Calico mom and her little gangsters

We might be giving up trade secrets here, but if you need something done right, ask the bartender. Yesterday, as I prepped for a 4 AM up and back trip to Lake Tahoe, Mama Su’s survival instincts kicked in—“We need you alive”—and called Joey Phipps to help with 9-hour round trip drive. Already one Red Bull in at 4 AM, Joey’s made guy response—“On my way…”—made me nod with pride, and by 5 AM we were rolling north to prep for a conference my day job was hosting in the fall.
With Joey at the wheel of the F150, I woke from a nap just north of Sacramento and responded a post about kittens in a Fresno storm drain in which calls to the City and the Fire Department had come up short. Tagged repeatedly, I messaged poster Leierin Carney we’d have a look later that night and briefed Joey on the grim situation. “You believe this sh%t?” He shrugged like I told him we needed gas with 200 miles to empty and focused on keeping Mama Su happy.
After touring better convention space than we can afford and scarfing down a bougie lunch at the Lake Tahoe Beach Club, we ran a sunshine/hail/sunshine gauntlet home and startled Mama Su by skidding into the driveway at House Kirkland 7:30 PM. Splitting up, Joey and I agreed to meet at the storm drain by 8 PM and onsite, discovered Leierin had pulled the heavy storm drain cover but stalled out from there. We agreed to excavate the drain—trash and dirt clogging the entrance—and that we needed small traps given the space constraints. Joey grabbed a spade from his truck—you don’t have a spade in your truck?—and I made the quick run home for a couple of small traps.
After setting the traps, Joey and I let the Pro Plan salmon and tuna pate do its thing and headed home and to work, respectively. First thing this morning, Joey texted that he’d caught the mom and a little one, but I made the boneheaded decision to release them with the others still at large. It was a mistake, I’ll own it, and after Joey trapped the other three little ones a couple of hours later, I was kicking myself for the release. Turns out my self-flagellation was premature. By the time, Joey started his next bartending shift at Club One Casino, he had snagged the last little one and only the mom remained at large.
Cruising by the location on my way to work, I was shocked to find the mom, a gorgeous long-haired calico, thrashing in the last trap we’d set. I texted Leierin—“Got everyone.”—and headed to our facility to reunite Mom with her little ones at our overflow location. Mom and her little gangsters are now safe and comfy in a jumbo kennel with unlimited food and water, and we’re rich with the smug satisfaction that with a little initiative and two cans of Pro Plan pate we’d managed to do what a City and Fire Department with a billion-dollar budget can’t seem to do for its taxpaying citizenry. Calico mom and her little gangsters.
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