Friday, November 11, 2011

A Face That Breaks My Heart

The sad reality of feral and stray cats. Those who know me, know I feel it is very important to give every feral or stray cat that I come across, a name. It gives them purpose, and makes them important. This is Oliver, I think the name suits him well.
He showed up a couple of months ago. Until recently all of my photos of him were taken in the dark and I was never able to see just how bad his eyes were.
He would come to eat in the shelter and on my patio after the other ferals ate first. He would always keep his distance from me until I was safely indoors where I can observe him through the window.
Each time I would set the traps out he wouldn't show. Then weeks would pass before I would see him again. Typical when you think a cat would be easy to trap, you watch their schedule, you plan, then they change their routine on you. It gets discouraging, but you don't give up.
Since last month, Oliver and I have built a relationship, with just a bit of trust. He now comes to eat with all the ferals, he sits and waits on the patio for me to bring the wet food treat they all get each evening. He even allows me to pet his head some while he is eating. The infection in his eyes is disturbing. His vision is very poor. I honestly can't imagine that he can see anything, except shadows in a fog.

I realized just how poor his vision was when I had the trap right in front of him and was hoping to have gained enough trust to just guide him in. His head was very wobbly, trying to focus. He knew something was there, within two feet from his face, but he couldn't focus, he was frightened and left the yard. I then realized each time he didn't show when I set the trap was because things were moved in the yard, the trap was a foreign object that he couldn't see well, so he kept his distance.
While watching him daily, and viewing the dozens of photos I have taken, he appears to have a growth on the inside of his left lower jaw. It could be a tooth abscess, but until he is vetted, I won't know for sure.
I am remaining positive in hopes that he has nothing contagious. His nose is clear, his weight is good, his breathing sounds normal. Perhaps the infection in his eyes is just from fighting, and the growth in his mouth is just a bad tooth.

I discovered tuna is the most tasty thing he goes absolutely crazy for. I am trapping again tomorrow night, and hoping the tuna, and the little bit of trust he is gaining with me will be promising.

I also hope and pray after vetting, he can be helped. Here again, is another big gray tomcat that has captured my heart.