On May 27, we decided to foster a semi-feral senior cat from the cat rescue I volunteer with (despite considering myself a very logical person, I occasionally make very strange decisions). He's adjusting very well, and it has been a learning process for all of us.
A little back story: I've known the cat for two years- he was a resident of the room I clean regularly. When I first started cleaning, he was very wild. He'd been brought in as a feral cat. Probably already about ten years old and very much "intact." The group had him neutered and tipped his ear, with the intent being to release him again to live out his life, but he had bad infections in his right ear, which led to repeated hematomas. So, they kept him at the shelter to make sure that he go the care he needed.
In the room, he liked to hang out on the top shelf, a place where most people couldn't reach him. But I'm tall enough to get to the cats that try to hide up there. I was hand feeding one of his friends, and he would take a piece of food from me. But he always let me know that he didn't like it. I remember once he was hissing so much that he choked a little on the kibble.
After a year of working with this wild cat, we got to a good place. And in the last few months, he would come to see me when I came into the room. He'd let me pet him without hissing or cringing. Sometimes, he would even reward me with a purr! I wanted to help him turn that final corner- from feral cat to happy pet. I thought bringing him home would be the best way to do that.
He's been in our home for over a month now, and we had a rocky start, but things are going great now. He has his moments, and his first instinct is always to hide, but he sleeps next to me every night (sweet, until you remember that he really smells). The hematomas caused that ear to curl up in what is called cauliflower ear that emits a funky odor...
Which leads us to today. I'm taking him to the vet. He's very food motivated and not familiar enough with cat carriers to be scared of them. I think I'll be able to get him there , but I'm nervous to see how he reacts to the vet. I have a feeling I'm going to have to put drops into his cauliflower ear. He barely lets me touch it now.
He also inspired me to add a cat into my amnesia girl story. Which I have been working on instead of Power Trio... bad!
'Men have forgotten this truth,' said the fox. 'But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.'
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery