The Cat Who Came In From The Cold

Explaining that last, somewhat incoherent post:

Hat is one of the trio of outdoor cats I’ve been caring for over the last several years. He’s very friendly and had become quite the homebody, following the sun from my front to my back porch and back during the day and sleeping in an old cat carrier on my front porch at night. On a typical day he would leave to do his business, stretch his legs or hang out with his friends for a while, otherwise he was always here.

Last night when I went out to “tuck him in” and give him a bedtime snack he was in his “bed”. I reached in and he shied away from me – VERY unlike him. Then he came out, but instead of going to me, he went under my car. He was limping!

I freaked out. At first I thought he’d been hit by a car, but I couldn’t examine him while he was under MY car. I was really afraid he’d do the typical injured cat thing – run away and hide.

So I ran inside and got food. All kinds of food. He still wouldn’t come to me, but I wasn’t going to leave him so there I was: middle of the night, about 20 degrees out, in my PJ’s, sitting in my driveway, fingers covered in smelly cat food, trying to coax a frightened cat out from underneath my car!

Finally I put some in a dish and stepped away. If there’s one thing Hat likes it’s food and the temptation was finally too much for him to resist – he came out to eat.

I grabbed him, carried him into my house and shut the door. By this time he seemed to have stopped limping, but it looked like he’d been attacked by something – there were spikey areas in his fur, a cut on his ear and under his eye, maybe more. The eye was tearing a lot. He also cried when I picked him up, which isn’t typical of him. I sat there pondering the situation for a while, then I picked him up again and carried him up the stairs to my spare room – simple as that.

He spent most of the night meowing. I tried sleeping on the floor with him – that idea worked out better for him (he was all too happy to snuggle up with me and my blanket) than for me (Ouch! – Apparently I’ve reached the age where I’m Too Old to Sleep On Floors). Went downstairs. Heard noise – went up, he’d knocked some books off a bookshelf. Sat with him again for a while then went back to bed. That was around 2AM. Bryce got me up again around 5:30.

Called my vet first thing in the AM and sleepwalked brought him over to be boostered, antibiotic-ed, have his ears cleaned, his nails trimmed, get checked for FELV/FIV (negative :)!) and have some icky stuff squeezed out of the cut under his eye. He was such a good cat at the vet – I wish my other cats were half that good! Fortunately my vet has a “deal” for treating stray cats so the damage wasn’t as bad as it otherwise might have been!

So he’s upstairs now, closing in on his first 24 hrs. He’s eating, he’s sleeping, he isn’t quite himself and he seems pretty tired, but that’s to be expected – so am I!