We have been having lots of contact with the strays in Buddy’s paddock lately. Smokey, Blue (the new ginger male), Lucy’s mum and Jett have been regulars. It’s been nearly a month since poor little Jezz went to kittie heaven and the pain is still right in our hearts, but life is moving on ever so smoothly. Smokey and Blue have been waiting for me for the past few days in the mornings as I arrive to feed Buddy. Well, Blue has been around for a few weeks on a full-time basis and he greets me with his very demanding (though a bit wimpy) meows as I walk towards him. Lucy’s mum is ready to pop as she is at the end of her pregnancy. Then about two weeks ago another cat turned up, which we have never before seen. She is also almost ready to pop, has a sweet little voice and is a short-haired white with tabby patches. She’d almost pass for Jezz’s twin except for the short hair.
Little white/tabby girl....
Anyway, the first time I saw her, she rolled on her back merely a few meters from me and she showed me her belly, which in cat language is a sign of trust. Lucky for her, I was not about to abuse this apparent trust and petted her gently while talking so she got to recognize my voice. She stayed around for a while and ate. Then she walked south to the adjoining property. She has been around maybe one other time until Sunday morning that just passed, when she was there waiting meowing and coming right up to me to offer this innocent trust toward a strange human. I was stunned and gave her lots of affection back with gentle pets and soft talking to accompany my actions. She was so content, she even let me rub her very, very pregnant belly and feel the little lives developing inside. As I was looking after Buddy, she walked south again. I decided to follow her after a little while. She was two properties away. I was not too happy about that one at all. The old man who has a number of cows there always yells at them, whacks them with a stick to move them around and just seems like a typical, uneducated old man who thinks of nothing but himself and considers animals as commodities to him, and not living creatures that may feel fear and pain.
Smokey, looking cool, calm and collected.
I noticed the little white/tabby sitting about 50m away and I meowed to her. She looked at me and meowed back. She then started to slowly make her way to me across a small grass strip between two filthy, muddy paddocks. She eventually got to a gap connecting the two paddocks about three meters wide with a metal gate across it. She is a cat and she is clean, therefore, there was no way in hell she would put her precious little paws onto mud. As she looked at me confused, meowing a little here and there, she contemplated the next move. She decided to try and walk across the bottom bar of the gate, which was barely over an inch (25mm) in diameter; yes, it was round, not square. The cat now exhibited the perfect balancing technique enabling her to cross with little effort until she got to the middle of the gate where an upright bar was blocking her path. With remarkable agility she weaved around this bar and almost made it. I said almost. I think maybe that she had a fat belly full of kittens she was thrown off balance and dropped some 30cm to the mud. YUUUUUUUUUUCK she said and I never saw a fat, pregnant cat run so fast across mud. It was rather cute. Then she walked right beside me all the way back to the shed and joined me in some more affectionate contact. Lots of pets and cuddles were exchanged here.
She is coming to me.
I did not see her since Sunday morning. Until today. I got there at 07:15 and noted Smokey, Blue, and unusually, Lucy’s mum. they were waiting for the free feed provided by yours truly and his wonderful, compassionate wife.
As I stood near the edge of the shed, I heard a little meow. It was my new little girl. I was so happy to see her as I had thought maybe she went off to give birth already. She moved and wanted to come towards me, but her left hind leg had trouble moving. I was getting all worked up now as I was not sure if it was broken or severely damaged some other way. I saw that Justin (who rents the horse property next door, and is a very fine horseman himself) was getting the feed ready for his clients’ horses. I asked if he could help me with the little cat so that we could put her in the tack shed while I drive home to get a carry cage and I can then take her to the vets. He was kind enough to help and I am grateful for his patience and time. The little cat came, ate a little food I offered to her and luckily I had no trouble picking her up to carry her to the tack shed about 100 meters from me. As soon as Justin popped his head out of the feed shed she was carrying on, nervous, trying to get away. I held her firm, as firm and gentle as possible, and carried her.
When I returned her heart was still racing yet she was calm. I spoke to her softly and she meowed; a good sign. She was easy to handle into the carrier that had a nice soft blanket on the bottom. I covered her with a large pink sheet – ideal for a little girl – and moved right along to the wonderful vets and nurses at Penrith’s Coreen Avenue Veterinary Clinic. These girls and guys are so wonderful and supportive with many things relating to animals that I knew they would help. Dennis, whose wife Dr. Lyn is co-owner of the practice with Dr. Nicole, had a look with me and we saw immediately the enormous abscess that was covering the entire inside of the left thigh. This abscess burst somehow (maybe as I carried her) and left the flesh exposed in an area about 20mm x 50mm. A very raw wound indeed. No wonder my arm carried a putrid smell after I handled her; it was the puss that was released due to the burst abscess.
Blue, the handsome ginger tom.
She is now awaiting surgery and would need to come home to us to have the kittens (hopefully my wonderful, beautiful wife will agree). Then when the kittens are old enough at around eight weeks, they will be adopted out at Coreen Avenue Veterinary Clinic and with a bit of hope, mummy cat too. Cross your fingers for her speedy recovery.