I'm not much into bragging, but I am proud of having outsmarted and caught Mother today in her own barn, something I can testify (and so can countless mice, squirrels, rats and moles) is not an easy thing to do. Mother was on to us from the first this morning, she took one look at the dog crate and vanished. She always comes to me and Maria, but was nowhere to be found all day. In the evening we went back to her barn and I know where she hangs out so I climbed up to the hay bales and held a can of smelly wet cat food beneath here and she came slithering out, keeping a distance.
I brought it down into the barn, put it on a shelf and backed away. She appeared a few minutes later, watching me, watching the food. I waited until she had licked it and was beginning to eat it, and I reached out and grabbed her by the scruff and butt and walked her out of the barn where Maria was waiting with a crate and we put the crate on its side and dropped her into it, making sure she couldn't pop out like she did this morning. She is protesting loudly, but is in the barn in a large crate with cat litter, food, water and a bed Maria prepared for her. Minnie is in the crate next to her, where they will remain for a couple of days. Then we will release them both into the barn and their new lives.
Mother is the smartest and toughest animal I know, and she has been at Bedlam Farm from the first. I am much relieved to have caught her – it was upsetting to think of her hiding out there, which she is quite capable of doing. She's home now, and is smart enough to take care of herself. Peace in the heart.