Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Death in the Hood


I got home last night and a neighbor knocked on my door. She wanted me to come over and look at a stray cat, dying in her yard. It's a very very long hair brown tabby.

I'd seen Simba, the orange and white male, who lives a block over, with people who barely notice him or their other cats, whom I got fixed for a family there, fighting with this cat down at the end of the street before, but had seen the tabby near my yard only once. I'd set traps out front and in another neighbors yard for the cat, but never caught him or her.

I told this neighbor "I can't take in another cat". She took offense and replied, "Well, you don't have to be rude about it." I said nothing more, just followed her down the block and into her back yard.

The stray was circled by a swarm of flies, who smelled imminent death and wanted to lay eggs on the body. His eyes were gunked and bleeding pus.

The worst part was the yellow color to the inside of his or her ears and the whites of his or her eyes. Liver failure.

The people said he'd been under their deck for three days. So you don't know if the liver failure is from something like FIV or from fatty liver disease large cats get if they don't eat for a few days.

But he was skinny as a rail to the touch, purred his head off when I picked him up and put him on their swing. He's been recently clipped but not by a professional. Someone owns this cat and owns this cat badly.

The neighbors say he comes through their backyard and is likely owned on the street behind them, on which there are many apartment complexes.

I looked for an ear tip because I got the cats in the photo above fixed at the apartment complex over across from the Circle K, a couple years back. While I kept and adopted out the three kittens, I had to return the mother. But she was small and I had her ear tipped. This cat had no ear tip, was very very large, sort of flat faced and tame.

Judging from the cats URI and skinny condition and constant fighting behavior, I figure the cat has FIV. I felt no balls however. With my bad eyes, without my reading glasses and a flashlight, I could not even determine if it was a girl or neutered male. If it was a male, there were no indication there ever were balls back there, making me suspect, since the cat is a fighter, that it is possibly a crypt orchid male.

Anyhow, the cat was on his last legs, likely from FIV, due to all the fighting. That means Simba and my neighbors old tux police cat, who fight, may have been infected. I told them to call the police and ask that the police pick the cat up and take it to a vet using Safehaven's Good Samaritan fund, which is for unowned injured cats found by citizens. The cat is taken to a local participating vet. Usually, they are euthanized.

I've dealt with two other instances of injured or sick cats, when called by people asking for them to be helped. One was seen near where a friend of mine works but retreated under a house. Took some doing to spook her out from under the house into my drop trap. It was a calico and her head looked like it had been blasted by a shot gun. But, when she was taken to the vet under the Good Samaritan fund, the vet told the folks she actually had a rare cancer usually associated with FIV, that eats into their brain from the outside in. The cat was euthanzied.

That was the same neighborhood where I had trapped a male calico. Males are more likely to get and spread FIV through fighting. FIV is really common around here since so many assholes don't fix their cats and let them roam. I had never even checked that poor calico to see if it was a girl or a boy, since most are girls. But, since it had a cancer associated with FIV, I always wonder now, thinking of Calico John, still alive in that area, if the cat might have been a fighting unfixed male calico.

The other instance where I asked the people involved to call the police to take a stray in under the Good Samaritan fund was when a drunk called me, who lives off Waverly. She's an asshole drunk actually, belligerent, know it all, and I think, dangerous to her kid, as a drunk. As I was trying to help the cat she had called about, some man arrived and she began making out with him, ignoring the in trouble cat, and yelling at her young son to get inside. I felt bad for that little kid and for the kittens hiding when she'd yell, born to her own unfixed female. The stray was a long hair gray male who was severely dehydrated and dying of kidney failure.

I later got her unfixed female and kittens all fixed. That stray male was hauled off by the police and euthanized. That's what he needed, poor guy. The woman needed detox and a shift in priorities. Poor kid living there, wanted to rescue him, too.

As for the stray down the block.....

Starving cats will also fight, when trying to locate food. I helped people on Teddy Ave get about two dozen cats fixed. Later, they had a new arrival, an orange cat, who was starving and fought to get near the food. The woman told me later she felt terrible because she'd yell at him to get away and kept him from the food. That's because he too was yellow and suffering from liver failure, but the vet said it was likely from fatty liver disease caused by starvation. The cat likely had been dumped off on Scravel Hill as a well fed house cat. He had to be euthanized.

Later, I saw a police community service SUV pull down the block and park in front of the neighbors place. I don't know if he took the ailing cat or not, since it was by this time, after 6:00 p.m.

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