As I write this, I’m being treated to the midnight sounds of outdoor kitty interactions—none of them good, you can be sure of that. The crescendo of screeches typically indicates that one of only two things is in process: fighting or mating (two non-mutually exclusive activities in the feline world, I’m afraid).

I got to thinking about my burgeoning neighborhood population of strays earlier in the evening, which is why I’m sitting out here quietly observing my Have-A-Heart trap bask idly in the moonlight, ready to spring shut should anyone venture into its gaping maw.

But nothing’s happening. Perhaps it’s true that a watched trap never slams shut—not without an unsuspecting opossum inside instead of your intended quarry.

Tonight I’m betting on the big black and white tom who’s recently taken the place of the last black and white tom I trapped last month (brothers, perhaps?). Unfortunately, the last guy was both FeLV and FIV positive, a dual designation which earned him a sad farewell (the severe stomatitis and multiple abscesses on his head and neck didn’t help his case any).

Though others may counter that life as a feral cat isn’t necessarily so rough as some may paint it, my suburban strays have almost never failed to get trapped without some major sickness in the works. Perhaps I’m just culling the weak. Who knows?

However, I am sure that my work is doing some good…no dead strays have been spotted by the roadside in a couple of weeks. That’s got to mean I’m making headway, right?