal powers of suggestion to sell all his good qualities and explain how he would make a wonderful pet. I did so well, I almost walked out with a new cat.

10. The man explained the process and reassured me that they would do their best to get him adopted. He also said they might be able to do a TNR (trap, neuter, return) if he wasn’t a candidate for adoption. I made it quite clear that I would be happy to take him back and let him live in my yard. I entered spousal manipulation mode as I pondered the cute little cat house my husband would be encouraged to build for the backyard.

11. For the next month, I used by ability to obsess over things to check the DDFL  website at least daily, sometimes hourly, to see if he was on there. With each day I began losing hope. His little face never appeared on the adoptable cats page and I hadn’t gotten a phone call asking if he could be returned to my yard. I tried to convince myself that they were busy socializing him. Who knew how long he’d been living on the streets? But I had a terrible feeling that he might have been euthanized.

I began to question whether I did the right thing. My superpowers were only supposed to be used for good. What had I done?

I’ve wanted to write about this experience for some time, but I didn’t want to do it unless I knew there was a happy ending. I was perusing the Internet yesterday (instead of writing this post) and that’s when I found him. He’s up for adoption!

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 2.57.03 PM

His adoption bio. It compares his life to a book, which is strange because I’m a writer. Cue mysterious music.

I will now use my telepathic powers of suggestion to persuade someone who lives in the Denver Metro area to take a trip to the DDFL. Everyone reading this: you’re getting sleepy, very sleepy. (Wait – that’s hypnotism. Oh, well. It could still work.) You’re on a beach, with the sun shining down. Then a cute brown tabby jumps in your lap. You fall in love instantly and begin filling out the adoption papers…

36 thoughts on “Using my Superpowers for Good (Or Rescuing a Stray Cat)

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    I laughed and smiled at this post. I love that you almost trapped your own cat. That sounds like something I’d do. So happy your rescued feline is up for adoption. Hope he finds a family. Now get back to work, you cat whisperer, you. 😉

  2. Marcy says:

    He is a handsome cat. I wish him the best of luck in finding a loving home. Is there some way to find out if someone does adopt him? Fingers crossed.

    • jennifer Windram says:

      They said they don’t euthanize based on time or space, so I’m hoping now that he’s made it through the temperament/socialization test he’ll stay until he gets a home.

      No, they won’t tell me what happens to him because he wasn’t my pet 😦

  3. Tamara says:

    Love this! And I’m so glad that the superpower distributors chose a good person like you! I hope he has the happiest of endings in a loving home with a family of his own (not mine, unfortunately, due to my allergies and my sweet pup Jack who turns into a scarier version of Cujo at the meer sight of a nice fluffy cute little kitten, lol). Any tips on raccoon trapping? We have one living under our deck and have that same trap set up. It managed to get food
    out without setting the trap off, clever thing!!! Keep doing good in the world, my super power friend! 🙂

    • jennifer Windram says:

      The givers of superpowers were very smart when they bestowed such talents on me 🙂

      Hmmm. Raccoons are very smart. Have you tried making the food really hard to get out? Are you sure the trap is setting like it’s supposed to? With mine, it doesn’t always trigger when the trigger plate is stepped on, so I have to fiddle with it until it works. I do know a guy who specializes in raccoons and humanely traps and releases. I met him during my marmot trapping days.

  4. irenedesign2011 says:

    I really hope, that he will have a good and loving home Jennifer. I’m not sure, I could have done the same as you. I think, I would have been driving to the vet and get him neutred and vaccinated and then bring him home to myself.
    Years ago I did live in an area, where people did let out their cats, a forrest area, to nothing. This was a cat area, so of course all those cats tried to come in in our houses. But I had 4 cats then and no space for more. We also needed to trap them and send them to a home for adoption. Unfortunately not all were adopted in time, so they lost their lives.

