Saturday, June 28, 2014

A New Addition to the Family

Last year I shared with you the story of a stray cat that wound up on our porch. We nicknamed her Porchy as a result. This poor little dear was emaciated and pregnant. We started feeding her and set about finding her a foster family that could take care of her while she was carrying her kittens. She had 6 adorable fluffy babies, all girls. They named them after princesses and found them all homes. Afterward, they brought Porchy to a feral cat colony, but a few weeks later she miraculously appeared on our Porch once more.

Porchy and her babies

We were told that she wasn't indoor cat material. She had been dubbed "Shredder" by her foster family. But we continued to look after her and she continued to faithfully sleep on our porch each night. As winter approached, we constructed her a cat house from a large plastic container. As temperatures plummeted, we purchased a heated bed for her, too. She started following me on my walks with Rusty, hiding in the bushes mostly but attending to us nonetheless.

A few days after we returned from Santa Fe, she started favoring one of her front paws over another. Within a matter of days her condition visibly worsened. I thought about bringing her to the vet constantly and ultimately did so the same week. They were scared of her at the vet since she was technically a feral or stray cat, but she behaved perfectly while they handled her. The vet determined that she was in a bad cat fight. She had bitten her lip really bad. It swelled up and made her start drooling a lot. She also appeared to have a bad cat bite on the paw that was swelling up. He gave her a steroid injection and a slow release antibiotic and sent us home.

Dr. Hardy, our new vet, suggested that we keep her inside for at least 24 hours. Chris and I emotionally struggled over whether or not we should add a new cat to our household. We live in an apartment and were at our two pet maximum currently. Our current cat was also very spirited. And we also feared that keeping Porchy inside would make her depressed. After the 24 hours, the two of us opted to try keeping her inside long term. We brought her to Emancipet to be tested for feline diseases that weekend. After she received a clean bill of health, back home we went and she the integration process began.

She seemed to improve a lot within the next week. At the end of week two, though, she had stopped coming out from her cat house voluntarily. She seemed to be getting depressed and lethargic. I was worried that she missed going outside and that we had hit a brick wall with incorporating her into our family.

Then, one evening, I was petting her while she ate. Suddenly, an abscess on her chest we were unaware of burst all over the floor. It was possibly the grossest and scariest thing that had ever happened to me. The cat seemed fine, of course, but having never had this happen to me before I quickly freaked out. After calling several veterinarians for advice and to schedule her a visit, I calmed down. We brought her back to Dr. Hardy the next day, despite having been told by friends that it would cost a small fortune to fix her up.

Porchy was dropped off at Dr. Hardy's office. They examined her, cleaned her wound, gave her more medicine, sent us home with ointment, and only charged us about $40. I was amazed.

For about a week and a half I have been giving her a warm compress each night followed by ointment. Her wound is drastically improved and she is once again very social. She is still very skiddish, she is wary of Chris, but she comes out of her cat house and even ventures into the bedroom and living room on occasion. I am beyond thrilled. She is a doll. All of the animals are getting along quite well. Porchy is on the mend. Life, in general, is good.

No comments:

Post a Comment