Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kitty Karma

My blog has hit 15,000 readers!

Today I'm going to share a story with you about my new little kitty I call Karma.

Mac the Guard Cat
A few months ago this adorable little cat started coming around.  He is so full of personality and love, he's irresistible.  He made himself quite at home, helping himself to food and scratching our big cat post and napping all day in the dining room.

The amazing thing was how my other cat Mac allowed this.  Mac is a very territorial cat and he hates other animals... period.  Mac can be jealous when I show attention to someone or something else.  But for some reason, he tolerated this little grey cat.

I assumed the kitty had a home because he was so cute but noticed he hadn't been neutered.  When I came home from my trip to Niue, the kitty turned up at the back door and I instantly knew something was very wrong.  He had black oily stuff coming out of his nose and he had sores all around his mouth.  I scooped him up, brought him inside and gave him a bath.  He was so happy to be looked after, he let me bath him without fussing or squirming.  I put him down in front of the fire to dry off and he fell asleep.

Kitty after his bath, happy to be loved.
The following morning I woke up to find him foaming at the mouth.  His mouth was really sore, he struggled to eat and he was in a lot of pain.  So I took him to the vet who discovered his mouth was one big ulcer and  his tongue was raw.  He suspected Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (aka cat HIV) which is highly contagious.  He gave me the option of antibiotics or to euthanize.

I burst into tears.  This sweet little face was looking up at me saying, "Help me".  I didn't want another cat.  I had to find out who owned him.  So I paid the vet, and brought the kitty and the antibiotics home thinking I was the biggest sucker in the world.  This isn't the first cat I've taken to the vet for other irresponsible pet owners.

I called the Tauranga SPCA to tell them what was happening.  I was really surprised and disappointed with the apathy from the woman on the phone.  She asked me if I'd been feeding the cat.  I said, well he's been helping himself to the food, so yes.  She said, as far as they were concerned, he belonged to me and they would not get involved.  I said, "But what if there's a whole family of them living under someone's house?" to which she replied, "That is the reality of strays."  So WHAT does the SPCA do then?  She was not helpful at all.  I requested a collar, which she agreed to post out to me.  It had a tag on it saying, "If this cat belongs to you, please call me... and my number."

The kitty started to get better but every night at 7pm he'd go out and I wouldn't see him again until the next day.  I had no idea where he was going.  Finally I got a call from a young girl asking if I put a collar on her cat.  OH THANK GOODNESS!  I asked her if she had any idea that her cat is sick.  She said she hardly sees him, to which I said, "That's because he's always at my house!"  I told her that I'd taken  him to the vet because he's been VERY sick, I'm giving him a course of antibiotics and he was almost euthanized.  She didn't know what to say except that she was trying to find a home for him and his sister.  She just moved in with her mother after she split from her partner.  She has a toddler and her mother doesn't want the cats in the house.

In his basket in my clinic, happy to be wanted.
She didn't sound like a bad person.  I agreed to share custody of the kitty since he was living at my place most of the time.  I absorbed the vet costs but asked her to pay to have him neutered.  I found a charity called Kitty Cat Fixers who help people get their animals spayed or neutered.  Of course there was still the issue of the FIV - I did a lot of research.  Some cats can live relatively normal lives with the virus.  You just need to be very attentive and keep them away from other cats to prevent fights.  Very tricky with old scrapper Mac but it was a risk I was prepared to take.

I made arrangements with Jan at Kitty Cat Fixers to go ahead and get him neutered.  This young girl was just not taking responsibility and I wanted to stop him from roaming and impregnating any female cats.  It's spring and they're all in heat.  I also paid to have the blood work done to confirm whether or not he had FIV.  I was over the moon when the test came back negative for FIV!  I asked the vet how that was possible.  They said that the test would only come back as a false positive.   There was a possibility he'd been poisoned or somehow stuck his head into oil.  Who knows!

Taking over Mac's scratching post
I named him Karma.  He is now in my full time custody.  He has no desire to go back to his old home.  His sister hangs around in my garden too but she's much more timid.  One day I picked her up and discovered that she was pregnant.  I was furious!  I called the girl who still owns her and said, "Do you realize that your cat is now pregnant?"  She asked how I knew.  I had a long talk to her about the responsibilities of pet ownership and how important it is to have them fixed.  She said she didn't think it was so important to get the boys fixed because they can't get pregnant!  OMG.  I explained to her that it's actually less expensive to get the males neutered and it's a much simpler procedure.  She's not a horrible person, just ignorant.  Some people don't know how to look after animals.

I called Jan at Kitty Cat Fixers and put her in touch with this girl directly.  Together they managed to get the little female in to have an abortion and to get spayed.  Jan is a legend.   So if you want to donate to this great charity, you can find the info on her website.  Jan does this out of love for the animals.  She volunteers her free time to clean out the cages and to visit the unwanted pets at the SPCA.  She knows people who foster cats when the SPCA won't take them.  There's such a big problem  My heart goes out to the ones who no one wants to love.

Sleeping in his spot ALL DAY with a big smile on his face.  He knows a good thing when he sees it.
We can do our bit to control unwanted pets.  I hate to imagine where Karma would be if I hadn't rescued him.  He has brought so much joy and happiness into the house.  Even Mac has become more playful.

He's a real housecat.  He sleeps close by me in my work space and he follows me everywhere.  I'm his mother.  He's very sweet and affectionate and he has the most wonderfully smiley eyes.  He emits love.

They say cats choose their owner.  This house clearly needed a little Happy Karma.   Meow.

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