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14 February 2011

Happy Yet Another Veterinary Emergency Day--INJURY PICS So it looks like one of our ferals, "Big Kitty," tangled with a coyote. We're impressed; even for our bad-ass kitty, making it out alive is an accomplishment. [More:] But she didn't make it unscathed. She has three punctures: forehead, cheek, and...eye.

The first two pics show her crate and her in the crate, and you can't see much. The 3rd and 4th pics show the (post-vet visit) injury somewhat more.

The treatment is really quite nifty. The vet pulled her third eyelid across and stitched it closed. I have eyedrops made of her own blood serum to put in the eye. (She also has two kinds of antibiotics and also painkillers.)

The vet thinks this will preserve the eye, and we're glad. She's not sure how much sight it will have, though. In two weeks she gets her stitches out, and we'll find out how it looks. In the meantime, we have a feral kitty living in a crate on our porch, that I'm supposed to medicate multiple times a day. This will be eventful.

We are so ready for the four-foots to stop having severe health issues. In August we lost Tessa; in November we lost Duchess. In December Saedy needed surgery. In January Kat needed hospitalization. Now the cats are getting into the act. The world needs to stop treating me like a Whack-a-Mole.

Big should be about healed from this by my birthday. I will accept, for my birthday, a gift of NO MORE FREAKING VET EMERGENCIES. That's all I want.
Horrors! Killer Coyote and then Cone of Shame! (Actually, she looks great, considering. Sounds like your vet is very talented.)

Sorry about all the emergencies. Early birthday wish for you is for no more!
posted by bearwife 14 February | 18:32
That's very cool that you take care of ferals. The local tribe I take care of is down to two after one turned out to be a dumped housecat (I adopted her) and one had to be put to sleep (that kitty herpes thing that looks like a terrible cold but leads to blindness & bad infection). They've previously both been badly injured, I think by a raccoon tho' maybe a coyote, but my local APL does spay/neuter/vaccinations/deworming/patch-up surgery for $35 (and about $15 if I lived in the same county), so they're fine now.

Are you just feeding antibiotics to the porch cat? If so and there's more than one, you can always just dose them all, if you have access to cheap penicillin (although I just found out cattle PCN has phenol, which dissolves living tissue, in it as a preservative at 0.25% -- not sure I like that). Or is the porch kitty confined in the crate?

Anyway, cool!
posted by shane 14 February | 22:00
Oh, poor kitty! Thank goodness, tho', that it wasn't any worse. I hope she heals well and quickly.
posted by deborah 14 February | 22:57
I'm impressed that she looks as good as she does after tangling with a coyote! Poor thing. Best of luck for her to heal quickly and the others to stay healthy!
posted by supercapitalist 14 February | 23:24
Poor kitty! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
posted by Twiggy 15 February | 00:07
Feel better,kitty!
posted by brujita 15 February | 00:12
Thanks for the good wishes for the kitty!

So far today she seems fine. Seems to have a little bit of Stockholm syndrome going on, too. I expected that she'd be angry about the confinement, trying to get out, possibly biting or clawing me. No, she just wants to be rubbed and purrs like a little motorboat.

I'm even having trouble getting her to hold still for eyedrops, because she's squirming around trying to get me to rub juuuust the right place.

She had to wear the cone and stay in the crate for the full 2 weeks, until the stitches come back out and she can open the eye again. Pooor kitty. But the vet says we absolutely can not risk her scratching the stitches out, or possibly even injuring the eye trying to scratch it. She has to stay on the (fully enclosed) porch because Mr. G is so severely allergic to cats that she can't come in the house...but she probably wouldn't be happy about the dogs sniffing around her crate anyway. Since the porch is enclosed, the other cats and also roaming wild critters can't pester her, either, and we hope it's staying reasonably warm at night--FL winter isn't horrible anyway.

Hey, shane, I'm not sure why you'd suggest feeding antibiotics to a group of healthy feral cats? Maybe you thought all the vet visits I had lately were for the cat colony? Tessa was a 13-yr-old dog with a lot of health problems. Duchess was a 20-yr-old horse with a lot of health problems. Saedy is a 14-yr-old dog, and Kat is a 18-yr-old horse. Having senior pets does tend to mean that I might be running into occasional vet emergencies, sadly, but I just feel like the last six months has been the UNIVERSE PILING ON ME. Heh.

