EDIT 4/21/13: A home has been found! She is no longer available for adoption. :)
A couple weeks ago I found an injured stray cat in my neighborhood. I took her in and got her well, and now she needs a new loving home!
- Approx. Middle-Aged
- FeLV/FIV Negative
- Litterbox trained
- Not microchipped
- Recently de-flea’d and de-worm’d
- Extremely friendly with people
- Not so friendly with other cats
This cat is really really wonderful and if I didn’t already have two of my own I’d keep her. She’s extremely affectionate and cuddly, loves curling up on laps to sleep, and has never once clawed me (the same can not be said of my cats…).
She’s really kind of a Cat: Classic Edition. She does the head-rubby thing and the dough-kneading thing and likes to sit in boxes.
She likes to sleep on my bed and sit at the window and watch outside and gnaw at catnip mice when they’re around.
She does NOT get along so very well with other cats… All interactions between her and my cats are closely supervised and rather tense.
So if you live around SF, are looking for a first cat, and want an easy-going loveable non-clawing fuzzy kitty, send me an email at email@example.com and come meet her! I think she’d be particularly good for households with children or several roommates. Like I said, very good with people.
Also the dark pattern around her mouth makes it look like she’s just eaten a grape popsicle. Pretty much the cutest thing ever.
The full (rather long) story:
March 19th was one of those dreary nights particular to San Francisco where the air was just cold enough to make you shiver, the rain just heavy enough to dampen your clothes, and the wind just strong enough to get under your coat, but none of it really bad enough to keep you indoors. I was coming home late from an engagement in the city, treading my normal route back from BART which happens to take me by a local park.
I’ve seen stray cats in this park before but they all hissed and ran off before I got within 15 feet of them. This particular park isn’t exactly what one would call ‘safe,’ so I wasn’t willing to chase them. This time though, the cat saw me first.
I heard a plaintive ‘meow’ and turned to see a bedraggled looking tabby cat walking towards me. I stopped and watched as it approached, friendly as you please, and started rubbing its head on my legs.
It was dirty but not overly so, and seemed thin but not necessarily underfed. I thought at first it must surely be an outdoor cat that got locked out in the rain, because no stray I’ve ever encountered acts this friendly towards humans. I crouched and petted it for a few moments debating what to do – I could take it home and get it warm and dry then try to find its owner, or I could trust it would find its own way back and leave it in the park.
Then my hand slipped around to scratch under her belly and I felt something wet – not the wet of ‘caught in the rain fur,’ but the wet of ‘oozing open wound.’
I picked up her front legs and saw on her stomach a patch about 4 inches in diameter of hairless skin with several gaping holes exposing the underlying muscle & fat. That made my decision for me, and I quickly picked her up and brought her back to my house where I shut her in my bathroom with a great deal of food and water.
Despite having two cats of my own I had no idea what to do with an injured stray so I contacted the woman who runs the sanctuary I’d gotten my own dear Molly from. She recommended a clinic out in Walnut Creek that does special deals for rescue cats, and also came over to see if she could do anything for the injury. Unfortunately neither of us had any clue what could have caused such an odd looking wound, although the sanctuary woman said she thought it might be mammary cancer. (yes, that’s kitty breast cancer) Cancer bad enough to cause this wound would be pretty much a death sentence for a stray cat, but I was hoping it might just be a nasty bite or something.
I rented a Zipcar and took her in the next morning to the Civic Feline Clinic in Walnut Creek, a wonderful cat-only vet that has a special drop-off program with greatly discounted rates for rescue kitties. Basically instead of having an appointment, you drop the cat off in the morning and pick it up at the end of day and the vet takes a look at it whenever they have free time. The downside was that I had to register the cat under a rescue program, which meant the call with results would go to the woman who headed the sanctuary, not me. I came back and picked her up after work, but the receptionist only knew that they’d given her antibiotics, not whether the doctor thought it was cancer or not. I called the sanctuary woman as well, but she said she hadn’t heard anything from them yet either.
I didn’t hear anything about the diagnosis until the next morning. I got a voicemail while I was on BART, and listened to it during my walk to work. It was the woman from the sanctuary, and it was not good news.
The mysterious wound was a ruptured abscess, and the vet did think it was probably from mammary cancer. It was badly infected so it was impossible to tell definitively, and she wanted me to bring the cat back in a week to see how much it had healed.
No one was optimistic, and it seemed very likely that we’d have to put the cat down.
Needless to say this was rather upsetting for me – I heard this news as I got to work and so I did a bit of crying at my desk – always humiliating, but luckily no one but a good friend saw me. (ah, the perks of coming in early)
I had a week to come to terms with the fact that I might have to kill this cat I had ‘saved’ from the street. It made me feel incredibly powerless, something I already wrestle with in other areas of my life. I decided I would give her the best treatment I could in what might be her last week alive, giving her as much food as she would eat and sitting and cuddling with her multiple times a day. I felt awfully guilty because I had her confined in a small windowless bathroom, but no way in hell was I releasing an infected, un-tested cat into my apartment with my own two kitties. Priorities.
The one happy point was that the antibiotics did seem to be helping – her skin was no longer inflamed and hanging away from her body quite so much, plus she continued to be extremely friendly and positive (if a cat can be such a thing).
Eventually the day came, and I once again got a Zipcar and dropped her off at the clinic. When I came back that afternoon they had me wait so the vet could talk to me personally.
I did so with butterflies in my throat.
Eventually I followed the doctor back to her office and perched awkwardly on an extra rolly chair. The doctor had one of those faces that I seem to see a lot in medical offices, a face that has been so exhausted by dealing with terrible situations that I could get no emotional read on whether the results I was about to hear were good or bad.
“Well,” she started, “this cat has healed amazingly well in the past week and I no longer think she has cancer.”
We talked a bit further about her condition and she asked me to bring her back in another week to confirm the healing was continuing, but mostly what I remember from those few minutes was how my cheeks started to hurt because I couldn’t stop smiling.
I did bring her back a week later, and she was pronounced as having complete good health. In fact, at the end of our conversation another vet came up with a question about another patient of theirs who was in bad shape and the doctor said to me, “take your healthy cat and go home!”
By this point all the holes had closed, only the largest leaving a scabbed area, and the fur had started to regrow. I was actually worried when I first saw that because all of a sudden these weird dark patches were appearing on her skin – then I realized she’s a tabby, and that was her hair pattern coming back in.
Now after all that, I want to find someone who can give her a real, full and loving home! If you’re interested in living with this purring, loving lap-warmer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.