Thursday, March 27, 2014

Very Hairy Tame Harry

I mentioned Harry's hair in a post about clipping the long hairs in the spring, a few days ago.

Harry is one of the long hairs.  I usually spell his name "Hairy", but for clarification sake, today, I will spell his name "Harry".  Who cares, right?  Hairy Harry doesn't.

Harry came to me a few years ago.  Heartland Humane had called and asked if I could take him.  He'd been brought to them in a live trap.  He was sneaking into someones house through their cat door, desperate for food and that was enough to grant him a death sentence in their eyes. So they live trapped Harry and took him to Heartland Humane.  Harry was just very hungry.

But he was wild and that meant Heartland would have to kill him as they don't hold feral cats or cats that even act afraid there. They didn't want to kill him.  He had a right ear tip already.  Heartland wondered if I would recognize him, because maybe it was me who taken him to be fixed for someone. And then maybe I could return him to whomever it was who had originally asked my help getting him fixed. I didn't recognize the poor boy, but I did get him out of there so he wouldn't have to die.

He went first to Wilvsonville and a woman who claimed she would place him as I, as always, already had plenty of cats to care for.  I became skeptical,  however, and worried for his safety, when I asked where he would be going.  First she told me it was to an old man who would hold him in a shed for awhile before releasing him but that two cats she'd placed there had already been killed by coyotes.  Then she claimed he would go to a woman who fed the cats table scraps in a garage.

So I went up and reclaimed Harry from this woman and good thing too.  He was extremely ill.  I took him straight to the vet where he got a long term antibiotic injection, then brought him back here and put him in the garage room cage, where he lived, for almost a year.   I opened the door so he could come and go after two weeks.  He had access to everywhere---the garage room, cat yard, with runs into the house if wanted to come in.  But for a year, so great was his fear, he lived mostly in that large cage in the garage room, swiping at me, like a true feral, if he was in the carrier in the cage, when I was cleaning the litter box in the cage.  Twice a year I'd shave down that horrible oily fine matted hair of his, and he was good with me doing that.

Then came his vet visit a few months ago.  His ears were badly itching.  I knew it was not mites causing his problem so off to the vet he went and at the same time, I clipped his hair again.  After that, he decided to move into the house permanently.  He just doesn't go often now out into the cat yard.  He's an old man now and he likes his heat and his pillow.  He has a deep faltering interesting cracking meow. He follows me around mornings until I brush and pet him to his satisfaction.

Harry, the angry lonely abandoned boy, condemned to die by some asshole in Corvallis because he was lonely and hungry--he's come a long way.   He didn't trust anybody.

When I first took him from Heartland, had him in the back of my car in one of my traps, I knew what he wanted and I gave it to him immediately.  I ignored his growls and opened the trap a crack and slipped in a plate onto which I'd emptied an entire can of wet food.  I stood back, and smiled at him.  "Go ahead, don't mind me," I said, "I know you're hungry and you like wet food."  Eyeing me, then the plate of food, then eyes back on me again, he stepped forward and gulped it down.  I gave him another.  Then another.  That's how we met and how Harry and I became friends.

This is him now, now that he's old and charming and quirky.

All that lighter colored hair, along his side, that's fine undercoat hair I need to comb out, or, clip off when it gets a bit longer.


I've been brushing out the fine mats again.  He has always had severe dandruff too, besides oily skin and ears.  His hair has not grown back long since his last clipping of a few months back, but its starting in.  Those tufts along his side on the left are fine mats I've been working out with a mat buster.  Angel has the same type of fine extreme undercoat and oily skin.

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