Folks have been writing about some of their experiences in the field and on their journeys and a trip with an alligator in the back seat. I understand those stories so well. I remember having a rabbit given to me and I tried to keep it but if finally had to go to the animal shelter. I cleaned that cage so well and had new litter and extra food. Oh it looked so good. We put the cage in the car and drove the thirty minutes to the shelter. When I went to get the rabbit and cage it was a horrid mess. I had forgotten to take the water bottle out and the water had come out, soaked the litter in the litter box and was standing in the bottom of the cage about a half inch deep. The rabbit was soaked and littered with litter. I was embarrassed and felt pretty stupid. They still took the rabbit. Blessings on them.
But the real story is when I worked with Mr. Jim Dunlap at the Plano Ind. School District’s Outdoor Learning Center. He was always getting animals in from animal control, folks who had tried to keep wild critters as pets, confiscated animals, injured animals, baby animals found in unusual places, etc. Many of the animals from animal control were just animals from city folk who didn’t want them in their yard. Snakes, opossums, baby birds or baby squirrels, raccoons, and occasionally coyotes and bobcats were the usual critters.
One such ‘rescue’ was a big male bobcat. He was a very unhappy fellow and just wanted to be ‘away’. Jim needed some place to turn him loose ‘out in the country’ far enough so that he did not go back to his old neighborhood. We had twenty acres of open land in an area that had a pond and lots of other open land and it was about twenty miles north of Plano. I offered to take him out there one afternoon and turn him loose. Sounds like a generous person and a caring person on my part, right!?
Jim and another gentleman loaded the cat in a big carrier and put into the back of my Suburban and off I went. It took me about thirty minutes to get out there. The cat was nervous and I could hear him sort of growling and pacing in the crate. He began to leave his mark on the crate. That meant he began to pee on the sides in tiny spurts and the odor was to warn any other creature to stay away. It worked well as I didn’t want to be in the same car with him! Oh it began to really reek!!!!
When I got to the big open area I stopped the car and opened the tailgate and pulled the crate toward the opening. My intention was to open the crate door and watch a grateful animal leap out and across the field toward a row of trees about two hundred yards away. Then I would drive home feeling so happy that I helped this animal.
As I tried to open the crate door the cat growled and jumped towards the door. The stench of the marking was really strong! I jumped back and then tried again and got the door open and then quickly went around the car to the other side. Instead of jumping out, the cat went back to the back of the crate and sat down. He didn’t move. We stayed there for over twenty minutes – stalemated! Finally I got into the car and moved toward the back of the crate and he moved away from me and finally out of the car but he jumped down and under the car. Run, cat, run! Another twenty minutes went by and I finally saw him WALKING away in the other direction from the trees. I didn’t wait. I closed the tailgate and got out of there but the windows of the car were all down as the cage still carried a very strong scent. It was a long ride home.