Becky, I read with great interest your wonderful story of Buddy, which in all honesty brought me so much happiness, as well as sadness. The happy emotions are very obvious to understand, but the reason why I felt so sad after reading this story is that I have a very similiar situation that I have been dealing with for quite some time. I am hoping that you could offer me some insight on a few things.
I have a stray cat that I have been feeding and subsequently trying to catch for over a year. Well needless to say, I haven't been very successful, although just recently, I received great advice from forum members which I will be applying the next few weeks. Just a short time ago, I noticed the cat had a terrible wound on the side of its neck, as if a large chunk of his skin had been ripped or clawed off, leaving that area raw and extremely red. This cat has outsmarted me and my husband all this time, so we knew catching him and bringing him to the vet was not an option. As a result, I began putting anitbiotics that I got from the vet in his food, and he has been on that for approximately two weeks now. Unfortunately, his eating schedule is sporadic, but he has probably consumed it on a pretty consistent basis and I see that his appetite is increasing or where it used to be. I don't see the wound getting any better, although the large piece of skin that was hanging from the side of his head is now gone. After I read your post, I realized that my cat suffered a similiar injury and since you have had the experience of taking Buddy to the vet and caring for him, I was hoping if you could tell me if what I am doing is adequate enough to stave off further infection or else. If you or anyone else on this forum feel that I have a short window of time to get him to the vet which is obviously not a probable situation at this point in time, please tell me so that I can bypass the ordinary process of trapping him (getting him used to eating by the trap for a few weeks, etc.) and take desperate measures although I don't know what that would be, short of throwing a blanket on him or using a large net (kidding).
I would greatly appreciate any advice you or any other members could give who have experience with cat abcess wounds, etc. On a closing note, I will say that I have rarely ever heard of a person like yourself holding a feral cat in her arms to care for their wounds, or anything else for that matter in such a short period of time. I am absolutely blown away at how much patience and trust this cat has in you already. All I can say is that you are truly each other's blessings. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will share a very, very special bond with this cat.
All my best to you. May you be blessed ten-fold for the wonderful blessings you have given to this wonderful, precious animal.
Susan aka Jesse's Mom