Entry: I. am. exhausted. Monday, December 15, 2008

OK, it's the holiday season, gifts to buy (& make!), tasty treats to bake, and all that crap.  I usually enjoy most of it, but to be honest I am a 4th quarter player, and perform best that way.  I was that way at work too, lax til the end, then final hard push and get things finished brilliantly.

This year in addition to the holidays, we've been adopted by a feral cat.   Remember the impossible-to-trap orange kitty?  We trapped him!  It took a 'drop trap', and some bungling around like 2 of the 3 Stooges(neither smart enough to be Moe), but we did it.  A drop trap is exactly what it sounds like, a box like contraption propped up by a stick with a string.  Put food under it,  kitty goes to eat, pull the string, simple right?  Then you manuever the kity into a traditional trap via a sliding door. That part-not so simple, be we did it!

Anyway, brought Randy to the vet for exam and neutering.  I also had a full blood workup done on him.  Turns out he has FIV(kitty aids), and a mild positive for feline leukemia.  Sigh.

First off, Dr. Senk from the Long Island Cat Project is amazing.  I had a list of things I wanted her to address.  She called me to let me know of his test results.  Feral cats who test positive are usually euthanized, so putting him back out was not an option.  So I asked if I could keep him in, but isolated from the housecats.  I was pretty surprised when she said yes, absolutely.  As long as he has a good appetite he deserved a chance, just wash your hands after being with him.  So we're giving him that chance.

Let me tell you he got the royal treatment.  Neuter, 4 teeth pulled and his teeth cleaned, a cut on his tail sutured, a lump in his mouth got a cortisone shot, wormed, flea treatment, a bath and grooming!  The world needs more people like Dr. Senk and her staff.  She went down the entire list of items with me, and sent him home with medicine and a special diet for his diarrhea.

I brough him home in a small cat carrier and put it in a metal cage-like dog crate, with a dark sheet over it.  Just like this. We weren't sure if he'd freak out being inside.   I waited a couple hours to open the carrier and feed him.  When he came right out of the carrier and gobbled up his dinner, I cried!  He had a good long drink of water too.  He was still pretty subdued after his big ordeal, but I felt better, that's for sure.

He used the litter box without even being shown!  He's not freaking out, but understandably he's scared.  This being a spoiled housecat thing is new to him.  After eating he retreats into the carrier.  But he's not cowering, just cautious.

Since he had teeth pulled on Thursday, I waited to put out his dry food until Saturday and he gobbled that up too!  He gets dry kitten food, as much as he wants,  to fatten him up.  He only weighed 6.1 lbs.  I knew he was skinny, but that was a little shocking.  He's got a good winter coat which disguised his skinniness.

His blood work came back from the lab and he's also in the beginning stages of kidney failure, not uncommon in older cats.  He drinks and pees a lot.  But we're addressing that with good quality gluten free cat food.  All foods you can get at the pet food store, I found a lot of info on the internet.  Checking labels for ingredients shows which flavors of Fancy Feast, Friskies, or whatever are gluten free.  Easy.

So we're working on resolving his tummy issues, putting some weight on him, arresting his kidney problems, and socializing a full grown feral cat!  Easy peasy, right?

So I woke up this morning and discovered I was down to my last pair of clean underwear.  And I only got lucky with that because it was buried under some camisoles. Time to do laundry...


December 22, 2008   01:35 AM PST
Oh my, that was a lot of work, and probably a lot of money too! I am so glad this kitty is given a second chance in spite of its feline HIV. I hate unnecessary deaths.

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