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Helping a Stray

izzykan
November 7th, 2010, 07:29 PM
About a month ago a beautiful brown/black long haired tabby started coming around. At first I didn't pay much attention because there are quite a few cats in the neighbourhood. But after our cat went missing, I started putting food out, and this cat came by consistently for the food. About a week ago I noticed that it wasn't walking on it's hind leg, an obviously severe injury - but it was still coming for it's food. It's very nervous around people and until today I haven't been able to approach it. It sniffed my fingers and hangs around longer at the back door without running away.

I'm torn as to what to do. I wish that I could catch it so I could take it to the vet to help it heal. If I call the Humane Society, they'll capture it but I'm not sure what will come of it. So I bought one of those Buddha litter boxes and a soft cushion to place inside. I placed it on the deck in a sheltered location with a handful of dry food inside. I was hoping it might crawl in and have a comfy warm place for the night. I can't bring it inside in case it's diseased - I don't want my new kitten to be affected.

I'd really like to help it before the snow flies but I guess I can't rush it's comfort level with me. Does anyone have any suggestions? :shrug:

Love4himies
November 7th, 2010, 07:33 PM
To me, it is cruel to leave it outside with an injury. I would call the OHS to find out your options, this kitty needs medical attention.

cpietra16
November 7th, 2010, 07:59 PM
I agree with L4H. Are there any rescues in your area that can help trap the cat. It needs attention. It will not make it though the winter if it can't run away from prey, let alone the cold.

luckypenny
November 7th, 2010, 08:18 PM
Izzykan, here are a few cat rescues in the Ottawa region...maybe they can give you a hand.

http://www.foap.on.ca/
http://catrescuenetwork.ca/
http://www.vkrkittens.com/kittens/index.html

It might be a good idea to call all the vets in your area and the Humane Society to report a found cat. Someone may be looking for him. You can also check out kijiji and Craigslist for lost cat ads that may match the description of this cat. You can post an ad as well.

Thank you for wanting to help this fella :grouphug:.

izzykan
November 7th, 2010, 08:45 PM
It wasn't my intention to be cruel. :( I was reluctant to call the Humane Society because they do not have a "No Kill" policy and it would break my heart if they put it down. So I thank you for the alternative links of rescue groups. If I can find someone to at least capture it, I can get it to the vet. I will also check missing cat listings both at the OHS and elsewhere to see if anyone is looking for it.

Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. Very helpful. :)

Koteburo
November 8th, 2010, 01:42 AM
It wasn't my intention to be cruel. :( I was reluctant to call the Humane Society because they do not have a "No Kill" policy and it would break my heart if they put it down. So I thank you for the alternative links of rescue groups. If I can find someone to at least capture it, I can get it to the vet. I will also check missing cat listings both at the OHS and elsewhere to see if anyone is looking for it.

Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. Very helpful. :)

Thanks for looking after the kitty <3
Good thinking not to call a rescue unless is a no-kill.
In the mean time while you get some help have you thought about setting up a temporary shelter for the little friend? It could be one of those plastic boxes or containers that you buy at wall-mart or a wooden box, with some isolating material, a blanket (for the cold) a small entrance and hay or stripes of news paper. I've found that a good isolating material is what is put under a rug. When a rug is installed in a house the thing that goes under it it's good to help cold not going through.
There is also a post somewhere around the forums about how to make shelters for feral cats. I couldn't find it atm but I found a link to instructions of how to make one http://www.urbancatleague.org/Shelters.html

This could be temporary while you get a hand and the kitty won't be totally in the cold and out, besides of leaving food and water for him.

Take care and best :goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes::goodv ibes: for you and the kitty <3
Give him a second chance :)

izzykan
November 8th, 2010, 09:00 AM
Hi Koteburo. Thank you. Yes, I got one of those Buddha litter boxes which are a round bowl with a lid over...looks kind of like an Igloo. I put a soft cushion in there and some food to hopefully attract it...but it didn't go for it. I'm not sure where it sleeps at night. My neighbourhood is full of townhouses with decks so I imagine it's found a place for itself somewhere.

