We’ve settled into a routine over Christmas and Boxing Day. He’s mostly left to himself, aside from when I go in to feed him, clean out his litter tray, and wipe down his bed. He used to hiss as soon as I opened the door, but the hissing is becoming less frequent, because everytime I go in there, I arrive with yummy cat food. He’s getting fish dinners three times a day. Spoiled boy! With added water because he doesn’t seem to drink from the water bowl, and it gets awfully hot in that room.
It’s so very not ideal that he’s left in there, but I’m short of other ideas, given what I’ve got to work with. There is actually a shed at the back of my yard, but it’s held together by a few strands of ivy, possibly one nail, and the mighty force of gravity. Also, every cat in the street not currently living in my house has taken up residence in there, keeping my lawn mower company. It’s an awful mess in there from my neglect, not at all watertight, and potentially worse for him than my spare room. I really should knock that building down before it blows off to Kansas with the next big wind.
However, he seems to be dealing with everything like a champion.
He’s only made a feint to bite me once, and it was a nip at my sleeve when I tried to pat down his back. The very next day I found an enormous bloody crater in his flank where a hidden abscess burst, which certainly accounts for any cranky he had about being touched! And probably why he got so hostile with the Hobart Cat Centre vet. Poor thing! He got hissy and growly with me again when I tried to flush the wound, and the worst I got was some cranky vocalisations before he retreated into the rear of his cage. He’s had so many opportunities to show real aggression, or even attack me, but he’s shown zero inclination to be hostile.
Yesterday, I slapped on some sunscreen (but forgot to bring bottled water) and knocked on every door on my street, and the next street over, and slipped my number into any letterbox where someone didn’t answer. I did get one phone call, from someone who couldn’t read my handwriting. No great surprise, only pharmacists can read my scrawl at the best of times, and I was pretty delirious towards the end of that adventure. Alas, no one claims to own him.
This afternoon I shared some details on a lost pets in Tasmania Facebook page. It’s been shared around and hopefully the right person will see it and get in touch. Some people have even been really helpful in suggesting I make contact with an organisation I actually hadn’t heard about – Hobart Feline Rescue – who apparently specialise in catching and rehabilitating strays. Unfortunately, they’re completely full right now, but I had a brief chat with one of the women running the rescue, and she’s promised me she’ll save Latte some space, if I can keep him for another two weeks. Sosososososoooo grateful to Shelley for this!
Two more weeks in my spare room is probably not the end of the world, but I don’t want him to be so confined for too much longer. However, I feel better about everything now there’s a Plan B.
On Tuesday, I’m taking him to the vet and I’m going to get them to do everything they can (that I can afford). I won’t get him neutered because a) if we do find his owner, they may have chosen to keep him intact for a reason and it’s not my place to desex him without his owner’s permission, and b) if he does have a retained testicle, that’s an expense I seriously cannot cover. Finding a retained testicle is a tad complicated, and may require exploratory surgery, which is expensive and would require some hands-on recovery.
Much as I would love to pick up Latte and cuddle him close, tell him he’ll be ok because I won’t let anything else bad happen to him if I can help it… I don’t think he’d appreciate the sentiment, and I may lose an eye for my effort.
But, I’ll see to it he’s scanned for a microchip, checked over for any more concealed wounds, wormed and free of any other parasites (internal and external).
In case it’s not obvious yet, I’m a spineless sap when it comes to animals. I’m so hoping word doesn’t get around all the local strays…