Friday, November 12, 2010

Sophie, my litte feral tortie

Sophie arrived last Saturday evening a badly injured little cat. It wasn't our first meeting. This past August she had spent the night in my garage awaiting a trip to the vet to be spayed the following morning. Robin is the colony caregiver that Sophie is from and she has been going through the colony doing a wonderful job of TNR this summer.

Over the past week I have loved and cared for my sweet Sophie but just a little while ago I had to say good bye to this little girl. Her injuries, combined with what we all suspect was an auto immune disease, was too much for her wee body to cope with. Robin and I made the decision that it would be far better to help Sophie to cross the Rainbow Bridge than to watch her suffer needlessly. All week I have wanted desperately to hold Sophie and kiss the top of her little head but being a feral it wasn't a good idea. Early this evening just before we sent her on her way across the Bridge, I kissed her on the top of her head.

Just 48 hours ago she was eating and showing signs of improvement but that only lasted a few hours and when I got up the next morning she was not doing as well and she continued to decline.

I miss her but I know it was the right decision for her even if it is difficult for me. I love you Sophie, my little feral tortie. XO

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sophie, The Tortie - Day 4

I am heaving a small sigh of relief. Sophie seems to have turned a corner in her recovery. Yesterday I went in to see her early in the morning but she was not looking too good. She actually seemed a little bit worse than the day before. The only good thing is she was still eating a little bit of food.

I cleaned her cage and litter box, and gave her a fresh towel for the top of her carrier. When I came back into the room with her food she was on top of the carrier and I could see that some of her wounds were draining and making little puddles on the towel. If Sophie wasn't feral I would wash her wounds to help the healing process but there is no way I can touch her.

Around noon I was even more concerned for Sophie so got in touch with Robin who cares for the colony Sophie comes from. Robin put in a call to the vet who had treated her on Saturday evening and he recommended another type of antibiotic. I took off for the vet's office with hopes that this pill would be the magic we needed to help speed her recovery. I also stopped off at the store to pick up some food that Robin recommended, Fancy Feast Liver and Chicken.

Whenever I have had a problem with one of the ferals in my colony, I have had no problem getting them to take a pill. I give them a small amount of food with the pill inside and they always eat it up. Sophie on the other hand was really cagey. She managed to eat around it on the first two attempts, so I tried crushing a pill in a small amount of food. Well she hardly ate that at all. I even got some suggestions from anipals on Twitter - thank you.
This morning little Sophie didn't look much better. She was tucked way at the back of her carrier and even with a bowl of fresh food just warmed in the microwave she still wasn't too interested. I left her for a little while. When I returned a few hours later she had eaten some of the food, which was good because I had crushed her pill in it. I have also been adding a little water to her food to help keep her hydrated. I gave her more food and left her again.

About 2:00 this afternoon I gave her another fresh bowl of food and when I returned it was empty, so I gave her another bowl and this time crushed a pill and again she ate everything. I prepared another bowl of food and she has been eating that too. Before I go to bed I will give her more food to get her through the night and my fingers are crossed that she cleans that bowl too.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Little Sophie - Day 3

Poor little Sophie. She looks so sad and I think she is feeling bad too. Her wounds don't look any better today but I don't think they are any worse. She got an antibiotic shot on Saturday and I am assuming it is like antibiotic pills which take about 48 hours to start working. She is eating less today than she did yesterday and I am not sure what to make of this. I tried heating her food up and think she ate a little of that but will try another kind of food that smells a little stronger to see if that will entice her.

Sophie is very thin and I would guess that she probably weighs about 6 lbs at the most. The vet did say he thought she was injured about a week before she was trapped so she may not have eaten much for quite a few days.

She has spent the majority of her day sleeping/resting on top of the cat carrier in her cage. I'm glad she feels comfy enough to come out instead of hiding at the back of the carrier.

Hugs and love to you sweet Sophie

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sophie, The Tortie - Day 2

Sophie spent a very quiet day in her cage eating and resting. Near the end of the afternoon I went in to check on her and take in a fresh bowl of food to find her resting on top of the carrier instead of in it.

I also got a look at some of her wounds for the first time and it brings tears to my eyes to think that this dear little cat was attacked. Her wounds look like teeth puncture wounds which are all over the front of her neck and chest. The vet says they are just superficial so I guess they aren't that deep but they look painful. I was told she has about 15 of these wounds.

Since Sophie can't be handled, I have taken a few pictures of her wounds so that I can keep an eye on them and see the progress, good or bad. I wish I could wrap her in a soft blanket and hold her so she would know she is safe and she is loved.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sohie, the Tortie

Tonight I received another phone call from Robin. One of the little kitties in her colony was at the vet's office being treated for some injuries she sustained. Was I willing to keep Sophie while she recovered from these injuries. Silly question, of course she could come here to recouperate.

Sophie was spayed a few months ago and returned to the maintained colony. She is thought to be about two years old and is very feral. No one knows how she got these injuries but the vet feels that it happened about a week ago. I don't have to do anything special for Sophie while she is recovering other than to feed her and keep her litter box clean. She was given an antibiotic shot which lasts for about 2 weeks and the vet recommended a high calorie diet for her while she is getting better.

In the few hours since her arrival she has been very quiet, which I expected. I was glad to see that she has eaten a little food, but not very much. And I have given her a few of Boomer's special cat treats to enjoy.

So for the next 7 to 10 days she will live in our guest room in a large cage where she can rest and get better before being returned to her colony.