The cat was just here, actually, for it's morning food. I tried to pet it (I say it because I have no idea of sex) but it wasn't having any of that.

Am about to call one of the rescue centres to see what can be done.

I really appreciate everyone's input. Very helpful. :)

izzykan
November 8th, 2010, 10:59 AM
*UPDATE* I called Ottawa's Cat Rescue Network and spoke with Louise. She was extremely helpful. She gave me instructions on how to capture the cat using a large carrier (which she offered to loan me). Once the cat is captured I can take it to the vet. She also gave me suggestions on what health issues to look out for and what he will need to be treated for...besides his leg. The network could put him up for adoption one I had re-domesticated the cat. Although, I think, if possible I would keep him here.

Meanwhile, I will continue to keep looking for an owner but still suspect the cat was abandoned. :(

So, I'm feeling hopeful. Wish me luck. :pawprint:

luckypenny
November 8th, 2010, 11:56 AM
Great news Iggykan! Lots of luck and good wishes being sent your way :goodvibes:. And once again, thank you :grouphug:.

Tundra_Queen
November 8th, 2010, 03:21 PM
*UPDATE* I called Ottawa's Cat Rescue Network and spoke with Louise. She was extremely helpful. She gave me instructions on how to capture the cat using a large carrier (which she offered to loan me). Once the cat is captured I can take it to the vet. She also gave me suggestions on what health issues to look out for and what he will need to be treated for...besides his leg. The network could put him up for adoption one I had re-domesticated the cat. Although, I think, if possible I would keep him here.

Meanwhile, I will continue to keep looking for an owner but still suspect the cat was abandoned. :(

So, I'm feeling hopeful. Wish me luck. :pawprint:


Hi Izzy..what a great thing u are doing!! I hope that u are able to catch the cat and the vet will be able to help it. Please keep us updated on how things are going. :grouphug:

14+kitties
November 8th, 2010, 03:42 PM
Good luck. You may have better luck with a live trap than you would a cat carrier. Especially if the kitty is spooky.
Home Depot has wonderful Styrofoam insulation with silver on one side, green on the other. All of my cat houses are insulated with it. Straw is the ideal thing to further insulate with. The kitty can snuggle down into it much better than he/she can a blanket. At this time of the year it is cheap and readily available.

izzykan
November 8th, 2010, 06:36 PM
Thank you both, Tundra Queen and 14+ kitties! Currently the stray and I are having a stand off. I've got the back door open and a bowl of food inside. I have to sit near the door so I can close it, but he won't walk past me no matter how much he wants the food. (don't worry, I fed him earlier too...this was more a test of whether I could get him in the house).

He refuses to go into the shelter I set up. Not sure what to do about that. I know he would dearly love to come in the house...if it weren't for the darn people inside it. :headslap:

I've decided to name him Merkley...I'm pretty sure he's a boy. :cat:

Well...I've got to move the food closer to the door...I'm so losing this standoff...

mastifflover
November 8th, 2010, 06:56 PM
Well...I've got to move the food closer to the door...I'm so losing this standoff...
very funny
Great thing you are trying to do good luck and good vibes for you and Merkley

izzykan
November 8th, 2010, 08:02 PM
:D I lost big time. Ended up taking the food outside to him. Cat 1 - Human 0. But one good thing, he did allow me to scratch him on top of his head. First contact...:cool:

Tomorrow the big carrier arrives. :thumbs up: I'll let you know how that goes. :goodvibes:

Koteburo
November 8th, 2010, 09:52 PM
Thank you for being a cat angel izzykan :angel:
If only more people were caring like you.

Yesh please keep the updates coming and best luck! :goodvibes:

izzykan
November 9th, 2010, 12:37 PM
Thanks, Koteburo! The carrier has arrived...now I need a cat....:cat:

izzykan
November 9th, 2010, 06:28 PM
This is poor Merkley, as I've come to name him. He's a beautiful cat but needs medical assistance so badly. I noticed he has a runny eye too now. :( I'm in stage 2 of the capture process (basically moving the food bowl further and further into the carrier until he goes fully inside and I can close the door). I'm hoping I'll have him in the cage tomorrow morning. Wish me luck.

