Frankenscragglekitty, what a name, but it fits him well. He looks like he was sewn together, when he came to the doorstep he looked horribly scraggly, and well, he's a cat. He's improved since I found him and been renamed #9.
We feed the neighbourhood strays. My grandmother did it when we (my younger sister and I) were kids, and we have kept up with it. There is always a bowl of dry cat food just outside the front door. One night in November '97, I noticed a new stray hanging out, waiting for food. He was a mess. His fur matted and filthy with dirt and motor oil. He was scrawny and covered in fleas and looked ill. He ate his fill and then left. He didn't come back for a week. No big deal we have "travelers" come through all the time. A week later, he was at the door again. I fed him, he left, and the next night was back. He was very friendly, he allowed me to pet him, even purred over it. He even wanted me to pick him up. I started to think that maybe he had been abandoned in the neighbourhood and was just having a bad time of it. Then on one incredibly cold and windy night, I couldn't stand the idea of him being out there. I went out and there he sat, right by the front door, staring at me. I let him in the house. (No, I didn't have to drag him in either!) He walked in the door, and went straight for the kitchen, I opened up a can and he ate the entire thing. (We don't buy the little cans of food) Then he went for the dry food. Obviously he was starving and was going to be sure that he had his fill. After he ate, he jumped up on my desk and went to sleep. I had a cat. When I went to bed, I took him in the room with me so he wouldn't freak out with the kids running through the house in the morning. He got on my bed, curled up next to me and didn't move until I got up the next morning.
I knew he was sick when I found him. There a smell on cats with certain diseases, and Sissy smelled like him when he came home. I was sure he had FIV (feline immunosuppresive virus), and I was worried about his nose. (There was a huge scab on it) I guessed he had been hit by a car or in a fight. My sister left me a note that morning to make an appointment at the vet for him, I knew he was in. I took him to the vet the next day and had him examined. He had fleas (of course), an mild upper respiratory infection, and (ugh) lice. Lice on cats isn't that common, but I had a fit thinking that I let him sleep on my bed! The vet also thought his nose was scabbed because he had cancer. We tested for Feline Leukemia and FIV, he tested negative for leukemia, but positive for FIV. We took him home and bathed him to treat the fleas, stripped off the beds and treated them, used a flea fogger in the room, and killed the lice. He took up residence in my room until he was over his respiratory infection, and was ready to meet the other 8 cats.
Eventually, he lost the name Frankenscraglekitty (Frank
for short) because he didn't look like one anymore. We couldn't think of
a name and settled for #9. He's doing much better now. He gets along very
well with all the other cats. He's also going through a massive shed and
hopefully when his coat grows back in, it will look better. He seems happy
as an indoor cat, and still sleeps on my bed. Of course, now he thinks
that I am part of the bed and sleeps on top of me. (I sleep on my side,
and he thinks that my shoulder makes a great "perch") His nose looks better,
and he's gained (too much) weight. Like Sissy, his FIV won't go away and
it will shorten his life considerably. But what few years he has left I
plan to make them the best for him.
I have started something new for him. A friend of mine
takes in cats with FIV and FELV. She started doing Vitamin C therapy on
them, and the results are amazing. She told me what to do, and I'm giving
it a try. I told myself not to get attached to this cat since I knew he
was dying when I took him in. Yeah, right. He's such a sweetie and I love
him like mad. I'm willing to try this if it will help. I'll write updates
and post pictures of his progress. he may be too far gone for this too
work, but really, it doesn't hurt to try.
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