If I can get a picture or two of Sophie I will post on the blog, but she will probably spend all her recovery time in the cat carrier that is inside the cage because she will feel safest there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Feral Baby Cats - part two

A week after Turtle left for his wonderful forever home I got an email from Robin saying she had seen another little kitten at the same location Turtle was from. She needed to know if I was willing to take in another kitten to love, socialize and foster. Of course I would. The alternative would have been to leave him with the colony to grow up and become feral. The next day I got a phone call letting me know that the kitten, Pumpkin, had been caught and they were on the way to our house.

Pumpkin arrived a scared, dirty little fellow about 10 weeks old. He was actually a very gentle kitten compared to some I have fostered in the past. I was holding him within a few hours of his arrival but he wasn't really sure about this contact.

A week after Pumpkin's arrival my husband, Mike, and I were going to be away for the weekend visiting friends on their farm and Pumpkin came with us. He was a good little traveller and slept for the entire two and a half hour trip there and again on the return. He was a good little guest too and loved all the cuddles he was getting from everyone.

Upon our return we decided he should have more freedom to run around so we gave him the whole first floor during the day and at night he was lose in the master bedroom. I loved waking up in the morning to find Pumpkin curled up sleeping next to me.

During the last week we had this wee tiny treasure, he became more and more confident. Boomer again was a great little playmate for this kitten as well. I would never leave them unsupervised because sometimes Boom got a little too rough and I had to step in, although Pumpkin never seemed to be afraid. He was ready to go right back at it with Boomer at the first opportunity.

I don't know what vibes Mike gives off but every cat or kitten loves to sleep on him. Everytime I bring a new foster home (and this has been going on for about 6 or 7 years) all kittens climb on Mike's lap and go to sleep. Pumpkin is not different. Good thing Mike is as soft in the head as I am about kitties because he loves having fosters around and is sad when they leave.

After two weeks of living and loving Pumpkin he went to his forever home. It was a very tearful good bye but I know he has gone to a wonderful new home with three other kitties, all of them girls. I heard that one of those kitties has turned into a mother kitty since Pumpkin's arrival, which is just great. I hope that I get updates on Pumpkin's life and photos as he grows into a big kitty. He was such a treat to have for those two weeks and I will think of him often.

Boomer and his little orangey buddy Pumpkin in one of the only pictures I got of the two of them sitting quietly together. I love this photo.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Feral baby cats

Right after Labour Day weekend I thought my life was going to get back to the old routine. I kinda missed it, although it was a fun summer with lots of family things happening. I said good-bye to the last family member and started the day by going off to feed my two feral colonies and visit the gym.

A few hours later I got a call from another cat caregiver to say she had just received a phone call from someone in the office at the recycling plant where her colony lives. They had just found a small kitten under a pile of tires. It took me a nano second to say I would take this wee baby in to socialize and care for. When Robin arrived with the baby in a huge box I opened it up to find a tiny 4 week old black kitten with runny gooey eyes and wheezing breath sounds. We immediately took off for the vet's office. During the vet visit he got his name, Turtle. The vet was reluctant to start antibiotics until this wee baby gave us a poo, so I was told to keep him warm and fed and loved and to wipe his eyes with warm water.

Baby Turtle had to be bottle fed but he was having trouble adjusting to the bottle so feeding times where stressful for both of us. Going to bed late, getting up in the middle of the night and then again at 5:30 was taking its toll on me but I wouldn't have it any other way. This baby had to be fed and I knew it was only going to be temporary.

After three days of watching this wee baby closely, listening to him wheeze and gurgle when he took a breath and those runny eyes that needed constant attention, it was time to return to the vet. And I brought along a little Turtle poo. Turtle was given eye drops and antibiotics. He hadn't gained or lost any weight since being in my care, which meant he was getting just enough nourishment to survive. After only one treatment of eye drops his eyes looked so much better and continued to improve. It was only about 5 days of treatment and he looked at the world with bright baby blue cat eyes, just what I wanted to see in Turtle. The antibiotics took longer to clear up his URI but he was getting better.

A week after his arrival I tried him on a combination of canned kitten food mixed with kitten formula. Turtle tried it and liked it. The next feeding we tried again and this time he really got into feeding himself. I was finished with bottle feeding and Turtle was on his way to gaining weight and growing.

What surprised me most about Turtle was his very neat eating habits. Right from the beginning he did not stand in his food nor did he get it all over himself. He was eating well and often.

During the time I had Turtle he went from a tiny sick baby to a playful and thriving kitten with a zest for life. He spent his unsupervised time in a special kitten cage but much of the time he and I spent in the kitchen where he played and played. He also got to meet and play with my 3 year old orange boy, Boomer. These two got along so well, much to my surprise. I really didn't expect Boomer to be a gentle giant with wee Turtle but he was.
Three weeks after Turtle arrived, I had to hand Turtle over to his next foster home because I was going to be away for a few days. It was hard to say good-bye but his new foster mom invited me to come visit Turtle when I returned which made it somewhat easier, but only mildly.

When I did go visit Turtle, it was two days before he was scheduled to go to his forever home. He was doing really well at this foster home too, he was given the freedom of the main floor of the house and had taken over both the dog and cat's beds.

Five weeks after being found under that pile of old tires, Turtle went to his forever home where he has two kitty sisters. Last I heard they were not too fond of him but he had melted his new mom's heart with his sweetness. It always feels good to know that a kitten born in a feral colony has found a home with lots of good food, a warm bed and oodles of love.

Two weeks ago I got an email from Robin to say another kitten from the same colony had been spotted. Pumpkin was caught the following day and came to live with us. Will post more about this cutie in the next few days.