Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Can Explain.


Two weeks ago, I was out feeding the dumpster kitties and I just caught sight of this little guy running away from the food. I had startled him. I could tell right away he wasn't moving quite right. Rather than running away, he sort of hopped like a rabbit. I have only one fertile female left (Dixie's mom) and I keep a close eye on her reproductive cycle. So I have no idea when or how he showed up.

When I went to feed I was on my way to pick up some take-out, so when I came home I swung by and sure enough, he was out there eating again. I moved very slowly towards him and got pretty close. Close enough to see that he was dragging his right front paw limply on the ground. My heart sank. He seemed to be a little old to be certain he could be socialized and adoptable. Usually 5-6 weeks its pretty certain, but I pegged him at about 12. It would definitely be a gamble. Not to mention when I saw his poor paw I envisioned dropping huge sums of money to fix him up. But there was absolutely no way I was leaving him to fend for himself out there.

I called a couple of my cat friends, and for three nights we tried to trap him. Finally while Dean and I were at the Rays game last Saturday I got a text message that simply said "Got him!" He stayed at their house until Monday since we didn't want to move him more than once if he was in pain. Dean and I already knew we would probably have to foster since we didn't know how feral he was or even if anyone was willing to take him.

I did get word that St. Francis was going to help me out with the vet bills, which I was expecting to be significant, so I was very grateful to them. Monday morning, I picked him up from my friends along with a large cage and we headed to the vet supplied by the rescue group. After much poking and prodding, it was determined that this little guy has a paralyzed right front paw and arm. It is unclear if it was an "old" injury or he was born that way, but there were no indications of broken bones, all ligaments are in place, but he is devoid of any sensory response in that limb. The vet didn't recommend amputation unless the paw became infected or too much of a burden. There was no point doing an x-ray. But he did recommend a sock or bootie to protect it and stop it from getting scraped up.

So it seems this guy (who I've temporarily named Ray) will live his life as a tripod kitty, with only three viable legs. I guess technically that makes him "special needs", though I have yet to see how he acts any different. The only weakness I've seen in him is that he isn't very good at washing his whole body, which is completely understandable. Unfortunately, since he can't bathe completely and he came to us with diarrhea and fleas, I did the unthinkable and gave him a bath (hence the picture above). That was a first for me!

The very good news is that if he ever was feral (which I am beginning to doubt), he is no longer. He is the sweetest kitten I've ever met, and therefore very adoptable indeed. We are fostering him until he finds the right home. As I said before, he really doesn't need anything special, but since he himself is special I want to make sure the home is perfect. However, I'm not sure how long we can foster before taking him off the market. I am head over heels for this guy, and Dean is getting very close to feeling the same way. He sleeps with us, loves the other cats (he has been taken in as "one of the pack") and generally acts like he belongs here, with us. We know this definitely isn't the right time to take in a new kitty, we are in transition. But I have never been one to believe that you can choose a cat, it is more common that they choose you. We will see what the next couple weeks bring.

11 comments:

Jeni said...

You know, I really don't know who would be the biggest "sucker" for this cute little fellow -you, me or my daughter Mandy! Considering his paw issues there, and him being friendly and so lovable, I know if it were either Mandy or me involved with him, we wouldn't be able to let him go and if you can do that, I'm betting it will be one of the hardest things ever for you!

anne said...

That is a very cute kitty. I really hope he finds a good home, though I know you guys are on that!

gabrielle said...

Does this mean that you've all survived the Wrigley hazing? If so, I don't think you stand a chance in letting Ray go. I can't wait to meet
him!

Hot4Teacha said...

Oh my god!! How cute is that cat? After the bath, of course; the wet cat look is never good, no matter what the cat looks like dry - they all look awful wet! But seriously, my heart is turning over for you - to keep him, or let someone else love him? Tough call. But you'll do what's right; for kitty, and for you.

Scott said...

That's a super cute kitty. I don't blame you guys for wanting to keep it. You are starting to remind me of a children's book I've read once or twice called Mrs. McTats and All Her Cats (or something like that). She has over a hundred cats and has names for them all.

Dianne said...

You know I'm a big believer in the 'being found' scenario. I've been 'found' so many times and it always worked out as it was intended to.

Whatever you ultimately decide you have changed one more life and I'm so proud of you - and Dean. I've never been able to find a partner who really got how important animal rescue is to me.

Mia and Siren send hugs to their Auntie Babe!

LL said...

That's what you get for engaging in risky behavior...

You'll never part with that one.

Christopher said...

Life, Family, Love (Moonstruck)

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful kitten. And how lucky for Ray to have "found" you and a safe place to call home. Your "Cat Posts" are a great way to teach others about Kitty Rescue. Please keep them in your blog. No poem this time.
Catsfursure.

fermicat said...

New kitteh! Yay! He cleans up well. Sweet story and such a cute cat. Congrats, catmama!

dr sardonicus said...

Ray looks like he's right at home.

One thing with fostering a "special" kitty like Ray is that you've lived with him for a bit now, and you'll worry that a foster family won't understand his needs the way you do. I'd recommend keeping this one.