Day three of our clinic was really successful. We fixed about 53 cats and things are running really smoothly. It was our last day under the pavilion in town, tomorrow we move to the western side of the island to the village of Leone. Since things were running so smoothly at the clinic, I was able to go out again with the trapping team. They have realized that late afternoon, early evening seems to be the best time to trap cats around here.
We drove to Leone to scope out the area and see if we could find any ‘hot spots.’ Tomorrow’s clinic is being held at the home of Andra Samoa, a local resident who is very involved in her community (more on the clinic we’ve set up in her living room later.) Andrea is absolutely lovely and welcomed us into her home. She told us that her brother had about 50 cats up the road at his pig farm, so we hopped into the trucks and headed over there.
We were greeted by Samoa Sione Samoa, a larger than life character who lives in Leone with his family (wife and 6 kids!) and runs a farm where he raises pigs and grows multiple fruits and vegetables. He’s extremely self-sufficient and believes strongly in the importance of knowing how to provide for yourself and the more traditional ways of life that he was taught by his parents. He is also a former NFL player and played for the Cincinnati prednisone to buy Bengals, even going to the Super Bowl in 1981!
Oh, but back to the cats! The cats at the pig farm were a little bit more suspicious of us than the ones we caught the night before. The team started setting traps in the underbrush and down by a shallow creek. It didn’t take too long to catch a few, but it was after Samoa fed the pigs that they really started coming out. The cats here are so well fed that we have a hard time catching them with something so dull as wet cat food! The traps were set and then it just became a waiting game as we sat and talked to the family, listening and waiting for the distinct sound of the trap doors falling to come from the traps that we had set just out of sight.
After a couple of hours, we had trapped 18 cats. The colony seemed to be a little bit smaller than Andrea suggested, probably closer to 20-25 cats. The plan is to hopefully go out there a little bit earlier today and try to catch the rest of them.
While we were out trapping, the surgery team finished up at the pavilion, packed up all the gear, loaded it onto a flatbed truck and drove it out to Andra’s house, ready to be set up for the next day.
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