Around the time of my post about her, she somehow escaped the barn. I'd been keeping it closed up as best I could, but she managed to slip out at some point.
I put food out for her for days following her disappearance and left the barn door cracked. Curiously, the dry food would be eaten, but the wet food remained untouched. She'd been gobbling the wet food down in short order in the weeks before she disappeared! Additionally, I saw no tracks in the snow around the barn other than some birds and mice.
When the weather became inclement, I moved the dry food inside inside the cracked door, hoping that she'd be encouraged to shelter in there. (I'd given up on wet food at this point.) I even went to the effort of carefully raking some snow around the area where the bowl was so I could see tracks of whatever was eating it. Still no cat tracks, only a few passing mouse tracks, which were admittedly hard to see due to their size, the lack of weight to create the track, and the type of snow.
After a week and a half of trying to discover if Nymeria was still in the area, I borrowed a trail cam from a friend to at least find out what was eating the dry cat food each night. (Yes, only at night despite it being out all day!)
|Adding food to the bowl to bait the mystery creature.|
|I knew the camera was snapping away, so I couldn't resist being a goon|
|Do you see the culprit?|
|Because I was honestly a bit shocked.|
|Of-fucking-course it was MICE eating the cat food!|
|The very thing I got a cat to help prevent...|
|I hate them so much.|
I'm really not sure what more I could have done to encourage Nymera to stick around. Almost one month in the tack room exclusively with all the warmth and comfort and food and water she could want followed by around two weeks in the tack room/barn with food/water before she up and left. Oh well. At least she's spayed? I guess I'll try again with a domestic cat instead of a feral cat next time...