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Now I've done it. . .

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've "caught" my first stray - though it could hardly be considered a catch since he came and sat on my lap and started purring! "Romeo" as I think I shall call him, came for dinner last night, alone, which is unusual. I noticed his third eyelid in one eye was exposed and his scruff was entirely covered in scabs and scales, along with a 1cm wound on the right side of his neck. He had a healthy appetite and was very friendly, but in really rough shape.
I coaxed him into the carrier without much of a fight and quarantined him in my bathroom for the night. Then I called the after-hours number for my vet and PM'd Hissy for advice (THANKS Hissy!!!!) Gave him some tuna juice and water and put a litterbox in with him, but he was apparently mystified by it, as his bladder was full to bursting when we got to the vet's this morning.

He has ear mites, hookworms and is in dire need of a medicated bath,, but other than that he's pretty happy to have someone looking after him. We have Clavamox and Tresaderm to look forward to twice a day, and a second dose of wormer next week, but he thoroughly enjoyed the brushing I gave him after we returned from the vet. lots of purrs and head-bonks! He's going to make someone a very happy playmate when I get him cleaned up! I've contacted my local no-kill, and they'll take him when space permits once he's healthier.

So, I'm officially a foster mom!! Bella's been taking it in stride - just some curious sniffs at the bathroom door and at me when I haven't washed right away, but no hissing or hiding. She just knows SOMEthing's going on, but not sure what.

PLEASE, feel free to offer advice to the rookie rescuer!!!
post #2 of 15
No advice, but Congratulations, Well Done, and Good Luck!
post #3 of 15

post #4 of 15
Congrats - it must make it easy when the rescuee invites himself over and plops down on your lap. He knew exactly what he wanted and how to get it.
post #5 of 15
Good job
post #6 of 15
Oh RicaLynn, what a wonderful, wonderful thing you've done!

Sounds like this guy used to have a home but has been on his own for quite some time. He sure needed some attention, and I'm so glad you were there to give it!

As to getting him to use the litterbox, I assume he is doing so by now, LOL! But just in case, cats that are used to using outside - best to put a layer of dirt over the litter. Sometimes they'll just lie on it then, but what we've done in the past is to buy two of those throw-away cardboard litter pans, put a few inches of litter in them with a layer of dirt over the top. As soon as the cat goes to the bathroom, we take the litterbox they were laying on out, and we don't scoop until they go to the bathroom again. We take the litter box we took out, remove the dirt, put a little bit of their urine in the litterbox that now has no dirt, and leave just that one box. Now they know it's for the bathroom, and they don't lie on it.

We had one kitten hold out for a little over 24 hours before giving in and using the box!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd keep the kitties separated until you're sure Romeo's OK and parasite-free. I don't know if the vet suggested that you bring in a stool sample after you're done with the deworming meds (which are usually given over the course of three weeks, because there is no worming med that kills the larvae, so they have to hatch first, thus the long treatment period to address the lifecycle of the parasite). BUT - if vet didn't suggest it, please do it anyway. Take a stool sample about a week after the last treatment. Roundworms have become very resistant to many medications, and it often takes several rounds of using different meds to get rid of them.

And if Romeo's going to "meet" your other kitty before the no-kill shelter can take him (did they give you any timeline? I don't know where you are, but around here they put you on a "waiting list" and then never call. They rarely take rescues from individuals - usually just from the SPCA and kill shelters), there are lots of resources here, including this article: Introducing Cats
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
(et al!) Thanks so much for the encouragement! "Romeo" already looks 100% better than he did a mere 48 hrs ago! He finally used the litter tray I brought from the vet's sometime Sat afternoon while I was out, and is now quite regular - had his 1st poop this morning, with a small bit of diarrhea I'm sure due to the meds.
My grand plan is to keep him for a week or two to allow the meds to work, then take him back for a second checkup and neuter. They of course did not want to chance this in the shape he was in, and I'll let THEM take care of the medicated bath at that time. In the meantime I've bought some kitty bath wipes and am using them carefully to avoid his open wounds. He's incredibly easy to medicate (did I mention I got lucky with my first rescue? ) and even though I have to avoid his neck wounds when massaging his ears he has yet to howl or hiss at anything I've done to him!

I've asked to borrow a digital camera so I can hopefully post some before pics tomorrow and more as time progresses.
Thanks to all for the good vibes. Keep 'em coming!
post #8 of 15
he sounds like a sweetie, Rica, What luck your first is so loving.. my house cats aren't so friendly.. (at least Molly)..lucky duck. once he's all fixed up, he should find an easy home.
post #9 of 15
Wow! This is so wonderful! Thank you for rescuing this sweet cat. Romeo sounds like the perfect name for this lover boy.
post #10 of 15
Actually don't use regular dirt for his litter pan. Especially with the wound he has. Use organic potting soil. That way you don't get the bugs and bacteria that regular dirt carries. Good job in rescuing! I was thinking about you the other night and wondering how it went!
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Now I know he was someone's pet before - all it took was a tablespoon of potting mix from my flowerbox scattered across the top, and now he's using the hooded litterbox with clumping litter. (which thankfully helps with the smell - tomcat pee AND diarrhea, PU!!) He's still in quarantine until I can figure out if he's got fleas - gonna comb him out tonight - so he's in a dark, quiet room w/a night-light and water, which he still isn't interested in.

