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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
A feral cat returned to my neighbors back yard. He used to come around quite a lot, but he has been missing for several months. Any way, he showed up a couple of weeks ago when my neighbors were on vacation. He looked very skinny and skitish. I tried to feed him, but he wouldn't eat. When I tried to approach him, he hid underneath a pine tree. After a couple of days, he disappeared.

He's back again, looking even worse than before. This time he accepted food from my neighbors, but only ate a little bit. When I tried to approach him, he didn't even move ... like he was too weak to move.

I went to the store to pickup chicken baby food, thinking it would be easy for him to eat and digest. Other than that, any suggestions on what we should do with this poor cat? I'm guessing he's 2 years old, but he's very small for his age.

Please help.
 

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Sounds like he's in dire need of medical attention, and if you and/or your neighbors cannot afford to provide that, then I would be on the phone with local rescues to see if they offer help in situations like this.

I know the last rescue I volunteered with offered assistance to owners who couldn't afford the medical bills, and also helped foot the bill for strays that needed medical attention, as well.

Perhaps even call around to local vets to see if any of them are willing to help the little guy out. I've seen some vets take in strays, get them better, and adopt them out through the clinic.

Not all places provide these services, but it's definitely something to look into.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm calling around as we speak, but it doesn't look good. They're assuming the little guy is too sick to take care of, and are suggesting that I bring him in so they can put him down (if their assumptions are correct that he has a disease that can't be resolved). They said otherwise, he could be infecting other cats. Seems like that's a lot of assumptions to make just because I said he lost weight ... or is it?

I really don't want to catch him if all I can do is help him die faster, but maybe I'm being selfish. I can't even kill bugs, how am I going to help him get killed?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, I got a hold of a vet who will see him in a half hour ... he's going to take a look at White Foot and let me know whether he can save him or not. White Foot must be very sick, it wasn't difficult getting him into the carrier. On a positive note, he is still eating and seems to like the baby food I gave him.
 

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kwren said:
I really don't want to catch him if all I can do is help him die faster, but maybe I'm being selfish.
Well, if he's in such poor condition, and there's no treatment/cure...wouldn't it be more cruel to leave him be so he could suffer?

I know it's hard to put another life in your hands, but if it comes down to it...a life of suffering is worse than a humane death, at any cost.

I hope that he can be treated/cured of whatever is ailing him. Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
He was very dehydrated and his gums are white. The doc took a conservative approach by giving him a shot of antibiotics and re-hydrating his fluids ... he has him on baytril(sp?). He's hoping its a bacterial infection versus some form of lukemia. Anyway, he said the only way to see if he has some type of lukemia or other disease is to run a full blood panel on him. Unfortunately, I was laid off work more than a year ago, and can't really afford a full blood panel. This visit was quite expensive as it was.

He did say it was a positive sign that White Foot was still eating, albiet not a lot.

Please say your prayers for this little one. He's going to need it.
 

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*closes eyes to send good thoughts and healing wishes*
I understand having to make decisions based on bottom line, and I feel what you have done is already fabulous. If he *can* recover, you have done your best to give him the opportunity to do so: antibiotics, love, care and food. If he can't, then you've *still* done a wonderful thing by taking him in and caring for him before having to help him to cross over The Rainbow Bridge.
No matter what happens, you are a *hero* in my book for trying to help this kitty.
heidi =^..^=



In 2007 I had an emaciated feral collapse on my back patio. I took him to the vet and a blood test revealed a high white blood cell count. The vet cautioned that it could be either an infection or cancer. I brought him home and fed him fabulous foods, in addition to his medications, and he continued to lose weight. I think he was about 6# when I found him and after feeding him lots of good food, he continued to lose weight, down to 5.5#. This is a cat that should have weighed 12-14 pounds.
Because he was a feral/stray I could not afford to spend a lot of money on him and after more than a month of good care and great food, he continued to decline. I feel honored that he chose *me* to help him. I am proud that I was able to pamper and love him during his last weeks and show him what a great life it was to live with a family. When his follow-up vet visit showed he was continuing to decline we decided humane euth would be the best course of action. He was already a skeleton with fur and it would have been a long process to allow him to continue to decline, linger and 'die-at-home'.
The best thing I could do for him was to release him from his failing body.

