Thursday 12th December 2002
Thursday is a high pressure day. All teams of catchers are in full swing. Cats are stacking up in Elly's garage quicker than they can be treated. Some locals are also dropping their cats round for treatment so the workload just stacks up and up. Organisation becomes difficult. Toward the end of the day, there is a complete lack of spare traps, cages and transfer cages. Every single one is already occupied with cats either waiting for their op or recovering.
Everyone - particularly the vet team (Helen, Chris, Luke and Jemma), Jenny and Elly deserve a medal for getting so much done in such difficult conditions. And you can only imagine the amount of work needed throughout the night to clean and feed such a large number of cats in such a small space.
And it's raining. In fact, it rains so hard, there's an island-wide powercut. Thankfully after the last op has finished but even so, it doesn't exactly help.
During the day, Ros and Mike revisit Corralejo. Tres Islas - still no luck for much the same reasons. Chalk it down to experience and decide to ask the experienced catchers how to cope with this situation.
We visit the Cat Café behind Restaurant Diana and the guy who looks after it comes out for a chat. All his cats are currently done.
We visit Café Latino on the front - we'd been there several times on holiday last year and had noticed a few cats weaving hopefully amongst the tables. The cat on our list was nowhere to be seen. We were shown a few younger cats sheltering in an outbuilding but they had already been done so we move on.
There were a number of places on our list neither we nor the local tourist information office could find so apologies to Hank's Restaurant and the English Bar. We couldn't find La Concha either until we gave up and headed for the next place on the list: Dunas Caletas. Upon which we immediately found La Concha and wandered round looking for the cream male.
Well, we found him and several other much tamer ones. As with Tres Islas, the tame ones simply got in the way of catching the cream one. So again, we chalked this one down to experience and went off to the next site.
At Dunas Caletas, we were taken by Santanas to where the cats were and found a couple of tabbies and a family of black and whites (father, mother and two adolescents). We trapped a couple of black and whites and headed for Elly's. Having decanted them, we could retrieve our trap and go back for the remainder.
The only trap left was the slightly rusty one which had misfired for others before - but it was the only one left so we nabbed it.
We set the trap in the same place (in the airconditioner recess) and retire to wait. There's a group of English guys on holiday who seem interested in what Twinkle Trust are doing and we chat to them for a while - also to the people in the apartment just behind us.
Peeking over the wall, we see the big black and white tom (the father) being extremely wily. He's watching to see what happens to the other cats as they explore the trap. A young b/w goes in, nibbles a bit and goes out again. We curse the rusty trap for not going off.
The bigger tabby goes in, steps daintily over the trip-plate, hoovers a bunch of biscuits and retires. We curse again.
Then the tom decides that the trap is harmless - he's seen two expendables enter and leave with no problem. He swaggers in and "snap". Either too heavy or too careless, but never mind - we've got him!
We get the last black and white at the same time and head back to Elly's. It's heaving with people and cats.
Jenny's friend, Monika, has turned up with news of a small group of very wild ferals being fed by a friend of hers, Mariesol, on some waste ground in the capital, Puerto del Rosario. We are to follow Monika to the site and then meet Mariesol at around 8.
She tells us the story that some time ago, there was one particular old lady who fed all of the ferals in the town. She got to be quite well-known for doing this. Then she died.
A number of people, like Mariesol, then tried to step in and feed at least a few of the cats previously fed by the old lady. Mariesol had "adopted" the 5 who hang around the waste ground behind the electrical shop. And a large ginger cat had walked into the electrical shop and announced to the lady who runs the shop that he had adopted them and where is my breakfast please?
So our task was to take these 6.
The ginger gentleman had already been put in a basket and we managed to trap three of the ferals that night.
But when we got them back to Elly's, there were no more traps or cages left so we called it a night.
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