I hopped out of the car and said, "hey" to the little guy or gal, not really expecting anything.
In the event that this cat was somebody else's, I put two ads on Craigslist, posted flyers around the neighborhood including the businesses down the street, and emailed the neighborhood list serve. No response. I called every single rescue, shelter, homeless pet place in Maryland that I could find online. I heard from a good number of them, all with kind but unfortunate "no, we cannot take this cat" responses.
It was during the many conversations I had with experts from shelters and rescues that I realized that I would have to look into getting a humane cat trap. I tried as hard as I could for days to get this cat into the cat crate that we had. Nothing worked.
In the meanwhile, I was able to line up two potential rescues for the cat, who we had started to call "Pickles." Both required only very limited windows of time for capturing Pickles -- definitely not conducive to capturing a cat that came by at unpredictable times.
We put out the trap for the first time last Sunday and almost caught Lucy, our neighbor's cat twice. I had a feeling that night that we would catch Pickles the next day.
And my instincts were correct. I had just started eating my lunch at work when I called Allan to see if we had caught anything. He was just about to bring in the trap when he saw Pickles sitting in there puzzled.
The next thing to do was to have Allan take Pickles to the Falls Road Animal Hospital, where we could find out what sex the cat was as well as have him/her tested for feline leukemia and other diseases.
The experience with the Falls Road Animal Hospital went way better than expected. I have heard mixed things but am definitely very pleased about how they treated Pickles and us during what felt to be the most stressful part of the whole rescuing process. The prices weren't so bad and after visiting Pickles (he had to stay over), my mind was at ease.
We found out that Pickles was a boy (I was right) and he was in perfect health. I had a rescue all lined up so the next part of the plan included taking Pickles there once released from the Falls Road Animal Hospital. It ended up that Pickles was released a day early, which would not fit into the limited time-frame I had to take him to the rescue the following day. So we had two options 1) leave him at the animal hospital and pay an extra $17 to board him or 2) bring him home.
We ended up keeping Pickles, who is adjusting to his new life very well. We looked into how we should go about introducing him to our cat, and so far it's going pretty well. He is still a bit skidish, but fits in well here. He's litter trained and loves spending time with us.
All in all, I feel very lucky to have gone through this, although it was extremely stressful for all of us. And if anyone ever needs any help capturing a cat, I now have some sensible advice to share.