I sit here in shame, and am almost too ashamed to write this story. This thread really ought to be in the feral forum or the S.O.S. forum - God PLEASE let someone learn something from our experience.
Well - it isn't so bad, I guess. But I'm just so disappointed - and I guess, as the red drains out of my cheeks, I guess that I don't really know what we could have done to prevent this. (Apart from the Landlord problem. That would have been easily answered if included on the adoption agreement).
OK. The woman called this morning trying to get out of our coming over at noon to pick up Spooky. Gary had had enough and lied again, bless his clever huge heart. He said we had friends coming in from NYC to see the cat, and that they'd be here only for a few hours in the afternoon, and we REALLY didn't want to miss the chance to get her adopted.
She "fessed up." She said that Spooky had run into the heat duct and she couldn't get her out to put her in a crate. Gary said - don't worry, maybe she'll come to the sound of my voice. We'll get her out, and we're bringing our own crate.
We showed up on time to the minute. The lady let us in. The place was cold, messy, dirty and to us, disgusting. The place stank. The heat ducts are not covered. There was no separate room set up for the cats. The litterbox was a mess. (No wonder the place stank). There were no beds for the cats, no cuddly places - just depressing and sad and I had to contain myself to either not cry or not go nuts on the woman.
The downstairs was three rooms, all of them pretty empty and stark. She said the cats had never been upstairs. I couldn't see Juli anywhere. She said he was in his hiding place under the bed or desk (the two pieces of furniture in one of the rooms). She pointed to the vent where Spooky supposedly was. She was VERY apologetic. Great.
We called Spook - she didn't come. We shook treats. Nothing. I'm the smallest of us - I fished my hand around in the vent. Spooky was NOT in there. It was just a short distance to the tube that leads to the furnace and (fortunately) didn't go anywhere else. It was large enough for Spook to fit in, though. Gary and the lady went into the basement.
No Spooky. I looked in the living room (a couch, laundry basekets with laundry in them, a TV and an end table). Spooky was behind the couch, trembling. We pushed the couch out a little, and Gary leaned down to reach for her. She bolted - and ran upstairs. The woman laughed and said - that's the first time she's been bold enough to go up there! I wanted to slap her.
She went up, Gary and I stayed down. She found Spooky under the bed, and when she went to get her, Spooky ran downstairs and headed straight for the laundry baskets. I reached behind one and got a good hold of her scruff. I reached around, picked her up with both hands (with a really firm grip on her scruff still), and put her right in the box.
Gary and I "chatted" in whispers while she was up getting Spooky.
Me: "Is it better to leave Juli here for a day or two, or do you think we should say our friends are actually interested in both cats?"
Because...while it was horrible to me, it was inside, it was protected, and it was warm. They are being fed - and since they hide during the day, and come out to eat and play at night, what was the actual harm in leaving him there for a day or two.
Because....last night we'd discussed how IF we're going to have all five cats in here, Gary believed it would be easier on everyone, including the cats, if we intro'd one at a time. I can see it going either way.
So.... since Julius didn't seem in danger
there, Gary answered out the side of his mouth "We'll call her tomorrow to tell them we've got someone for Juli."
As soon as we got in the car, Spooky poked her nose up to the door of the crate (that was on my lap). Gary couldn't take that pitiful little look, so he opened up the crate door enough to get his arm in there, and he started to pet her.
The purring inside that car was reverberating. She flopped over for him and was kneading the air with HUGE, extended strokes. (And she has black paws and bottoms of legs underneath. It's too cute).
Gary went back to driving, I closed up the door. His hand was BLACK. She was filthy. Gary said - don't worry. We'll get Juli out of there. But he'll need to be cleaned, too, so it's best he's inside, where he is for now.
I think he's right.
The first thing we did when we got home was give her a bath. Well - Gary sat down with her on his lap for a few minutes, and let her roll around and be loved. The rest of the gang were closed in the bedroom.
Gary headed into the bathroom to bathe her. We let them all sniff the crate with her smell in it (well - Munchie didn't wake up or come out).
When Gar was done, I toweled her as dry as I could. She was kneading and purring while I dried her! The poor thing was just so happy to be somewhere else.
Anyway, as I dried her, I noticed a number of cuts on her head, one on her shoulder, and one under her chin. We checked her over thoroughly. No other cuts. THey're not abusing the cats per se. They were fresh, so I'm sure they came from Spooky bolting into that heat duct, squirming around in there, and bolting back out. Poor little girl.
I shut all the other cats back into the bedroom, and Gary came out into the living room with her wrapped in towels. He had to wash her completely twice before no more black came off of her.
She just kneaded and kneaded and kneaded while he finished drying her. Then she decided to take a look around. She was scrunched down and crawled very slowly around - but the fear left her eyes. She was cautious, but not scared.
She checked everything out - then came to crawl up on my lap! I petted the purring kneading mass of fur (now almost dry). Then I set her down on one of the chairs. There are so many blankets and levels and places for kitties around here. SHe snuggled in, and started cleaning herself.
I gotta go - we just intro'd SHelly. Well - I suspended the laptop for 1/2 an hour. But she and Shelly are now sitting on the "bird watching" place together. THey touch noses, sniff each other, go back to bird watching together. Knock wood. This intro is going well.
I'll post more later (or tomorrow!)