Thanks to everyone who offered well-wishing for Wednesday's trapping session...it ended up going just as smoothly as the first session, even though it started raining just as I was getting ready to set the traps. Woot!
Getting the first kitty this time felt kind of like cheating because it was Dominique (who decided a while back of her own accord to start hanging around with the local primates and even occasionally gracing us with purrs and head-butts). I think she picked up on the fact that something was going on, though, because usually she runs right up to me when she sees me and this time she sort of hung back and eyed me warily.
Still, she walked right into the trap as I sat next to it, just like her mom, Blue, had on Monday. Of course I don't know this for sure, not being privy to her (or any cat's) innermost mental processes, but it looked to me like she KNEW she'd get stuck if she walked into the trap but ultimately decided the sardines were worth it!
(Whole Foods, while colloquially called "Whole Paycheck" in these parts for reasons obvious to any non-millionaire who visits the store, actually carries a surprisingly inexpensive line of canned cat foods. The "Sardines in Jelly" variety is probably going to be my go-to trapping bait of choice from now on, because ye gads, the kitties go utterly batty for it. After trapping I put the rest of the can out on a paper plate for the other colony cats to finish off and I swear it was like sharks at a feeding frenzy!)
Kitty #2 (who has since been named Mimi) was by necessity trapped in the more traditional "bait trap, set trap, walk away, and watch from a distance" manner. She (and we only found out she was a "she" when we brought her to the clinic) was a very shy but thoroughly scrappy little girl kitten. She's solid black and a bit smaller than Dominique -- probably three or four months old. I'd been seeing her occasionally for about a month, and always alone, which is pretty weird. Usually feral kittens initially show up with their mothers to eat, but I have no idea who Mimi's mom is, or if she has any siblings. She looks very healthy and not emaciated or anything so it's doubtful she was orphaned; more likely she's just got a very wary and secretive mom, and possibly littermates even more shy than she is. But in any case, she doesn't need to worry about becoming a "teenage mother" now.
Anyway, both Mimi and Dominique came through their spay surgeries just fine, and have now rejoined their companions and family outside. Stay tuned for further updates of next week's sessions -- we're repeating the same routine next week -- and (hopefully) pictures!