Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Special Needs Cat

Ok, we've done it again. Added a mouth to feed that will contribute little to the homestead in the way of earning its keep. Luckily, it's a little mouth and we have plenty of surplus to feed it, as long as it will eat wild meat, slaughter waste, eggs. Ok, ... right now in our lives we can afford giant bags of cat chow, but I look to what the future might be when we may not be able to afford that. So as long as this mouth will eat homestead chow, it can stay. 

Meet .......
             (Hubby named her Rebecca.) 

A friend, who's not fond of cats, caught this one in a trap on his property. Normally when feral cats get trapped in housing areas, I pick them up and transfer them to one of the area feeding colonies. These feral cats are not candidates for pet homes. They are fearful, flighty, and often aggressively defend themselves. I'm suspect most are plotting how to murder me and escape while they are riding in my truck. I get mental images of claws slashing my eyeballs out, fangs ripping jugular veins, butcher knives slitting my throat... if a cat knew how to use one they would! As colony cats, they will be neutered, microchipped, treated for fleas and worms, vaccinated, and provided with food and water daily. A better life than being drown, shot, poisoned, or "humanely" euthanized. 

This kitty surprised me. She was calm, talkative, looking for attention. She's a full blown lap warmer and most likely certifiable to lower stress levels and blood pressure. Sometime during her life she was/is somebody's house pet. Does she have an owner? I don't know, but I'm putting the word out to find them if they exist. But perhaps she is one of the numerous pets abandoned when their owners moved away. Regardless, I am 100% certain that this kitty is being fed by someone, either her owner or a kind soul in the neighborhood. Reason? She's disabled. There us no way this kitty could catch a bird or mouse. Plus when I tested her, she does not recognize raw meat as being food nor has any interest in it. Crookshank brought a lizard into the house and Rebecca ignored it. Chicken feathers held no fascination either. So she's no hunter.

Disabled? Yes. She has significant neurological deficiencies in the back half of her body. Her abdominal muscles are overly flaccid, her tail movements abnormal, and both back legs are problems to use. Rebecca can walk though her action is quite abnormal. She lacks normal rear leg reflexes, often cannot keep her legs under her, has trouble when navigating turns and stairs, and needs to use a modified, exaggerated gait. You could say that her hindquarters were roaring drunk! But she's game and doesn't let her problems get in the way of much, except jumping which she cannot do well. 

Why is she disabled? Hard to say since I don't know her background. My first guess would be that she survived a significant back injury. Perhaps rolled by a car, grabbed by a dog, hit by something, a fall from a height. There are other reasons for her symptoms, but those are the most obvious that come to mind. I suspect that this injury, if that what it is, is "old". Rebecca shows no signs of pain, discomfort, distress. And she appears quite adapted to her physical situation. So either it's an old injury or she is amazingly stoic and upbeat. 

So until an owner comes forward to claim her, Rebecca will live at our place. She makes cat# 11. 

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