Monday with the help of my friend Jill, I trapped a feral cat I have known for years we called “Orange Kitty”. He was a fixture in our neighborhood and he had been a regular on our porch for at least five of them. He learned that we always had good grub and water available, so he came around several times a week to eat and chill on our porch.
I knew he was homeless, but he seemed healthy and I was happy to provide him with meals and shelter. He never threatened our other kitties but he also showed no desire to interact with humans either.
We tried to pet him many times but he always shied away. His daily visits consisted of sneaking a snack and a quick rest, and then he disappeared until the next day. It was funny to see his elusive maneuvers around our house.
After Hannah died, her cat Tony came to live with us. We love Tony. He’s a sweet guy, but he is a bit of a bad-ass and is quite territorial. Soon after December of 2015, we stopped seeing Orange Kitty. After years of no contact we assumed the poor guy had died. I was sad, but relieved because I always worried about him and I hated to think of him suffering. About a year ago, we did see him on our porch a few times and I was so sad to see that he had a very bad wound on his neck. At this point I thought we should try to catch him and take him to our vet for medical care, shots and neutering. We set our animal trap, and after catching a possum twice and Mulder once, we gave up. Again, he disappeared and I assumed he had died.
Then, my neighbor and friend Jill, posted this photo of this cat on our neighborhood FB page.
She wanted to know if anyone had any information on him and that he was fighting neighborhood cats. His neck injury was still there, plus a few other injuries as well. I contacted her and we made a plan to catch him on her porch. I took my trap to her house and set it up with some stinky cat food. The next morning Orange Kitty was inside the trap making sad growling sounds. I knew that this old guy had suffered enough. As I looked close at him thru the cage I could see that he was hurt in so many places. I called our vet and they agreed to see him immediately.
I was crying of course and very emotional, but I had no conflict about what had to be done. At some point humans have to make a decision for animals that they can’t make themselves. I signed the papers to have Orange Kitty put to sleep. I asked if they could somehow sedate him gently before they actually gave him the shot so he wouldn’t have to endure any more trauma than necessary. The doc explained that they would first give him gas while he was still in the trap so he wouldn’t have to be pulled out. So he went to sleep in the trap and they took him out and brought him to me while he was still alive but sedated. I got to pet him and talk to him for a while.
I can’t be positive about this, but it may have been the only time in his sad life that he had affection from a human being. His fur was dirty and spotted with dried blood. The injury to his neck was beyond description and the doctor told me that he had many broken teeth as well. He assured me that this poor animal needed to be released from this world and that I was doing the right thing. I knew that already, but it helped to hear it from Dr. Fields. Then they took him in the back again. I brought him home wrapped in a towel. When Jim came home he dug a nice grave for him. Jim has had lots of practice at this sad job, and he takes it seriously. We put our old friend in the ground and said a few words. Rest well Orange Kitty.
Thank you Jill. –Deb & Jim