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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Lesser of two evils?

I have a problem. Not that anybody can really help, this is more just to vent and have a cyber-shoulder to cry on.

Vermilion is one of the cats I was going to trap this Spring and have Animal Control come take away (he would be euthanized). It's not that I don't like him, but his life out there is low quality. Lately his nose is all scratched up and infected from all the fights he gets in (and I think he starts most of them, the way he acts around the other cats). Even if it wasn't his own health, I had decided to send him away as he bullies all the other cats away from the food and guards bowls so nobody else can eat much.

Anyway... now he's limping. Left back paw is swollen, and he's not putting any weight on it at all. I don't know if this is an injury from something in the junk pile (there's barbed wire, sharp edged metal stuff, nails sticking out of wood boards, etc. in the place they all live in), or if he got it hurt in a fight.
I hate for him to suffer more than necessary. As there's really no way for me to give him pain medicine, I think I should trap him as soon as possible. I could do it tomorrow, but it's supposed to rain and they don't really come out when it's rainy. Friday is snow, so even less chance of him coming out.... plus if I do it on a Friday, I don't know if AC would do any euthanizing right away, or let them sit in cages for the weekend?

I guess I could set the trap and HOPE that he gets in it (instead of Zinny, who likes to try to get the canned food bait), or just wait out the weekend and start on Monday instead. I don't even know if his foot might be better by then, or if it'll just end up getting worse if I wait and he'd be in even MORE pain next week. SIGH

Awwww, my poor Vermy! *cry*
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 05:18 PM
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Even a low quality life is better than no life.

I would do what I could for him - you can put antibiotics like liquid Amoxicillin in his food - and just leave him to his fate.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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The only trouble with putting things in food (besides the fact that it's kibble... only canned for the trap), is that I don't know if he'd get a full dose... or even overdose. All the cats share community bowls, there's really no way I can monitor who gets how much.

Another option I have is to trap him, then put him in the cage I have. But he's pretty big - the kittens had plenty of room, but he might be a bit crowded. I could take him to the vet to get whatever initial treatment, then put the meds in his food while he's caged.
And would I keep him inside, or outside? Outside, there's really no way for him to keep warm, as all my insulated boxes would take up way too much room in the cage.
Bleh... me and my big softie heart!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 05:26 PM
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If his back paw is swollen as you say likely it is infected, either by a bite from a fight or scratched on barb wire. The fact that he's not putting weight on it means he is in pain. If I were in your situation, I don't think I would wait until Monday, but trap him as soon as you can. It's possible it's an abscess that will drain and get better on its own, but there's also the possibility that it doesn't and leads to a longer, painful death from blood poisioning. Hope you have success in catching him.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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I just called Animal Control, and they said that usually they hold cats for 5 days to give a chance of an owner coming to claim. But I explained this is a feral who I can't touch (let alone get within 5 feet of) and he is injured and in pain, so they said they would euthanize him the same day.

Even in a cage, I doubt I could give him meds. He'd either bolt right out again, or would scratch/bite me horribly, or hurt himself trying to get out of the cage when it's shut. Just too many things going against the poor guy.
Personally, I would feel better having him gone than having to deal with all that pain and stress for several days (weeks?).

SO! I am going to bed early, so I can set the trap at sunrise when they start getting active...and hopefully beat the rain! If it's not too cold, I'll stay out and watch it.. or just check it every 15 minutes or half hour like I usually do for TNR kitties.


Thanks for letting me whine! I feel a little better now. And even better when Vermy quits suffering!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 05:47 PM
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I know this is awful for you. But I would really try to give this cat a chance. If you trap him, a vet can give him one powerful shot of antibiotics that will get him over his infection. You can then take him home and release him.

He is neutered, correct? Because that could be done also, changing his behavior for the better.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Nope, not neutered. I only got half of the colony managed before winter came. Still need to get about 6 cats trapped! The kitten's mother was one I really wanted to get, before they got more siblings this year... but she's smart and won't go in the trap, even if there is a treat!

Yeah, and stop him fighting to get any other injuries, too! Now if only I could clean up the junk, just in case that was it instead... but most of that stuff weighs more than I do!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 08:10 PM
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here are a couple of links that might help you in trapping Vermillion; http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=889 there is some info on getting a hard to trap cat.
Our Companions Domestic Animal Sanctuary, an animal welfare organization working to eliminate pet homelessness with training, and education and a Pet Resource Center in Connecticut there is a pdf that does address holding a feral until you can get it seen.


i agree with Greenport ferals, any chance is better than none, barring the cat being in agony.

"Well-intentioned people argue that it is our humane responsibility to kill feral (cats) kindly, rather than let them face the rigors and perils of an uncertain future. When I observe a recently caught feral cat...I see a being not altogether unlike myself. If I were that feral (cat) - facing an immediate...death, or a chance at life - replete with all the perilous uncertainties it holds - I would choose life. And so for these feral (cats), I can choose no less." -
Cole McFarland, Jr.

of course this is all very easy for me to say since i am a couple thousand miles away and it is on your dime.

i will give you and Vermillion all of the positive thoughts i have. good luck to you both.

"In studying the traits and dispositions of the so-called lower animals, and contrasting them with man's, I find the result humiliating to me."
--Mark Twain
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Got him.

And now that I have seen him up close, with a bleeding nose, I think he's the one who has been sneezing bloody mucus into the food bowls the last few days.
As much as people disagree with me, I'm just going to have him euthanized. Too many issues for just a single vet visit I think, and he's suffered enough already.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 04:03 PM
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I agree with your choice. With that infected foot, and the bloody sneezing, as well as his behavior towards the other cats I think you are doing the right thing. The stress from being handled/cages/medicated would possibly negate any attempted treatments anyways.
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