  5. b00kreader says:

    I love and respect all the work you put into helping this cat. I hope he finds a good home 🙂
    My own rescue attempts have yet to work this well, all I ended up with was a third dog and lots of vet bills 😦

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Thank you. If I wasn’t already at my limit, I’d probably have another cat.

      When I was a kid we had a lot of “rescues” similar to yours and ended up with five dogs and four cats at one point. It was like all the stray animals knew to come to our house.

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Ha! It’s an animal.

      They are supposed to live in the mountains, usually above 6500 feet. I’ve typically seen them above tree line. This one was down in the city where he didn’t belong. The Colorado Department of Wildlife said he probably hitched a ride in someone’s camper.

      • elainecanham says:

        My God. The worst we’ve ever had in our garden was a badger, who killed 10 of our chickens in one night. Then he came back a few nights later and killed the others. He just ate his way through the chicken wire as if it was tissue paper. They are cute, but fearsome. Marmots sound much more exotic, possibly because they sound like marmosets. Sorry, drivelling now.

          • elainecanham says:

            Isn’t that odd? I’ve never thought of anyone not knowing what a badger looks like. It shows how you can take so much for granted from just living in one place. I’m off to look up marmots.

            • jennifer Windram says:

              It’s true. The more time I spend blogging, the more I realize how sheltered I am. And now, when I write a post I don’t automatically assume everyone is going to know what I’m talking about.

              I probably should have known what a badger looks like because I think we have them here, but I don’t think they’re in the city so I’ve never seen one.

              You should look up prairie dogs too. I think they are only found in western North America. Now, those I see EVERYWHERE.

  6. lindsaycummingswrites says:

    Yay! Congrats, I knew you would be a superhero. Lucky kitty to have known such a caring and thoughtful person. I will miss the yowling, but, hope there is an adoption in the near future. I’m sure there will be. Which kitty of your did you almost catch?

  7. gpeynon says:

    I did initially fall under your spell and began to fill out the papers as if some higher power were controlling me. Then I snapped out of it and realised; I don’t live in the Denver Metro area. I don’t even live in the US. I don’t want another cat… What is this witchcraft you weave? Do I need to consider calling the pyre-assembley crew and get out the dunking chair?

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Now if we were going to be rational about this, I would argue that I am clearly not capable of witchcraft. If I was able to perform witchcraft you would have a lovely brown tabby in your lap right now, regardless of the massive ocean that separates us. And you would be quite fond of him.

      See. There is no need for the dunking chair.

      *Puts eye of newt back in the cupboard. Dons witch hat and flees on broom*

  8. librarylady says:

    I’m not even allowed to go to animal adoption websites anymore, heaven help me if I actually end up in a pet store where they’re having an adoption fair. We once ended up with a street cat who had diabetes and cost us a fortune. I still miss little patches though.
    I never knew you had so many super powers, you are talented girl.

  9. April says:

    He is a handsome cat. Sounds like he would be better off in a pet-less house so that he can adjust. I’m so glad I don’t live near Denver. Three of my own cats and two of my son’s, are way too many for this cat lover. Actually, my husband would be pitching a tent for me and the critters. Good job! He will find a home.

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Yeah, I’m thinking it might take him some time to get adjusted. He seemed okay with my kitties. They would approach him and try to attack and he would just stand there. He was much more skittish around me, but got better as time went on.

      So, you’re up to five cats? I would probably have twenty or more if I could, but I’m trying to keep my sanity 🙂

      • April says:

        Soon to be six cats. My youngest son is moving back in August. He comes with the dog too. He’s lucky I love the dog, and I’m a cat person. My husband isn’t so happy.

  10. Nicole Roder says:

    Good for you! I LOL’ed at this: “Don’t worry; my use of superhuman strength was discreet so that I didn’t call attention to myself. The last thing I need is to end up helping people move.” I hope he finds a good home soon!

  11. fudgeandpoppy says:

    Not sure how I missed this in my reader feed when you posted it but hey, I’m here now. You do realise that there is such a thing as being a superhero called Crazy Cat Lady? Just make sure you keep using your powers for good!

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