Well, this little guy really made us get creative – three different types of traps before we FINALLY caught him just the week before Christmas. The very kind couple who have been diligently trying to entice him to their patio and into their home christened him “Bennair” - chic for “Bent Ear” but we gave him the middle name of “Houdini”.

Laurie and Rock asked PAF for help back in the Fall to get a plan together about how we were going to help this little black and white cat with a 'bent ear', likely ear mites.

The little cat was first noticed several years ago in lower North Vancouver living under an old building. He was more feral than friendly, but a tenant fed him daily. When the building was finally abandoned ahead of renovation, the tenant moved away but Bennair stayed on the property. Construction of a new building began right smack next to this old building and trucks and noise and dust and dirt were constant now. The construction fence even partly circled the old building so, although Bennair was 'safe' behind the construction fence which he could crawl under, it was a dangerous place to be for a little cat.

On the daily walk around his neighbourhood, Rock noticed the little cat in all the commotion and started to leave food at the edge of the fence for him. Soon Bennair was waiting for him every day. Rock and Laurie lived half a block away on the ground floor of a townhouse in a nice enclave of homes and Rock was soon moving Bennair's food dishes daily, a few feet down the lane closer to his place. Bennair started to come out from behind the fence to eat at the dishes. This little exercise went on for weeks. Every night when construction stopped and the workers went home, Rock walked down to call Bennair and Bennair would come out from under the fence and walk up to meet him in the lane and eat dinner. He actually started following Rock after dinner and would 'walk him home'. It was a happy day when Laurie emailed me to say that “Bennair was on the patio waiting for his dinner” one night and Rock didn't have to go get him. Rock could touch him but he couldn't pick him up. The quandary was how to catch Bennair and get him to the vet for a 'clean up' because Rock and Laurie would love it if he decided he wanted to come inside their townhouse.

Well, getting caught was NOT on Bennair's agenda ! No way, no how ! Didn't matter how we disguised the wire trap or what bait we used – tuna fish, catnip, salmon . . he avoided it and often would take off without dinner.

Plan B - so, we next tried a large wooden box with a floor trigger that we borrowed from VOKRA. It doesn't look like a trap and some cats are fooled by it. No way, no how with that one too.

Plan C – was the drop trap ! PAF had one made years ago and it's 4' x 4' and covered in netting. It's propped up with a stick, food is placed underneath and, when the cat is happily munching away under the propped up trap, the string attached to the prop stick is yanked. The cat is now trapped in the space and you cover the trap with a blanket to calm the cat. Then you line up a wire box trap against a sliding door in the drop trap and the cat usually makes a beeline for what it thinks is an exit. Drop the trap door and you have the cat ! Simple huh? No way, no how with Bennair !

We set it up and Rock pulled the string. Bennair was caught but . . . . he vanished right through the netting ! Turns out, when the trap was stored, some little mice teeth decided to chew on the netting and made a few tiny rips in it. Bennair exploited those rips ! The wonderful fellows (Greg and Joe) at Redden Net in Surrey did an emergency patch job on the netting on Dec. 15th and we set up again for Bennair on Sunday night, Dec. 17th. YES !!! SUCCESS !!! Off to the vet for care and return two days later to his patio home – a box of straw with a warm microwave disk under Laurie and Rock's patio table. Dinner served by the front door and an open invitation to come inside where it's nice and warm – tv and fireplace time guaranteed . . . if Bennair makes the decision !

See Bennair photos here