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Red Rafter

Red was one of the three cats we trapped and altered and released in June, 1995. We were feeding the neighborhood strays at our house. Traffic had picked up on our street and it was hard for me to sleep with the windows open at night, knowing these cats were running across the street to eat at our house. I discussed this with a neighbor and she agreed to feed the cats at her house and I would still provide the food. This worked out well, because the cats live on her side of the street. One of the things I wanted to do first was to catch one of the red boys. He was quite friendly with me and I almost had him letting me pet him. He did play with a cat toy I would bring out. One of the fishing pole type toys. I would run around the front yard with it and he would try to catch the red yarn lion at the end of the string. He would roll on the ground a purr quite loudly for me.

Catching him was not easy. He knew the trap from the time he was neutered and wasn't falling for that again. I left it out for over three weeks with yummy food in it. I even propped it open so that he would get use to going inside to eat. He didn't fall for the ruse.

My neighbor that was going to feed the cats pointed out our side door to the garage. Oh, yeah, real smart of me. We locked our other cats out of the garage, put food inside and waited to see if he went in. He did. But when he heard the front door open, he ran like the wind out of the garage. That was on the first day. The second day, I left the front gate open and waited at the side of the house. My husband let me know when Red was in the garage. I went up as quietly as I could and shut the door. Red went nuts. He ended up in the rafters. This was on August 1, 1996. As I type this, December 17, 1996, he is still up there. But he is making great strides at coming down.

He is an extremely affectionate cat. He will let me pet him, he will even lay down inside a cradle I make with my arms. He rubs my face and he is a drooler. It will be nice to love him and not stand on a ladder to do it. I will keep this updated.

Red Rafter's story as told by Mesha:
One of the decendants [read about Mincha, in the trivia section] was brought to this country aboard a banana boat. Upon the docking of said boat she ran ashore to the nearest tree. However a rambling cat named Tracks told her of another place far away to the north. Off they went. She didn't like all the travel but they finally arrived at the biggest tree she 'd ever seen. There she lived. After her last litter of babies was born the tree was cut down and the lumber sold. A fond attachment to the tree had been formed and she told her youngest, "red pol a track o" to make his way in the world and find the afore mentioned tree. He left his mama who had found another tree almost as large as the first , and off he went. Happily one day he saw it! He decided to make sure the people who owned it saw him because he thought it only right to be invited to live in his tree, (which really had taken on an odd shape) They indeed saw him and realized he needed to be back in his "tree" although they did not know the full story of his travels. When they brought him to the safety of their home, he of course was so very thrilled he ran right up into his tree, now made into rafters. ( He was glad that the tree had not been made into a door.. hard to balance on the top you know). The new people named him Red Rafter. He was very pleased with the name and the kind people.However if the truth be know his complete name is "Red rafter 'es afta de la tracko ah la Mincha" The only thing that puzzles him is why anyone would choose to be on the ground when the view is so much better up high. Must be inherited!

UPDATE: Red finally came down from the rafters in the middle of August. Now, in December, he has started to sleep on the furniture in the living room, and he goes outside to check out the yard. He doesn't care for the dogs, yet. For more details on his progress, read my diary.

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