In preparation for tonight’s stray cat trapping in Ubi for sterilisation, I thought about the logistics involved. Apart from the usual pet stuff like carriers and food, in our trapping and rescue work we often need:
- Good footwear. Having to traverse around stray cat territories in order to feed them, or trap them for sterilisation or medication, means you do a lot of walking. Slippers are comfy but their loud flip-flop noise means that some elusive cats get scared away. Stealth is key! I wear Chaco sandals, meant for outdoor use, superb traction and conformity to the foot, and stealthy too. If you feed strays, you probably do a lot of squatting, so do use good footwear to prevent joint problems and varicose veins.
- Communications. Being able to contact cat carers so everyone can stay in the loop about urgent stray cat issues, being able to call SPCA when you need to, and for the online, being able to blog and tweet from your phone. I use my new Motorola Android – and am totally in love with the phone for its ability to easily tweet Ubi Kuching Project updates even when in the throes of cat rescue.
- Transport. We at Ubi either get one of our volunteers, Joe, to drive us around on his lorry, or Andy and I cycle, with a cat carrier strapped to the back of Andy’s bike. And we walk a lot. I use cabs to take rescues to the vet, it doesn’t cost me much because the vet is nearby. We are limited in our transport, which is why we stick to Ubi or nearby estates in our stray cat outreach.
- Bags. Sometimes we rescue or transport small kittens in bags. I have an Eagle Creek sling bag that I used to rescue Jacey/Miki on my bike. I also use the bag to contain basic first aid items for cats. I use a carabina on my Eagle Creek bag to sling around plastic bags of cat food. One of our volunteers Ivy is a fan of Bangkok’s Naraya bags which all the female volunteers of Ubi Kuching Project have courtesy of Ivy’s shopping trips – the bags are superb for transporting small kittens for short distances, padded, airy, and easy to carry around. In a pinch we also use cardboard boxes that we scavenge around for.
All the things above are not very cat-like at all! But here they are, reading fodder for you too in between waiting for our next blog post!