Monday, January 23

New Additions

This past summer I took in 5 barn cats from an inner city  feral colony. They were trapped, vaccinated, fixed and given a clean bill of health, and they were brought here to live out their days hunting mice and occupying the barns. The chipmunk and mole population went way down, which was a good thing since we had a terrible over population of both.

Two of the five cats were definitely feral and did not want to have any human interaction beside the glares and stares they would give me when I came to fill the food bowl. I was ok with this. I knew they came from a rough place and they had not had the best experiences with humans.

The other three were different. They were a little more trusting and it was not long before I could pet two of them, with the third getting more friendly every day. I debated bring those three in the house and making them permanent indoor cats and I kept that thought in my mind all summer, telling myself that I would make a decision when the cold weather came.

Daddy, playing outside before his injury
This past November I was still on the fence about that decision when I went up to the barn to feed them one morning. I noticed that Daddy, the large orange cat, was limping badly on his front right foot. It was very swollen and he was definitely in pain. I called up the vet and set an appointment for that afternoon.

He had been bitten by something, most likely a raccoon, and he had an infection and fever. A round of antibiotics and some miserable cat glances rounded out our trip to the vet and I brought Daddy into the house that day. I set him up in the laundry room where I could keep an eye on him and where he would have peace and quiet.

He improved over the next week and I decided to bring in the other two cats, Grandma and Sonny, as well. Sonny is Daddy's actual son from one of the litters, so I thought some family might speed the healing along.

Within the next couple of days, Daddy developed a terrible respiratory and eye infection and he was back to the vet. He was given medication and a re-check was scheduled for the next week, He did not improve and when taken back to the vet, they discovered abnormalities in his blood and some small tumors forming behind his eyes. He had also lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks which amounted to 20% of his body weight. We made the decision to put Daddy to sleep that day since he was in so much pain and nothing was helping him. That poor cat had been though so much in his life that I could not stand to put him through any more.
He was such a sweet cat and he will be greatly missed, even though he was not with us for very long.

I watched the other two cats very closely for any sign of illness but nothing presented itself. Sonny, who looks much like Daddy, is still the skittish one. He likes to stay in the laundry room except for the very early hours of the morning when he was venture into the kitchen to explore. He is very affectionate, but only in the laundry room.
Sonny, the shy one

Grandma, the new boss of the house

 And then we have Grandma, one of the older colony cats. She was one of the originals, coming to the colony pregnant. We don't know exactly how old she is but she is small for her approximate age of 5. What she lacks in size, she makes up with in personality. She is now the boss of the house. She goes where she wants and does what she wants. She and Murphy, our dog, are now getting along, but it was not without some confrontation in the beginning.

She is a snuggler, on her own terms however. And her facial markings and eye placement give her the look of being constantly angry, even when I am sure she is a very happy lady.

Good at catching mice and fitting right in......

No comments:

Post a Comment