Koteburo
November 10th, 2010, 02:08 AM
You're right! He's a beautiful cat :lovestruck: that nose needs some kisses and that back some petting (I don't think he'd like it :p )
I wish you the best luck with Merkley and the happiest outcome for both of you.
Eye irritations or infections are kind of common. It could be he got in a fight and got a scratch or an infection but just get him to the vet and they'll work from there.
I know you'll get him in there so he can get some medical attention. You have gone so far so I'm pretty sure you'll succeed :)

14+kitties
November 10th, 2010, 08:11 AM
If the cat is sick and/or injured then you really would do much better to get a live trap. A carrier takes too much time and effort to trap an ill cat IMO. With a carrier you have to be right there and gain the cats' trust enough for it to go into the carrier. With a live trap you can set it, bait it, and leave it. You can sit back and watch from a window or wherever you would normally be when the kitty comes in to eat.
If you think he is a semi feral (I don't think so or he would not have come up to you this fast) or a stray that has been on his own for a long time you will have much more success with a live trap. I am surprised if you are working with a rescue that is not the avenue they took. :shrug: That is the only way rescues I know work with trapping. That is the only method I have ever used as well for the cats I have trapped.
A lot of Humane Societies will rent out a trap for next to nothing or just give you the trap and you return it after catching and treating the kitty. Home Depot, Lowes and TSC stores (TSC stores have big prices) all sell live traps as well.
When you have it set up for use you bait it with smelly tuna, sardines, even some catnip and cover it with a blanket or towel. You place it on your porch/deck/whatever and sit back out of sight of the cat and watch. To make it more effective you can put down a trail of juice from the tuna or whatever you use to bait it. Once the cat is caught it immediately goes to the vet for treatment IN the trap or you can then take him to a room he can't escape from and release him only if you are confident you can get him into a carrier afterwards. IMO it would be a lot kinder to this injured, sick cat to trap this way than taking time to entice him into a carrier.
I hope the rescue has warned you that once he is caught in a carrier (or trap) he may freak out for a while. That is completely normal as cats don't like to be cornered. PLEASE do not release him when you see him doing this. You will not get him back.

Koteburo
November 11th, 2010, 11:45 PM
Waiting for an update http://www.anikaos.com/041-msn_red_fox_smilies/msn_red_fox_smilies-16.gif

Winston
November 12th, 2010, 12:11 AM
:thumbs up:thumbs up

Come on Merkley.....just a little bit further.....:D

izzykan
November 15th, 2010, 04:26 PM
Hi everyone. Sorry for the delay in an update. I haven't captured Merley yet. Life interfered last week and I had to turn my attention to other things. In the meantime, Merkley has been well cared for. He is walking on his leg again and does not appear to be having any difficulty with it. I have made the carrier into a comfortable temporary shelter for him which he has been taking full advantage of. He rests there now at night and during the day. I would still like to have him checked and, if all goes well, I will have him in this week. :cat:

chico2
November 15th, 2010, 05:25 PM
Izzycan,Thank you for what you are doing:grouphug:Merkley looks like a beautiful tabby-boy,I hope you will succeed in gaining his trust.
Like 14+ says,a humane trap would be the easiest way,I've done it myself a few times.
At least he's going in to the carrier for warmth,I am pretty sure you'll be able to get him soon.
I know how stressful it is seeing a cat in need and wanting to help him,but he's scared,even if for now all he gets is food,it's a great thing,life for him is so much better with regular meals.:cat:

Koteburo
November 18th, 2010, 02:02 AM
How's Merkley doing huh http://www.anikaos.com/041-msn_red_fox_smilies/msn_red_fox_smilies-18.gif

izzykan
November 23rd, 2010, 01:23 PM
Well, finally, I have some news. I caught Merkley this morning. :cat: It was pouring rain outside and he was resting in the carrier. It was easy to get the door closed and locked. I managed to get him in to the vet by late morning. He was checked over - he's between 1 and 2 years old and definitely male. He appeared to be quite healthy and his leg looked fine. He is staying at the clinic and will be neutered later this afternoon. They just have to do the Feline Leukemia and Immunodeficiency tests first to make sure he doesn't have either.

