A few days ago I bought collars with little bells on them for all the kittens. I put the first one on Roo, and it was a disaster! Her eyes went round and she went bucking like a wild bronc all the way across the patio. She tried to claw and scrape and bite the bell off. Then the other kittens joined in the chase and they went careening off into the dense jungle underbrush of the front yard. There was no way I could follow them there, but eventually she bucked her way out of the thicket and I grabbed her and tugged the collar off. Luckily, I had insisted on easy release collars, fearing that they’d get caught up in a tree branch or vine, so it was easy to free her.
It was not so easy to cut the bells off all the collars. It took heavy metal cutters and even at that, I had to twist and twist to get the little bells off, actually cutting them off their soldered link and then had the fun of cutting the sharp metal pieces off the loop still attached to the collar. I’d ordered tags with my phone number to attach to the collars–my guarantee that no one would think they were feral cats once they inevitably climb up the bougainvillea vines and make their way out onto the street side of the wall. I was to pick the tags up a few days later, and since the man who did the engraving insisted I put “recompensa” (reward) on the other side of the tag, I could visualize neighborhood children ringing my doorbell daily, kittens in arms. Ah well. What was a few pesos bribe, anyway? It was a bit like the insurance given to neighborhood thugs in the barrios of NYC in bygone days, and perhaps in the present. At any rate, I eventually got bell-less collars on all of the cats except for Roo, who to this day is a collar virgin. Within minutes, however, the opened collars lay scattered like breadcrumbs across the terrace. Only Frannie retained her collar. I gave up on the rest for the time being.
(Click on first photo to enlarge all.)
Ollie will stand in as spokesmodel for all the rest. Needless to say, he hated his collar with or without a bell. The bells, here seen isolated from their collars, will no doubt be welcome toys if not welcome jewelry for the cats.