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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Our Cat - astrophy

This is Hobbes. We "adopted" him and his sister Sassy last summer (This photo is from last August). Although I've always experienced bad karma when it comes to male cats, this one has been possibly the most loving feline that I've ever owned. He jumps in your lap to reach up and bump noses with you; he'll follow me down the stairs side by side in complete sync, stopping if I stop and moving once more when I do, like an extra appendage.

That all being what it was, I had to make a tough call several weeks ago. Long story short, we also took in two other female cats last summer, haven't had the time or spare funds to spay or neuter anyone, and Hobbes was beginning to get amorous. So I decided to separate him from "the harem" by having him be at least a temporary "outside cat". We let him roam during the day, which he naturally took to, and the kids fixed him a bed in the garage to return to at night. This was working well for all, with the possible exception of the local squirrel population (Hobbes not only chased them, but followed them up the trees!), until this weekend.

When I called him Saturday night, I got no response from this cat who would always come running when I uttered his name. I tried several times before retiring for the night, to no avail. I left the garage door open the next morning, as I generally do when we are home, but no sign of him. Finally, in the late afternoon, I walked out into the garage and saw an unfamiliar cat laying behind my wife's truck. It took me a minute to realize that it was Hobbes - he was unrecognizable from the view I had, which was of his face and head. . .now swollen and unfamiliar.

He couldn't open either eye, his breathing would have made Darth Vader feel right at home, and I'm still not sure if part of his lip is missing or just terribly injured. His eyes are both open, the swelling has gone down and his breathing is more normal now. He's resting as comfortably as can be expected under the circumstances on his favorite sleeping spot, an ultra-soft blankie belonging to our kids.

I'll probably never know who or what he tangled with unless I learn to talk to the animals Dr.Doolittle style. Was it a dog? A cat? A tough squirrel? A close encounter with a sedan? It doesn't really matter. . .but this is one tomcat who's lost his roaming privvies, no matter what. Anybody looking for a new kitten in the near future?

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Blogger Dusty said...

john..this broke my heart tonight. I rescue ferals and strays and another thing that he could of tangled with is a horrible human being that did that or used him as bait in a sick game of cat and dog.

You must take him to the vets. Cats who are injured so badly can get massive infections. Is he eating ok? Felines mask symptoms and problems naturally. Please get him some medical attention. If you love him you have to have him checked out by a vet.

He found his way because he loves you. Return and reward that love.

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 12:39 AM  
Blogger John Good said...

He seems to be improving before my eyes - just wants to rest. Responds well to petting and my voice. I'm keeping a close eye on him!

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 1:11 AM  
Blogger Dusty said...

Are the wounds mostly on his head and face? God John..I hope no human was involved in this..there is a special place in hell for people like that.

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 1:16 AM  
Blogger John Good said...

Almost entirely on his mouth. His eyes and nose were swollen, but have returned to their normal size.

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 1:30 AM  
Blogger C Ford said...

I suppose I don't understand why you'd adopt so many cats if you don't have the financial means to properly care for them by having them spayed and neutered. Pets who are spayed and neutered live longer, healthier lives.

Then, releasing him as an outdoor cat to keep him from mating? Terrible idea. Now, you have a domesticated cat who's lived indoors his entire life fending for himself and potentially impregnating countless other stray cats - and bringing more poor animals into the world that you still can't afford to care for.

Finally, not taking this poor guy to the vet for a proper checkup is simply animal cruelty. The poor guy may seem to be responding well to touch and your voice, but that doesn't mean (as it's already been suggested) he doesn't have the start of a raging infection that $20 worth of antibiotics would cure.

If you care for this pet like you say you do, have him treated professionally, use a credit card, explain your situation to the vet and set up a payment plan, whatever.

Being a pet owner means you're responsible to care for your animals and what you're doing right now is akin to abuse in my opinion. I understand you mean well, but you need to be responsible here.

If you came home and found the front end of your car had been bashed-in, you'd find the money to pay your insurance deductible and have it fixed. Find the money to properly care for your pets or don't take them in.

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 6:06 AM  
Blogger Blueberry said...

I think he needs a vet visit for his injuries, might need some antibiotics or ointments (or even pain med), and get him snipped. Same for your girls (get them fixed), then everybody can stay indoors and be safe from predators (including bad humans). My credit card gets a lot of wear at the vet, but it gets paid off eventually. Poor little sweetie.

I am just a big advocate for indoor cats whenever possible. I know we can't save them all, but...

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 7:29 AM  
Blogger GraceBeading said...

For information about the Low Cost Spay Neuter Clinic of Fort Wayne, call 260-424-5982. For information about SNAP, the Spay Neuter Assistance Program available to limited-income families within Allen County call Animal Care & Control at 260-427-1244.

For more general info, please check the website for Animal Care and Control

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 11:33 AM  
Blogger C Ford said...

I just realized I sound much more harsh than I intended to in my previous comment. I'm sorry about that.

You obviously love your pets very much and wish the best for them and you're to be commended for that. I'm also sorry you've had to deal with this - I know it's a very difficult time emotionally without strangers picking apart your every decision.

I hope everything turns out ok and that you're able to enjoy each other's company for many years to come!

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 11:45 AM  
Blogger John Good said...

Thanks everybody. I'll update here to let you know how he's doing, and I WILL get him to the vet if he stops improving. He doesn't look near as bad as that pic makes it seem.

Blueberry - I've always kept cats indoors as well. This was a mistake born of frustration.

Grace - Thank you for the additional info!

C Ford - You were fine. It's a longer story, but we didn't intend to have 5 cats. It just sort of happened that way. But thank you for the second comment. =)

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 11:52 AM  
Blogger Jim Wetzel said...

My previous cat was named Hobbes, also. (There's probably more than a few of them around.) He was with us for about 12 years. During the last two, he had diabetes and had to get a daily insulin shot. You'd think that would be a chancy business, with a cat who had the full set of claws, but not so much ... we could shoot him in the loose nape-of-the-neck skin without his apparently even noticing it.

The diabetes claimed him in the long term (you can't really control it properly in an animal where you can't test the blood sugar; we started at the dose the vet estimated, and tweaked it a little, based on his symptoms). He was an awfully good cat, though: very affectionate and not especially cat-like. He would allow my daughter, who was maybe five years old at the time, to pick him up by the hindquarters and lug him around the house upside-down, like a sack of potatoes -- he just didn't care. Tybalt lives with us now, but I do miss Hobbes from time to time. Better luck with yours!

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 12:20 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Jim - Thank you. I lost a 15 year companion to diabetes in '98. That played into how we wound up with more cats than we knew what to do with. I always wanted another calico and, after never finding any, we got Hobbes and Sassy for the girls. Three weeks later, my wife walked in with a pet carrier, said surprise, and released two calico kittens from it. So, along with our 13 year old, Carly, we were up to five.

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 12:25 PM  
Blogger Vic DeMize said...


Thanks for the comments regarding our recent loss. Hope Hobbes is feeling better. I'm not sold on the idea yet,given the pain one has to deal with after such a loss, but SWMBO may yet convince me to take on one of Hobbes' potential offspring, should that scenario play out.

title="comment permalink">April 08, 2008 3:30 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

To all who have been concerned -

Hobbes has been resting, his eyes are back to normal, and he's been nuzzling me and purring. He was actually up walking around today and yesterday! Still no appetite, so we're running him by the vet in the morning as a precautionary measure.

title="comment permalink">April 10, 2008 9:35 PM  

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