See Part 1 here.
Okay, so, I bought a giant, clear storage tote and took it back to the office so MacGyver could cut a hole in one end. I figured I'd give that to the woman as Step 1, to find out if the cat would enter an enclosed space. And I Youtubed the subject, to try and get a better idea of the actual mechanics of cat trapping. There were a wealth of videos on "how to build a live animal trap", most of which involved construction similar to a Havahart. No good. Then I found a video of this dude from Serbia, who had build a very simple trap to catch weasels, of all things. His trap was built out of wire mesh, which would not work for the wary cat in question, but the actual set-up was very do-able, with just plywood scraps and some wire comprising the basis of the "trap" part.
I took another look at the plastic storage bin I had purchased. "I wonder," I asked MacGyver, "If we could just build the trap out of THIS?"
We were on our way.
MacGyver cut a hole in one end of the tote, and built a sliding drop-down door. A piece of plywood was zip-tied on one side onto the bottom of the tote. A piece of rebar wire was connected to the plywood and angled up the side of the tote, where it was placed through a hole in the door frame. The plywood door was placed vertically in the frame and set against the wire, which was pulled up to make the plywood on the floor angle up. The weight from the door kept the wire in place, but when a cat entered the tub and stepped on the angled plywood on the floor, it would pop the wire out of the door frame and enable the door to drop down. The top of the tote was zip-tied on, and airholes were drilled along the sides.
The finished product:
I covered the plywood on the floor with a piece of blanket to disguise it. I placed bowls of food at the back of the tote, past the angled plywood that would trigger the door. Now the big test - Would it actually WORK?
Oh, Sodapop, come here a minute ...
Hmmm, Sodapop said, what's THIS thing? (you can see the wire to the right of Soda, angled up from the plywood on the floor to the hole in the door frame.)
Oh look, there's FOOD back here!
Sorry, Sodapop, you've been TRAPPED!
Okay, so, the trap worked on *my* cats. Would it work on stray cats?
The woman decided to try the trap first on not the wily Walmart cat, but on a mama cat with kittens she'd also been trying unsuccessfully to trap. It was very important that the kittens be brought into care as soon as possible, before they became too old to be socialized.
Sunday morning, the trap was set. On Sunday afternoon, I got a call ...
She'd trapped the mama and kittens! They were now safely in rescue care!
Next stop: Wily Walmart mama. I'll keep you posted.
The "this-is-not-a-cat-trap-this-is-just-a-feeding-station-come-and-get-your-dinner-little-kitty" feral cat trap is a success!
Next stop: Shark Tank. hahaha.