The saga of a cat wandering around for more than two weeks with a bird feeder (later discovered to be a bug trap) stuck on his head, and the effort to trap and save him, has finally come to a happy conclusion. After an intensive and drama filled rescue effort, Butterscotch was discovered in a trap Saturday morning.
The Brandon, Manitoba stray, named Butterscotch by the woman who got the ball rolling on the rescue effort, was first spotted with the cumbersome, brightly colored plastic trap on his head on July 23. The woman contacted Animal Control and BALA (Brandon Area Lost Animals) about Butterscotch and his plight, and the effort began. A group of volunteers set and checked traps, and local residents reported sightings.
Rescue volunteers were concerned that Butterscotch might not be able to eat or drink, so there was a sense of urgency to the effort. Well-meaning residents were asked not to approach Butterscotch because that might scare the skittish cat away from the traps, but to let rescuers know of any developments.
Rescue volunteers were relieved to learn that Butterscotch was able to eat and drink, but that good news also complicated the rescue, as he’d been less hungry and willing to enter a trap.
Adding to the drama of the rescue effort, a neighbor known for unnervingly unfriendly behavior set out to sabotage the rescue, creating a situation BALA’s Toni Gramiak calls “beyond bizarre.”
The man is thought to have interfered with traps, and used loud noises and glaring lights to try to keep Butterscotch away from the traps.
“He started blatantly sabotaging right in front of me,” Toni told a reporter. “We’ve had to start (tracking) from scratch.”
The Winnipeg Free Press story, To Catch a Cat: Inside the bizarre search for Brandon’s Butterscotch details the rescuers’ and local residents’ run-ins with the saboteur and gives an account of rescue efforts on the eve of Butterscotch’s capture.
BALA shared the great news that Butterscotch had been captured and was in good condition at Facebook on August 10, writing:
On the 18th day of efforts to capture the elusive Houdini, Butterscotch entered “King’s Trap” in the early morning hours. The TruCatch trap was disguised with twigs & grass, baited with tuna, cat food & cat nip…our boy walked right in and the door closed behind him. Game over.
Animal Control Officers Brent & Neil transported him to Grand Valley Animal Clinic. Assessed & put under sedation, the bug catcher was removed & he was neutered compliments of Dr. Jennifer Beckwith:)
Butterscotch was not emaciated or dehydrated. No tattoo or microchip.
Funds for Furry Friends Animal Rescue covered the cost of additional vetting. He’s tested negative for feline leukemia & feline aids. He was vaccinated for rabies, distemper & leukemia. Treated for worms, fleas & mites.
Butterscotch will be held for 72 hours to be claimed by owners. Proof of ownership will be required.
If not the long lost cherished pet of a loving family, he will be taken into rescue by Funds for Furry Friends, placed in a foster home & available for adoption.
Our list of people to thank is long. People in our community went above & beyond for this unfortunate kitty. It all started with Colleen, who contacted Animal Control & BALA about the cat she nicknamed “Butterscotch”
Huge thanks to the team of volunteers who dedicated countless hours to keep Butterscotch safe. Sandy, JoAnn, Linda & Laurie often put their lives on hold to help our ginger boy. Thank you to trap watchers/spotters Maria, Jill, Deanna, Tracey & Susan (who also kindly donated an additional trap!) Thank you Jennifer & family, Brian, Kathleen, Jared & Midnight:)
The area residents were extremely supportive. Every sighting reported & information provided helped us to help Butterscotch, knowing his routine, schedule & routes.
Thank you, of course, to Brandon Animal Control Officers Kelly, Brent & Neil. These fine gentleman even dedicated time after hours & on their day off to the search & capture efforts.
Thank you Brandon City Police Officers for your assistance & support. Who would have thought police would need to be called so often when catching a cat! If only people knew what we were all dealing with. It wasn’t just about catching a cat. If it were, Butterscotch would have been captured quickly in the first days of these efforts.
Many of the strategies & techniques for capture of an elusive animals were learned from Elizabeth Oliver, Lost Pet Consultant.
Our list of people to thank is long.
18 days to capture a cat was…ridiculous.
The challenges & threats we faced were “beyond bizzare”.
The nightmare (yes, nightmare) is over.
We are relieved & exhausted.
Butterscotch is recovering & resting well. His life of luxury started on August 9, 2014.
Butterscotch spent the day at Grand Valley Animal Clinic. Initial assessment is that he’s in good shape, considering.