02 April 2008
The Rescue Story continues--(was NOT an April Fool Story)
Happy News! My veterinarian tested our rescue kitty for both FLV and FIV (Leukemia and feline Aids) and he was negative on both counts. So I've brought him home to feed him up and work on getting his coat unmatted, and we expect to be able to get him vaccinated and neutered within a few weeks, as soon as he's strong enough to stand the anaesthetic and innoculations. He's about a year old and will probably be a big handsome kitty when he's fed up--he's part Maine Coon, apparently, and he's definitely a sweetie. The rest of the catchildren are still pouting, but they'll handle it. Thank you to all of you for your good thoughts and support. We don't know his name yet but I expect he'll let us know in the next week or so. We'll keep you posted on his improvements.
Yesterday afternoon my Longsuffering Spouse burst into the house, calling for me to come and get my boots on and come out to the barn. I thought that Leggo had gotten into trouble, or Jenny had tried to teleport to Mars, or something equally upsetting. But no. Look what we found in a little nest of hay under the ladder to the haymow.
I'm always suspicious of cats outside, because they're usually wild as hawks. But when we spoke to this little fellow, he spoke back and came right out from underneath the ladder. LSS picked him up.
"oh good god almighty honey....he's starving. He's nothing but bones! Get him something to eat!" His voice trembled in rage and grief.
My LSS is a retired lobster fisherman, as I've said before. He can pick up a 250 pound lobster trap (they have to ballast them up here because of the tide) and toss it like a stone. He manhandles huge chunks of logs onto the woodsplitter, and while he's a bit heavy, he has muscles in places a lot of us don't even have places. I call him my chunk of North Mountain granite--solid, strong, steadfast.
He's also a complete mushball, where cats are concerned. We went through this a few years ago, when he came home with a little cat who looked amazingly like this one, only a grey tabby rather than brown. She was starving at a house down in the Bay, a castoff from somewhere, and the homeowner wouldn't feed her. So LSS bundled her in the truck, brought her home, handed her to me and said, tears in his eyes and voice choked up, "I couldn't leave her there to starve, darling..." Well, of course not!
Currently, the stranger is in seclusion in the kitty isolation ward. He's eaten and drunk, let me brush him and determine that he IS a male--a complete one, but very immature--and let me tangle some of the burdocks and hay and hairballs out of his fluffy coat. His tail is enormous in size, fluffy as all get out, and it and his head are the biggest things on him. The rest of him is just bones, hair...
...and purr. And talk! He's another talker. I just spent an hour with him snuggling him down. In the morning, I'll take him to our vet to be tested for feline leukemia and if he's negative, we'll get his boosters and set a date for neutering, and he'll be integrated into the family. If he's positive...but I'm hopeful that he's negative. I think he's young enough that he could still be carrying immunity from his mother. Other than being desperately thin, he appears healthy; strong gums and teeth, bright eyes, no discharges, no sign of fleas.
But what set me into rage was when he went to the litter box, and did his business. Not to be gross, but what he put in the box was full of...bird seed. Not bird feathers, bones, or anything like that. Bird SEED. He must have been eating what was on the ground outside under the main feeder. And he's so friendly...he isn't a kitten that's always been wild. He was someone's pet, til someone got tired of him.
Meanwhile, the rest of the catchildren are doing the eggshell walk, tiptoeing up to the door to look into the ward at the stranger, and a couple of them have made noises that sound like a cross between a vacuum cleaner and a fire siren. Spunky came in here, jumped up on the desk and lay down on my bluetooth keyboard, frowning at me, while others have been racing around the house acting like they'd seen ghosts. But they'll get over it. And hopefully in a day or two they'll all be racing around the house together.
Somebody tell me there IS kitty karma out there, and that the person who jettisoned this little fellow will face retribution. There MUST be kitty karma...the little guy did know where to go.
So it might not be a kitten. But like my buddy and enabler Kylee...and Yolanda...and any other who wouldn't turn away a starving creature...what else could I do?