"Wait!" You say, "You just adopted a cat about a year and a half ago and he's sick and everything! What are you doing with a three month old kitten? Are you out of your mind?"
Well, you see, Moses was a surprise kitten.
Lately along the North Shore trail, I've had some run-ins with wildlife. Rabbits appearing out of nowhere and skittering across my path. Angry ducks chasing me away from nests. Birds swooping out of the trees with no warning. So I've been keeping a close eye on the sides of the trail lest I be assaulted again by Mother Nature.
Saturday, at mile 5 out of 18, I spied a face in the weeds on the edge of the trail.
I think it will come as no surprise to anyone that I immediately stopped running and flagged my running buddy to come over. My running buddy is a good person and a rescuer of cats and she also could not resist the little face. I mean. . . look at that face!
We tried to coax him out to pick him up, but the poor baby was terrified and just ran back into the brush. Fortunately, there was a drop off to the river and he couldn't go far. We called in the cavalry. My friend's mom is an experienced stray cat rescuer and she came to set out a have a heart trap. 2 hours later, after our run (which came up at 13 miles rather than 18 because we spent about 5 miles of time chasing a kitten), we returned to the trap and sure enough. . . it contained our little feline friend.
While he was skinny, he didn't seem to be unhealthy other than a few wounds where it appears something tried to eat him. He clearly needed medical care and some serious TLC, but appeared to be a dump rather than a feral kitten. Both of us keep tabs on what's happening at all the local shelters so we knew that the local rescues are all overwhelmed with homeless pets right now. We decided to start calling around to get the little guy some vet care and talked my husband into letting the kitty stay in my newly set up attic office at home where the other pets can't come bug him. We wanted to keep him out of the shelters if at all possible.
By later in the afternoon, my vet was able to come and see the little guy (Vet to Pet - they saved Clark's life) and treat his wounds. They cleaned up the wounds and gave us antibiotics for him, as well as dewormer. He was checked for FIV, feline leukemia, and heart worms and came up clean on all counts. His ears, eyes, and nose were all super clean. While he's a little light for his age, they guessed his wounds were about a week old and he probably hadn't been out on his own for too long. He was scared, but mild mannered.
We've spent the past few days taking care of him and socializing him. He's under quarantine from the other pets for 10 days because of his bite wounds, but he can smell and hear the other cats and has been looking for them. We have a feeling he'll socialize to our mellow boys quickly. He hissed at Sparkle when she gently sniffed his crate the other day and I don't know if that was because she's giant compared to him or because he was bitten by a dog. We'll probably never know, but we'll take it slow with her and I know she'll be great with him as long as we make sure she doesn't sit on him. We've been extremely careful with the kids around him, only letting them pet him if one of us are holding him, but he doesn't seem to mind them too much. I suspect when he's feeling up to playing, he'll downright enjoy their company. For now, we're teaching him to be a lap kitty.
He's a quick study. As of yesterday morning, he would still hiss at me when I tried to pick him up, but once he was in my arms, he was fine. This morning, he hissed at Tim (who has been able to spend less time with him), but not at me. He's making fast progress and is slowing gaining confidence.
While we're still not certain if he's going to live here long term, we're going to keep him long enough to let his wounds heal and to socialize him to the kids, cats, and dog and will have him vaccinated, neutered, and microchipped before finding him a home. In case you're wondering, there is already a waiting list of wonderful kitty homes in our family willing to take him in if we don't keep him. But if you're interested in saving a life, please check out the Animal Rescue League's free adoption event coming up soon. And in the meantime, I'll be sure to keep you updated on Moses and his acclimation to being spoiled.