Yep, I'm heartbroken as I write this. I'm sure it will mend, but it will take time. Last night was just terrible for me. I got home from work, and our neighbor has a wonderful little tom cat named Tom. He is the sweetest thing and every time I see him I stop to pet him.
Well, after petting him, I go inside and feed Lucydog and then go to wash my hands. (It seems I've grown a bit allergic to kitties as my eyes and nose itch if I touch my face after touching them. Who'd thought? I grew up with three indoor cats!) Anyway, as I was washing my hands at the kitchen sink, I see a little kitty outside coming up on our back porch. She looked a lot like Tom, except her colors are exactly opposite. He's mostly white with large black spots all over. She is mostly black with white boots, white chest and neck and a small white mustache. Cute as can be...but she's limping. And from the window, 10 feet away, I could see what I thought was a wound with bone showing. So, I watched her from the window for a little bit, and finally had to go outside to see how bad off she was.
Here's where I got sucked in. She was the sweetest little kitty. She purred the entire time I was petting her. Her wound looked pretty bad, and her paw was swollen about 2 1/2 times larger than normal. As I'm rubbing her, I feel of one of her front legs, and it's obvious she was either born with some kind of disability and her leg grew wrong, or she'd been hurt before, because her "elbow" was sticking out sharply, but was covered in fur and obviously an old injury. So, I'm bawling my eyes out as I feel like she's hurt really bad and I don't know what to do. I call the animal hospital (who knows us...well, LUCY, very well because of all the stuff she eats...see this post for a quick story on that!) They tell me I could bring her in and incur the costs myself, or call Animal Control and see what they could/would do. So I call Animal Control. Of course, it's after hours, so I have to leave a voice mail.
The longer I sat out there with her, the more I cried and decided I had to do something. I called the animal hospital back to see exactly how much an exam would cost and if they could see her. They said just an exam was $37.50 but yes, they could see her now. As I'm crying to Jason, asking what I should do, Kitty sits down right beside me, placing her two front paws on my leg and looks up at me like I'm the only person in the world who could help her and it broke my heart! Jason said at that moment, "Oh Kim, you know you gotta take her!"
So, I packed her up and took her in. At the time, I didn't know if she was a she or he as I didn't want to handle her too much with her yucky wound. Well, after arriving at the animal hospital, I found out she was a little girl, at least a year old. Once the doctor came in to look at her, he found a lot of things wrong with her. The first thing was ear mites. No problem, those can be treated. Then the original back paw wound. No problem, 21 days of antibiotics, daily hydrotherapy (which means holding the paw under a steady pressure of water for several minutes...and you know how cats love water!), drying the wound, applying scarlet oil once a day, applying ointment twice a day! Whoa! I think I got it all. Then they broke the worst news to me. She's pregnant with two little kitties. She's around two weeks and the gestation time for cats is 9 weeks. He said he could still spay her but he needed to do it before she reached 6 weeks. How would I ever make that decision to kill her babies? (Side note: I am very pro-life as my biological father (or sperm donor as I call him) wanted my mother to have me aborted when he found out she was pregnant. If my mom hadn't of stood her ground, I wouldn't be around. Luckily she packed up and ran back home and into the arms of Dad, the wonderful man who raised me as his own, along with my older sister when he was just a kid himself! Love you Dad...even though I know you don't read!!)
OK, back to kitty. I bring her home and give her food and water, along with the antibiotics and patched up her little paw (luckily they did the hydrotherapy at the vet so I didn't have to do it last night) and then decided I was gonna see if she had a home. She was just too friendly not to have one. I started with the family that lives in the other half of our duplex. She has a son who's always playing around the neighborhood and keeps track of everyone. He and his mom thought they knew who it belonged to and offered to go over there with me to see if it was theirs. So, we walk over there, and there is a couple sitting on the steps with a toddler playing in the parking lot. The woman looks up and says, "What has my cat gotten into now?" So, I told her I just got back from the vet and she starts acting a little more concerned. By the time this was going on, the cat was peeved cause I had been holding it too long and it just wanted down. So, she saw it as she was running under the car. I told her what all happened and that I had medicine I'd bring over for her if they'd take care of it and she said they would. Then, I told them she was pregnant (and the girl was pregnant herself, smoking...but, who am I to judge?) and she said, "She's pregnant again? I've only had her a year and this is the second time she's gotten pregnant. I just got rid of the litter she had before." So, at this point, I start getting peeved. She said she was planning on getting her fixed but they didn't have the money and now that she was pregnant she would have to wait until the kitties were born. Then I told her that the vet said he could spay her before she got to six weeks and she said that was just "disgusting." And then she brought up the money again. I told her that I knew someone at the humane society that could give her a 1/2 off the price of a spay or neuter as long as it was done at a vets office here in Calloway County. I told her that meant it would only cost $35. And then I offered to help her pay it if they didn't have the money. She then said, "Oh, no, I thought it would be more than that, I could pay that." I think she felt a little insulted, and I wasn't trying to insult her. I just wanted the kitty fixed so we wouldn't have more cats in this world. So, then, my Schwann's man pulled up and I told her I had to go, but that I would get the medicine and food and instructions and bring them back shortly.
As we were walking back, my neighbor and I looked at each other and had the same thought. We hope she'll take care of them. We were trying not to judge them on our first impressions, but it's kinda hard sometimes. She looked pretty rough, like don't want to meet her in a dark alley kind of way. Well, I spent a little too long talking to the Schwann's man so it was probably 30 minutes before I got back over there. It was dark and they were already back inside. So I rang the doorbell and waited. Nothing. Evidently their door bell does not work. So I knocked a little bit. Didn't want to wake up any kiddos or anything. (I also didn't want the girl coming and kickin' my butt!) Well, the guy answered the door. He was very thankful for everything that I did and told me he would pay me back as soon as he could but that he just got laid off from his job, and just got another job, down on his luck...yadda yadda yadda. But, as I was asking questions (are you from here, where'd you live before you moved here, etc.) he told me he was in the military (Air Force) and was a trained surgical technician. He got burned out on it, so took some time off and got into contracting (I think that's what he said) but now he's a chef at a local restaurant! He said he was trying to get back into surgical because the money was good, and I don't think the girl worked. Anyway, as he was telling me this, I started feeling a little better about them taking care of the cat as he has medical training and maybe he would know how to do all of the stuff that needed to be done.
So, that's it. I spent too much money on a stray cat, who ended up not being a stray but owned by someone in my backyard. The thought that is comforting to me is that if I had of found the owners before I took her to the vet is that they might not have taken her, and she wouldn't get the medicine and care she needed. So, if they take care of her, then I've done a good deed. I didn't want recognition or even reimbursement for the care. I just wanted that sweet little kitty taken care of. And I hope they do. I'm in the process of getting the spay voucher to them, and then hopefully I can check up on her from time to time. I'm such a sap when it comes to animals. It breaks my heart when they are sick or injured, because they can't tell you what is wrong or how I can help them. I just love on them and try to comfort them as much as possible. I'm in such a funk today. I know my broken heart will mend. I've been praying a lot since last night. I'm not much for saying prayers a lot, but I needed God's help and wisdom and I felt like He helped comfort me last night. I will continue to pray about this and other things in my life that I have not been able to get control of myself and maybe things will get better. Maybe this was God's way of telling me to pay more attention to Him and every thing around me. WOW, sorry if I got a little deep there. Keep me and Layla (the preggo cat) in your prayers...we're gonna need it! ~Toodles! Kim