This was Rusty after 4wks of care:


For comparison, this is Floofy who is the same body-frame (tall and long like Rusty) at 2yrs old and 13#.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for your kind words. And, Heidi, thank you for your compassionate help with Rusty. At least he was loved and cared for until the end.

White Foot made it through the night, and seems to be holding his head up a bit better. He still has an appetite, so that's a good thing. And he's less lethargic. He gets annoyed with me when I try to pet him, so he gives me a little hiss and then hides behind the couch. All good signs I think.
 

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Heidi: That picture of Rusty brings tears to my eyes. Hardly a cat left at all...I'm glad he found you so he could be cared for and not die all alone and after who knows how long of suffering in the outdoors.

Sometimes, euthanization is the best thing you can provide for an animal, and show how much you care.

kwren: I am glad to hear that White Foot seems to be getting better. Hopefully his health continues to improve!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rusty had me crying too. Very sad indeed.

I was trying to post a picture of White Foot, but I kept encountering error messages. So, I've updated my profile and now have a tiny picture of him as my avatar. He's a handsome boy.
 

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White Foot is a beautiful kitty. If he is hissing when being petted, it could be that he either doesn't trust what petting is and/or he feels so bad that petting hurts or annoys him. I think that is encouraging that he is improving and his appetite is still good. I'll keep hoping you'll be able to pull him out of this. In the Fall of 2006 I fought *very* hard to save our former-feral; Malibu. It was a near thing, we almost lost her, but my week of force-feeding was able to pull her through her bout with Hepatic Lipidosis (fatty liver) and that experience removed any final vestiges of feralness from her and she became my snuggle-kitty who sleeps against my chest or on top of my head every night.
I am hoping you are as successful with White Foot (awesome name, btw!) and that he becomes your faithful and devoted kitty.

I'm sorry that Rusty is upsetting to see but sometimes it is good to know that we can try and try, and if we have to help a kitty over The Bridge, it is still counted as a success because you were able to prevent suffering.

CatForum's server space dedicated to photo uploads has been maxed-out for more than a year and a new server or more space hasn't been secured. Many host their photos at free-sharing sites, I like to use PhotoBucket because it is free and easy.
heidi =^..^=
 

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Discussion Starter #16
White Foot seems to be getting a tiny bit better each day ... he's drinking and eating well ... and we've successfully administered the meds each morning and night. He is allowing me to pet him now without hissing, just meows.

My only concern is that he hasn't pooped yet. My neighbor said that it may take a little time because he was so dehydrated, but it's been several days at this point.

Here's a link to my slideshow ... pictures of:

My dear departed Guido (he was quite sick at the time of this photo, and already had lost his sight),

Violet - a stray we brought in when her family decided to move and leave all their pets behind. We didn't realize she was pregnant at the time ... not that it would have changed our decision to bring her in. The picture doesn't do justice to her beautiful green eyes. And, she is the sweetest of sweet cats.

Patches - Violet's first born daughter. Looks a lot like her mom, only she's a long hair.

Cole - Violet's second daughter. She's very sweet and a very shy little girl.

Blue - Violet's first born, and only son. He's my little lover.

White Foot - well, you know the story on White Foot. He looks a lot like Blue, only White Foot has a little white spot on his nose.

http://s335.photobucket.com/albums/m452 ... 9b6707.pbw
 

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Wow. Violets eyes are gorgeous in that photo. I cannot imagine them being even more stunning in-person. I'm glad to hear WF is recovering and I wouldn't be too concerned about him not having pooped yet. It will take a few days for re-hydration and food to work its' way through his intestines. I guess, if he hasn't pooped within 5 days, I'd probably call the vet to see how I could help things move-along.
h
 

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Discussion Starter #18
He finally had a tiny poop, so I think we are heading in the right direction. He is still eating and drinking, and is becoming friendlier each day. I can now pet him with no hissing or meows. We are not out of the woods, but I'm more optimistic than ever.

If we can get him through this journey, my neighbors said they would take him to the vet to get him neutured and to get his shots.
 

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White Foot lost his battle. When I went to give his medicine and food last night, he wouldn't eat. He looked very lethargic again. I stayed with him, caressed him, said the Lord's Prayer several times and sang Amazing Grace to him. The little guy was so sweet ... as I was singing to him he lifted his head and reached his paw out to me. Needless to say, I'm drowning in crocodile tears.
 
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