So if all goes well, he'll be home tomorrow morning and then I can start getting him settled in here. :cloud9:

Thanks for all of your support and ideas. Very much appreciated. :highfive:

sassylemon
November 23rd, 2010, 02:38 PM
Izzykan- Congrats on catching Merkley :):cat: I am sure he will be happy to come home with you :)

Koteburo
November 23rd, 2010, 02:41 PM
Merkley is a lucky boy :cloud9:

chico2
November 23rd, 2010, 04:52 PM
Izzykan,good job:grouphug:
I am sure he'll need some adjustment,but I am equally sure he'll love to have a good home:thumbs up

aws1
November 23rd, 2010, 05:53 PM
Thank you for helping Merkley I just love happy endings:cloud9:

izzykan
November 23rd, 2010, 06:03 PM
Thanks everyone. :D Merkley made it through his surgery just fine. He doesn't have either FIV or FeLV, thank goodness. :clap: Interestingly, when they were trimming his nails, they found that he had been burned on two of his pads which may have explained the limping I saw a few weeks ago. There may still be a bit of swelling and maybe some infection so the vet gave him an antibiotic to fight it. Apparently he's been quite the hit at the clinic - everyone is quite fond of him. :lovestruck:

I can't wait to bring him home. :cat:

lost
November 24th, 2010, 02:55 AM
How can you not love a story with a happy ending? :thumbs up

Congrats, for a job well done!

14+kitties
November 24th, 2010, 09:06 AM
How fortunate you finally managed to close the door on the carrier to catch Merkley. I am very glad he is now neutered and health checked and will have a loving home with you and your other kitty. It's too bad he had to suffer for so long with burned feet and infection. Poor soul. :( How painful that must have been.

catlover2
November 24th, 2010, 12:22 PM
What a great story....Lucky Merkley! Thanks for your compassion and perseverance. I love happy endings. Hope he'll like the indoor life now.

Love4himies
November 24th, 2010, 01:14 PM
Yay, great job!!!! :highfive: Now that he is neutered, he will be so much happier :lovestruck:

I wonder how he burnt his paws, Sweet Pea jumped up on our wood stove and burnt her paws badly :(. She did need pain meds because she couldn't walk on one paw.

Koteburo
November 25th, 2010, 09:39 AM
I wub this story:cloud9:
I wish you many many years of happiness with your kitties :)
http://www.addemoticons.com/emoticon/cat/AddEmoticons0096.gifMerkley got a familyhttp://www.addemoticons.com/emoticon/cat/AddEmoticons00930.gif


Hey Merkley, I brought you flowers XDhttp://www.addemoticons.com/emoticon/cat/AddEmoticons00918.gif

izzykan
November 28th, 2010, 10:10 AM
Thanks, everyone. :) Merkley is doing really well. He's eating and using his litter box (I was worried about whether he knew how to use one or not). He's still skittish and prefers to watch us from afar. He is, however, intrigued by Minnie and I often bring her with me for "visits". It's cute to see them watching each other - and there's never any hissing or aggressiveness. Slowly but surely, he'll get used to us, I hope. :cat:

Love4himies
November 28th, 2010, 11:06 AM
I am so glad it is going well. My Rose after almost 2 years is still so skittish of us, but will come for cuddles when we are quietly watching TV.

Of course he will :thumbs up:thumbs up and I am sure you will never for one moment regret taking in this boy and he will always be so thankful for you doing so :angel: :grouphug::grouphug: :lovestruck:

chico2
November 28th, 2010, 04:39 PM
Izzykan,I had to look back at his picture again,he is just such a beautiful Tabby,can you tell I love tabbies:cloud9:
So glad everything is good with him,I am sure he'll come to love his home and his little sister,very soon.
Thank you,thank you for rescuing him:grouphug: