If you were wondering, yes, the coyotes are still around. We haven’t seen the adults lately, but the pups put in an appearance from time to time. Needless to say, we’re not happy about that. But what can one do?
Well, for starters, one can put MM in protective custody.
She’s been an involuntary resident of the catio* for a while now.
* Note, by the way, that the catio has been upgraded with a real roof and a partial wall on the side that gets the most rain. These upgrades should make life much more pleasant for any inhabitants during the rainy season. Assuming we ever have another rainy season, of course.
Don’t let that mild demeanor and the sun-basking fool you. She is not happy to be there.
Not only did she tear the railing off the shelter and make a massive mess of the straw, forcing us to replace the wooden shelter with one of the plastic “quonset hut” shelters from the yard, but she also tore up and tore apart the rubber floor mats.
She’s calmed down a bit, but she still wants nothing to do with the nasty bipeds who locked her up. She hides in the shelter when we take her food out and we hear an occasional “Cattica! Cattica!” chant late at night. At least we’ve persuaded her that the litter box is for excretion, not residency.
We’re not sure how long we’ll hold onto her, but we’ve given up any notion of civilizing her. Once we decide it’s sufficiently safe, we’ll let her loose.
And then there’s the other involuntary recipient of our hospitality.
He hasn’t been with us as long, mostly because it took several times as long to trap him. (We caught MM the first night we tried. Lefty was more cautious, and it took more than a week.)
And if we thought MM was unhappy in the catio, Lefty took matters to previously unconsidered depths. He complained. He prowled around, shoving shelters out of his way, and generally created chaos.
Nor, to be blunt, did he get along with MM. She wanted him in the catio even less than he wanted to be there.
To make matters worse, Lefty is not the most graceful cat we’ve ever met. He’s got an excuse, granted, but the combination of clumsiness and escape attempts resulted in several rather nasty wounds.
Be glad I’m not showing you any of the earlier pictures. This one is quite upsetting enough; the others are…well, put it this way: I did not look at them, just attached them to an email to the vet and hit send as quickly as I could.
No, he’s not a calico; he’s pure black except for a small white patch on his chest. That strip down his forehead and nose is one of the wounds he picked up in the catio.
He took a trip to the vet and he’s looking better now. We’ve given him separate quarters in the garage while he recovers from his neutering, goes through a course of antibiotics, and generally heals up. That space seems to be more to his tastes: we haven’t seen any sign of escape attempts and he’s eating more enthusiastically than he did in the catio.
We don’t know if it’s going to be possible, but we’d like to adopt him into our posse. Not because every team needs a good southpaw (sorry), but because of that excuse for his clumsiness.
Some of you, especially knowing that we generally give neighborhood cats descriptions instead of proper names, may have figured out why we call him “Lefty”. For the rest of you, here’s a hint:
That cloudy right eye is no camera illusion. As we feared, and the vet confirmed, it’s unlikely he’s got any vision in it. We don’t know if it’s acquired or congenital, but either way, it’s not curable.
On the brighter side, the vet doesn’t think there’s any need to remove it to avoid infection. So, while a nicely piratical eyepatch might look good on him, he won’t have to wear one.
Further good news: he’s tested negative for Heartworm, FIV, and FeLV.
So he’s been lucky so far. But monocular vision certainly puts him at a disadvantage on the streets.
We’ll see how he’s doing by the time he finishes his antibiotics. If he’s still relatively chill, we’ll see if we can persuade him to adopt an indoor lifestyle. It’ll be a long haul, and an awkward one, since we don’t feel at all comfortable about putting him back in the catio, even after MM goes on her way. But it’s worth a try. Wish him (further) luck.