Not sure how many of you remember Stray Black Kitty? You know the one eyed wonder that put me in the hospital overnight with his over exuberant bite? Well, sadly he has gone to kitty heaven. I don’t know whether to feel relieved he’s not suffering or sad that I never got to “tame” him.
Ever since I started feeding him so he wouldn’t starve he’s been coming back every day and most days he comes back twice a day. Sometimes he just hangs out all day. He’d jump up on our glider out back and make himself at home and get down and eat when he was hungry then curl back up on the cushion and take a nap. Occasionally he’d walk over to the back door and cry for several minutes until I’d go out and pet him on the head or rub his head and back and then he’d swat at my leg when I stopped and walked away. Talk about sending mixed signals!
Yesterday morning he came by and we noticed his right ear (same side as his blind eye) was jacked up something fierce. All the fur was gone off of it and it looked like it was raw and possibly starting to get infected. I don’t know what got hold of him but something definitely did. Most likely it was one of the coyotes that has taken up residence on the driving range behind our house. Although it might have been our neighbor who told me last week that he “took another shot at that black cat but missed him”. Maybe this time he didn’t miss.
I fed him in the morning and later I went out to try to pour some colloidal silver on it since I was NOT going to attempt to pick him up and clean it off. I didn’t want to end up back in the hospital again! I tried to pour quite a bit on there and then later Hellboy came around the corner and I tried to get him in the house but the black kitty ran after him. I tried to intervene so I could lead Hellboy around front and into the safety of the house but the black kitty was too quick and he jumped on Hellboy and they started rolling around on the ground fussing and then Hellboy ran off into the empty lot next door and promptly climbed about 20 feet up a scraggly pine tree. There was no way he was coming down. Then Chorizo (who was on the leash) ran over and jumped on the black kitty for jumping on Hellboy so then the black kitty ran into the same empty lot and climbed another scraggly pine that was about ten feet away from the one Hellboy was in so they were both about twenty feet up their own scraggly pines yowling at each other and hissing and spitting and I couldn’t get either of them down and wasn’t about to try to climb either tree!
I went out about 20 minutes later and they were still having their kitty standoff from their respective trees so I just left them there. I guess it was fine because I had errands to run and when I came home a few hours later they were both out of their trees.
This morning bright and early stray black kitty was back, crying at the back door and when I went out to feed him I noticed the ear looked worse than yesterday and it looked like there was a hole almost all the way through it and it was really swollen. He rubbed against me like he just wanted someone to love him so I petted his head and scratched the back of his neck and then came inside. Hubby looked through the slats of the blinds and commented that he thought it looked worse too and asked if I thought I should take him to the vet and I kind of scoffed and said “And whose gonna catch him ‘cuz I’m not gonna try!”
Next thing I know he’s out there with another cup of cat food and then he comes back in and told me to look out and he had somehow coaxed him into the cat carrier and gotten the door closed without getting himself scratched. I checked to find out where the mobile vet was going to be today and found out he was in the next town over (about 20 or 30 miles away). I needed to take Chorizo anyway to get his tooth he broke off checked and the bump from his tick bite checked.
Hubby and I talked about it and decided that if black kitty was going to be hanging around we needed to make sure he was taken care of and not a danger to our kitties. We decided we’d take him and get his ear taken care and get him all of his shots and get him neutered and maybe that would calm him down some. Hubby went to take care of stuff at the restaurant and I made the trek to Carrollton to get Chorizo and black kitty taken care of.
I explained to the assistant that it was a feral cat and that his temperament wasn’t that great. I explained he was aggressive and that he had bitten me back in December. The vet came out and explained that if he was sick and had an infection from whatever was going on with his ear that he would not be able to vaccinate him or do the surgery and then he asked if he’d ever been checked for Feline Leukemia or FIV (Feline AIDS). I told him I was pretty sure he hadn’t so he explained how if he DID have either of those he was a health risk for our animals.
We talked it and weighed the pros and cons. The vet explained that he was probably aggressive because of being blind in one eye. Thinking about it now… that’s probably why he got attacked from that side and he probably never even saw the other animal coming until it attacked him. So, anyway, we decided that first he’d have to sedate the cat so that they COULD check him out. Then depending on what they found they’d either treat him or put him down.
If he checked out okay he would give him his shots and neuter him and I’d be able to go back and pick him up tonight. If there was a problem he’d call. Unfortunately his assistant called a couple of hours later and said that he’d tested positive for FIV which meant he’d be a health risk for all our animals. The vet said the cards were just kind of stacked against him and it was like a ticking time bomb. So, hubby and I did the only thing we felt humane and had them put him down.
Even though he wasn’t my cat I feel a little guilty and responsible. I know it’s not my fault he had FIV and as hubby pointed out, I guess we made his last few months much more tolerable. He had plenty of food and water and I’d go out and pet him and talk to him despite the fact that he attacked me and put me in the hospital overnight which cost me about $1,000 out of pocket. Thinking back on that, I guess that’s one reason the bite got so infected so fast and why it took so long to heal. Makes sense. I guess that’s also why he was wheezing so bad back in January. He really was sick… not just a cold or something.
So RIP stray black kitty. I’m sorry I couldn’t make you healthy and extend your life any further. I will miss you calling for me at the back door every morning and your friendly (maybe?) swats at my legs when I’d stop petting you. At least you’re not fending for yourself anymore or having to fight off the coyotes.