FWIW, the main antibiotic that Big is getting is injectable Baytril. I've done IM and SubQ injections on horses and dogs before, but this is my first experience injecting a cat.
posted by galadriel 15 February | 11:50
Giving her afternoon meds, she climbed into my lap and purred and kneaded. Rolled around. Exposed her belly. Pressed hard against me. Then she grabbed on to keep me from lifting her out of my lap when I was done with the meds.

I reiterate, this kitty is feral...or was, anyway, until yesterday.

(And has the claws to match! Owoo. Going to have to learn to clip kitty claws if *I'm* going to get through this next couple of weeks.)
posted by galadriel 15 February | 13:58
Aw, that's sweet of her to be so clingy. It will be interesting to know how she is feral-wise after she's released.
posted by deborah 15 February | 16:13
Oh my God, she's -- grateful. I've had my share of cuddly cats, but I keep hearing about rescues and a subset of ferals getting incredibly loving and grateful with their people.

Those injuries look awful, but it looks as if she'll mend. Great kitty!
posted by maudlin 15 February | 22:18
Lucky, lucky kitty. Maybe the handling at the vet and with you made her realise for the first time just how wonderful it feels to be petted and now she's all "OMG, I can't believe I went my whole life without letting them do this touching stuff to me! It must never stop!"
posted by Senyar 16 February | 03:57
Oh yes, I am wondering very much what she'll do when she's released.

She was injured about this time last year; I had to trap her that time, couldn't catch her and put her in a crate. It was "just" a slice across her forehead, but it got infected and got worse and worse as I kept trying to trap her. Eventually I caught her in the cat trap, took her to the vet in the cat trap, and they knocked her out and fixed the injury. That time, I was able to let her go almost right away. I didn't see her after that for a month and a half.

This time is different, though.

See how happy she is to cuddle?
posted by galadriel 16 February | 09:53
That video is adorable.

Might you be able to rehome her if she's eager for human contact once she's well?
posted by Senyar 16 February | 12:33
This got long. Sorry, I'm tired; too tired to prune :)

Thanks! She is being soooo adorably cuddly, funny cat.

As it happens, I don't think I can take her out of the colony. Feral cats are territorial, and all my other cats are tiny, some are handicapped (tailless Manx with unsteady back ends). I suspect she's the only real fighter, the protector. I think if I take her away, the other cats--her family--may end up killed. We're rather anxious about them even now, while Big is away from them. Mama didn't show up at feeding time last night.

I do give the cats as much attention as they want at feeding time. They've just never wanted much. Each of them has independently started demanding attention, silly kitties. Don't they know they're feral? So I'd help them get up the nerve to come up to me and get petted, once they started showing up and meyowling for attention. They'd start the meyowling long before they were brave enough to let me touch them, but they'd make lots of noise! I'd stand near the food bowl, look away, and hold my hand still for them to come sniff, etc. Eventually the cat would stand very still, rather afraid, and extend a body part (usually a cheek) to be rubbed, and I'd rub with one finger for a moment or so, and the cat would dash off.

At this point, the Mama Cat is very friendly and not at all cautious. I can just about touch any of the others all over their bodies if I think it's important (ie, applying flea meds) but they don't get close for the rest of the day, maybe the rest of the week. Otherwise I will rub them, where they specify, for as long as they specify (a few moments). It makes them happy and seems to be all they want.

If Big wants more attention than she's been getting when she goes back out, I can give her that. Mama gets that some nights. She just absolutely can't be inside our house, and hopefully she won't be too tempting for Mr. G, who does love cats even though he absolutely shouldn't touch them. It's going to be a challenge to make it through these two weeks without him giving in and going to cuddle her.
posted by galadriel 16 February | 20:13
It's clear from the video that she loooooves you. You saved her!
posted by fancyoats 16 February | 23:22
Sweet sweet video. Isn't it so great to be able to give care and safety to someone?
posted by Miko 16 February | 23:57
Watson on Jeopardy watching? no DVR and can't find a Jeopardy torrent at ezrss || This kid built a solar "death ray."