Most of these cats are rescued ferals from the groups living in my yard or the neighborhood block. Some live with us inside - the elderly ones who need more attention and medication. The rest have their own house with a screen porch for warm weather (we cover it with plastic in cold seasons) and a nice snuggly indoor area for winter.There are 19 of us cats so scroll down to make sure you meet them all. We have black cats, black tortoiseshell, gray tabbies, brown tabbies, tuxedo blue, and all white cats! Some are more tame than others but they all have a safe forever home with us.
This was our post when Blogger went AWOL those two days last week. It showed up in our drafts this week so we figured we would go ahead and post it.
Thomas (formerly known as Wooly) is the office cat at a vet I lived near and has quite a story to tell. Sorry the pics are blurry - a friend took them with her cell phone for me. Let's get to his story.....
It was late winter of 2005 and I kept noticing drops of blood here and there in the snow out near the feral cat shelter. I was worried one of mine has gotten into fight and needed medical help. All of mine were accounted for but still the drops of blood kept appearing in the snow.
Finally I saw the injured cat - a large gray long haired Main Coon like cat was walking slowly through the yard, dragging his left front paw. The blood was coming from cuts on the top part of his paw which was now face down and making contact with the ground as he walked. He couldn't seem to lift it. I called to him but he stayed his distance. I put food out and set a humane trap to see if I could entice him in and take him to the vet. I would find the trap set but no cat inside. He kept coming by for food but because of his paw, he was not able to go in the trap without setting it before he was all the way in. I didn't see him every day but when I did his paw looked the same.
Seeing him suffering like this was very upsetting.. I contacted the neighbors. No one knew who he was or where he came from. I began to call him Wooly because of his massive thick fur. Another neighbor joined me in trying to capture him but he disappeared before we were able to get him safely to a vet. We looked for him, left food out but no sign of Wooly. Peel and I were saddened to think some wild animal or dog must have gotten him in his weakened condition.
Late winter turned to spring and Peel phoned me,excitedly, to tell me to come with her to the vet who had his office in our neighborhood one street over. We walked in and who do we see but Wooly, alive and well and with his damaged front leg removed! It seems that he moved on to another street and someone was able to make friends with him enough to catch him. Once at the vet, he was examined and tested for the viruses. His test came back positive for Feline Leukemia. The rescuer told the vet John to put him down, not wanting to take on a sickly cat, I guess.
Wooly chillin' on the floor at the vet with his lion cut!
Of course Dr John couldn't euthanize him. Instead he set Wooly up for surgery and removed the left front leg at the shoulder. Dr. John explained that the tendons had been severed making the leg useless. Wooly probably got it caught in a wildlife trap since we lived in a heavily wooded area in the mountains.
The office staff renamed him Thomas and decided to keep him as the official greeter. Thomas has been living the good life and serving his post at the vet's now for several years. Thomas also has a buddy to live with - a sweet tabby named Jonah who has Feline Leukemia too. His owner wanted to euthanize him after he tested positive so the vet took him on as another office cat. They are living the good life now!
If a vet is willing to keep and care for two Feline Leukemia positive cats, it shows that they do have a chance at a good life with proper care. I know some of you have already taken in FeLV cats and know how special they are. Think it over seriously before giving up on a cat with FeLV!
UPDATE ON CHICA
Our sweet elderly Chica is doing much better with fluids more often. She is back to her normal self and will be getting fluids once a week for the time being. She is eating normally and getting around just fine. Thank you all for your purrs and prayers for her. Her official 20th birthday is coming up next month so we will have to have a super celebration for her.
He was Joey and Minnie's litter mate. He developed cancer while still living outdoors so I brought him inside and cared for him until he passed away in 2006. He loved all the attention he got. He was a very shy boy but handsome.