I've tricked him into taking fluids by mixing canned food w/Pedialyte, which he will lap up like a mad pig to get to the chunks at the bottom I wonder, since he is still in survival mode, if I should free-feed, or stick to the schedule: meds, then dinner. I'm afraid if I leave kibble out for him, he'll just gobble it all up in five minutes and be "hungry" again in a few hours.

His skin is already on the mend; the scales are falling off and it looks like healthier skin underneath, so hopefully his fur will start filling in again soon. His third eyelid's almost invisible now, and the scab over his eye is gone, too.

Pics to come later this evening!!! Thanks to all!
post #12 of 15
Sorry! I totally forgot to mention not to use regular dirt!

Glad you had the good sense to do that.

I would hold off on free-feeding for now. He might eat until he gets sick. It may be a while before he trusts that he's going to get fed whenever he needs it. He should be able to free-feed at some point, but again, it's a matter of getting to the point that he trusts that there will be more food. No telling how long that could take.

Looking forward to pics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Romeo got a wonderful 45-minute grooming session last night!! I fed Bella part of a can (to keep her busy) and took the rest of the can and the meds in to lover-boy. I have learned that I have to keep the food OUT of the room until the meds are done, otherwise he dances, prances and jumps up on the counter looking for it - he knocked the can down and nearly got the cover loose!!

He's getting stronger!! He put up more of a fuss w/the Clavamox last night, wriggling and stiff-arming me trying to get away. I'm so scared I'm going to pull one of his scabs if I grab his neck, though!! They go almost all the way around his neck, poor guy, but they are healing, slowly. He also tried to escape the quarantine area, but I caught him without a struggle before he got more than five feet.

After he finished his dinner, I started with a rubber groomer (kinda like a zoom groom) on his sides and back and then with the flea comb, beginning with the top of his head. This showed that the dry scaly skin starts between his ears, under what fur is left there. Up to that point I hadn't brushed the fur back to check that closely for fear of pulling the scabs I could see. The scales also go further down his back than I originally thought, to about halfway between neck and tail.

He didn't fuss at all about the flea combing, and I got loooots of undercoat out, along with loooots of flea feces, dry skin/nits and five or six live fleas (at least I think they were fleas - they had white hind-ends were these females w/egg sacs???!!!) SO, now I have to wash ALL the clothes I've worn in there, and the towel I've been using, and the rugs, in hot, hot water, just in case there are any other eggs lurking in them. Don't need Bella or the house to get infested!!!

The only complaint he made was hardly a complaint. The vet also told me he's had his tail broken recently, because it's not healed yet, and if you look near the base you can see it's slightly swollen. When I got too close to it with the comb, which does exert some pressure, Romeo simply pushed my hand away with his head. No growling, no meowing, no hissing, just a nudge to let me know, "Hey, that doesn't feel too good, move that thing somewhere else."

After I finished as much as I could w/the comb, I did his pedicure. I discovered he's missing his left dewclaw, and his rear claws are in horrible shape, very dull; guess he's been scratching for mites too hard. The stubs that are left are pretty discolored from the blood, but I think a bath will take care of that. He didn't have any tender toes, and he slept through the trimming

I think Bella's worried she may be displaced. I've been making an effort to give her equal time, but last night was a marathon session and didn't leave much time for her. She slept with me all night again, which she only did ONCE before he came, when we had really bad weather. She has nothing to worry about, I'm not giving her up for anything! My co-workers, though, are trying to persuade me to keep Romeo as a playmate!! Would that I could!!
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Sorry, the pics aren't the greatest - tough to figure out a new-fangled digital camera AND hold Romeo still enough for the shot. I tried, but they came out very grainy and dark, and I don't know how to play w/photobucket yet. I will warn you the second photo may make you cry

This shot doesn't do him justice, but you can see his "smoldering eyes." You can almost see the scar over his left eye too:

Here's the only decent picture I could get of his neck - his right ear is under my fingers in the upper right:
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Romeo's getting stronger by the day. He's getting bored in my little tiny bathroom: he's yelling "out! let me OwwwwwwT!" at all hours and is clawing at the carpet under the doors (good thing I trimmed those claws!!) I've ordered a feliway plug-in online, and now that I know he'll use the litterbox I may move him to the spare bedroom to give him more space (after I re-cat-proof the room, of course).
By next Wednesday he should be ready for neutering and a bath at the vet's!!! His skin is clearing and his third eyelid is gone back into hiding where it belongs.

Bella's beginning to show signs of stress - she's sleeping with me all night and this morning she vomitted for the first time in weeks - no change in her diet, just the new addition. Hoping the Feliway will help her too.
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