Yesterday I brought Rags in to be tested, neutered, his ears rid of mites and dewormed. He got his nails trimmed to and his fur cleaned up. My neighbor Mary Lou and I split the cost and another neighbor Randy is going to pitch in too. I was a little worried the little dude was going to test positive for Feline Leukemia or Feline HIV. I also wanted to get an age on him. I had an inkling he might turn out to be older then the 18-24 months I initially thought for a couple of reasons: A) He has full jowls, B) His balls were fully developed C) I noticed his teeth were discolored, including one of his canines being a snaggletooth.
I got him into the cat carrier no problem at all. From a cat who ran at the sight of people 10 months ago he now greets our Post-person Sandy when he hears her mail truck every day when she brings him treats. He's become quite social and I can pretty much handle him and pick him up. He weathered the car trip to the Animal Protective Foundation well. Drop off time was 8AM and I wasn't the only one bringing in a cat for the program. One lady brought in 5-8 semi-feral males the last of the bunch from a colony in Ballston Spa. She had already done the same for about 38 other kittys and had found homes for most of them. When I returnd to pick Rags up at 4PM at the APF's education center there had to be at least 12-15 cats all lined up waiting to be picked up. The vet must have worked on them assembly line fashion.
Much to my surprise Rags came out of his day like a new man. When the volunteer told me he had some dental disease and the Vet removed his snaggle-tooth because it was loose I wasn't surprised. When she told me he was about 10 years old my mouth hit the floor. I was also told he was not a feral and was very nice with the vet. I looked at him in the carrier and said "Dude what is your story?". He was glad to see me and when I got him home came right out of the carrier and butted my hand even though he was still groggy.
Where this cat was the first 8-9 years of his life me and my neighbors will never know. Maybe someone threw him out, or moved away and left him behind or he was abused and ran away. I know he knows how to hunt and he used to dumpster dive. He's definitely been in a bunch of fights (torn ear and hes battle-scarred). Since I've worked with him he's become quite affectionate (male cats typically are). He will cross the threshold of my doorway but doesn't want to be inside behind a closed door yet. When I closed the door but didnt completely shut it he walked over to and and took his paw to open it and leave yesterday. right now he only comes in because he knows where is food is.
I've fixed up his cat house with a fleece mat and old towel on top of his straw bed and he's content in that or on my door mat. I will definitely bring him inside if he wants to come in when it gets bitter cold. He may have to stay in my entry way but at least he'll be warm at night.
All I can say to the person who turned Rags out: Karma is a bitch and what goes around comes around. I have no compassion to anyone who disposes/mistreats an animal.
October 16th is National Feral Cat day. Across the country there are thousands of volunteers working with our homeless cats. If you can afford to contribute for a spay/neuter please do so. For more information Alley Cat Allies is a great resource.