Cat Survives Muskrat Trap
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Muskrat trap from Amazon.com
Good morning readers. Today I'd like to tell you the story of Terry, a 5-year old Maine Coon who survived being caught in a muskrat trap.
I've chosen today's topic for two reasons. The first is, Terry's story has a happy ending. I LOVE happy endings. The second reason is to throw a little education at you about trapping.
Now for the story of Terry the cat. For those of you who would like the complete story and a photo please click here (new window).
Terry is the son of a feral and was adopted by Fran Spangle of Lititz, Pennsylvania. He was one of five kittens and the only one Fran didn't adopt out. The mother had her litter in the garage at her Pennsylvania home. Fran and Terry are best friends. Fran allows him to roam about in the great outdoors because she believes that's what cats are supposed to do.
The problem began three weeks ago when Terry failed to return home after a day of hunting. Fran knew something had happened to her cat. Terry was the type of cat who was constantly with her when he was at home. He'd even watch her make the bed and brush her teeth.
He'd been gone for 17 days when on Friday, December 3, one of Fran's students heard a cat crying in the darkness one night. When the student was unsuccessful at finding Terry, Fran's husband dressed in some old clothes and went on a cat hunt along a nearby creek.
It was here he found Terry, caught in an old muskrat trap. He was malnourished, dehydrated, and close to death. The best they can figure was he'd been caught in the trap for 17 days. If not for some tangled shrubbery he'd have made it home, trap and all. But it got tangled up along the way and left him-well-trapped.
Terry lost a front leg, but Fran is very thankful her cat is alive.
Like it or not, there are people who consider this a sport. Other's earn a living from trapping. Early American and Canadian settlers, along with American Indians, hunted muskrats for their pelts. I live in the United States and trapping here goes back to the first days of this country where Indians and Europeans traded fur.
However, those traps were more humane and resembled the traps used to catch ferals for TNR. The spring traps are dangerous and inhumane. They promote suffering. I don't believe in trapping. I would love to see the old spring loaded traps outlawed. They're a danger to pets. They're a danger to kids and to adults because usually they're covered with leaves to hide them. You don't know one has snapped onto your foot until you're screaming in agony!
I did a little research into cat's being caught in traps such as this and usually the cat doesn't survive. It isn't found in time and dies of starvation/dehydration or the trap shuts in such a way the cat bleeds to death.
Please be careful where you let your cats roam. Be careful where you walk when you have to play hide and seek to find your cat. These traps are by law supposed to be checked at least once every 24 hours. Being the law to check traps and this being done are two different things. There's no way of knowing how many old traps are still out in the woods waiting for your cat. Traps that haven't been checked in months-if not YEARS!
Trappers usually don't do anything to encourage a cat to investigate. They'll be the first to tell you not to use cat or dog food when baiting the trap. It's usually a case of the cat being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Still, it's very irresponsible for a trapper to abandon a live trap. They're very inexpensive so it's not a big loss financially.
Unless you're a cat who get's hurt in one. Then someone is going to have a whopper of a vet bill.
As was the case with Terry. Fran just hopes Terry will recover emotionally from his ordeal. His stitches come out on Monday. But the experience has changed him. He's jumping at sudden noises and hiding when people come to visit. Fran just wants his personality to return to normal. Right now she's just glad he's alive.
Have any of you come across old traps when out hiking or exploring?