Latte did not react well to the vet. :(
Indeed, the vet (Andrew, a truly lovely man) suspects Latte may have been stray for an awfully long time, based on his behaviour. My own experience with Latte is very different, however, so I’m honestly not sure what to make of him.
He was fine in the crate, as before. Needed only a few biscuits sprinkled inside to encourage him to get into it. He chatted with me, but showed no sign of distress.
We went in, waited for Andrew to join us, and as soon as Andrew looked inside, all hell broke loose! He absolutely would NOT come out the gate, until Andrew started to disassemble the crate to remove the lid, then he came flying out the door and tore up the clinic! Scaled walls, upset window blinds until they came popping out of their runners, scurried along counter tops, hid behind the computer terminal, huddled under a seat. Latte was terrified!
Andrew left the room to fetch a pole with a noose on the end that animal catchers use, but as soon as he was gone I crouched down and opened the crate for him, and Latte belly-crawled right inside again.
I can understand why Andrew thinks Latte could be a stray-turning-feral, based only on this encounter, but I experience a completely different cat. A cat I started to believe must belong to someone because of his affection and calm in the face of cages and crates. The truth probably lies somewhere between these facts.
So, Andrew had to sedate Latte to properly examine the infection site around the abscess – and his paw, since he tore out one of his claws in his distress. :(
Andrew didn’t trust Latte with the usual tube through the site, suspecting he’d pull it out in no time. He may be correct, but I think he’s selling Latte short, believing him to be more feral than he is. But perhaps my own bias is clouding my judgement too. Maybe he really is only this affectionate and smoochy boy with me because I feed him.
Cats are the ultimate fair-weather friends, after all. :)
The examination and treatment cost $174. (Thanks so very much to Michele for donating $70 toward this bill. You’re wonderful. <3 )
(I also needed to buy a cat carrier, as the one I owned is only one cat away from collapsing on itself. It seemed fair and reasonable to contact the Hobart Cat Centre, since I still had their crate from transporting Latte back to me, and offer to buy it. Easy fix. $25)
(Sorry, crappy pics taken in crappy light with a crappy camera phone!)
Since Latte returned from the vet, clearly feeling so much better with a dose of antibiotics helping him fight off infection, he’s become so very, very smoochy whenever I visit him in quarantine – possibly because I bring food with me for every visit (helps me get him back into the cage with a handful of biscuits into his bowl).
Part of the treatment for this wound, since there’s no tube to help it drain, is to press a warm, wet cloth against the scab a few times a day, using salty water. The idea being to prevent the scab from hardening and trapping infected gunk (I haven’t had coffee yet, that’s as close to a proper medical term as I can manage) inside. You can imagine how unhappy he was about that scenario, and how anxious I was about reaching into his cage with a wad of wet cloth to press it against his flank.
For context, his cage is about 1 metre long, half a metre wide, 2/3 of a metre high. It’s on the floor because I don’t have anything to put underneath it that won’t make it impossible for my short arms to reach to the back and deal with his litter tray. Also, that room is so, so very hot on a warm day, and the closer to the floor he is, the cooler he stays, especially with a little fan going nearby. That room is also my ‘junk room’, and it’s full. Piles of boxes, furniture I can’t get rid of, bags and bags of clothes I really need to get to a charity before the moths get to them. I had to play a bit of tetris just to make room for the cage on the floor, and still have room enough to open the door to get inside. Sitting or kneeling on the floor in that kind of confined space, with a frightened cat ready to retaliate at any provocation… not ideal!
However, I’m really happy to say that after some experimentation with wet-cloth temperature, and the timing of when and when not to press it against him, Latte is now quite happy to have his scab moistened a few times a day. First attempt was not good. I tried to touch him with the cloth while he was distracted with his dinner. I got growls and he retreated to the back of the cage. Definitely wasn’t going to risk life and limb reaching in after him. Now, I let him out of the cage before feeding, and he rubs and rubs and smooches and rubs some more, against me and everything around me. He loves getting his head scratched, and learned to love a rub down his back and the butt of his tail. And during this smooch-fest, I started pressing the cloth against him, and now he’s fine. As long as it’s sandwiched between affection, he doesn’t care anymore!
After everything he’s been through, Latte is doing really well! I wish he’d gain some weight, however. He’s getting three fishy dinners a day, plus biscuits!
However, returning to the point of this entry, besides yet another Latte Update: Latte has a retained testicle. Not a big deal, provided it doesn’t become malignant, tucked away wherever it is. It can be expensive to fish out, however, costing a bit more than the usual snip and tuck of desexing a male with both testicles exposed.
Given Latte’s owner has yet to be found, and I’ve about given up any hope of finding them, he will be going to Hobart Feline Rescue in about a week and a half. Maybe sooner. They are a couple of volunteers who do great work rescuing and rehabilitating strays, then rehoming them when they’re ready. Unlike the Hobart Cat Centre who is amazing for rehoming pets, or strays who are already close enough to being pets. We’re not sure where Latte falls on this spectrum, but he’s already had a rough time at the HCC, so we’re going to try HFR instead. And they’re saving him a space, so I’m already inclined to like them. :)
But… retained testicle. It’s going to cost them extra to deal with that little problem, and they’ll probably have to raise some funds to take care of it. Given that they’ve made the effort to promise Latte a place in their shelter, I’d really like to give Latte the best possible chance at rehabilitation, and help Hobart Feline Rescue help him find a new home.
Could you help me raise some funds toward having him desexed?
If we could pool together maybe $150/200, I think that could go a long way toward covering his vet treatment in their care. I also hope to send him along with a box of food, and maybe some litter supplies, so I’ll know he’s well looked-after. (I can’t keep him, but it’s going to be hard to let him go – silly me for falling in love with cats so easily!)
I was going to put together a paypal donation button, but I’m working from my tablet and haven’t set up FTP access for all the fiddly back-end stuff. So, if you want to send some money along for Latte, please PayPal it to Admin At Amyty Dot Com, with a note ‘donation for Latte’, or something. (I haven’t done this before!)
If the owner appears, and Latte is safely returned to them, I’ll send all donations back.
Hobart Feline Rescue doesn’t appear to have a homepage, or an obvious donation link, but if you’d rather send the money to them directly, I’m sure they’d be happy to arrange something.
Help Latte get the best chance for his next life: $200!!!!/$200 (updated as necessary – full disclosure)
We did it! We’ve raised $200 toward Latte’s next life! Thank you all so very much for caring about this poor stray cat. You’re wonderful. <3
If, by some miracle, an owner surfaces, all donations will be returned, I promise.