So life is a tad stressful right now - the major home project is slow because I have to work around furniture and can't move stuff until the floor paint cures enough, which takes several days. The house is filthy because all the sanding makes dust sift into everything and until I was done with the sanding cleaning was futile. It's been...on my nerves. And the whole scare with Blu. Although at least that's being treated - as soon as I described the seizure in detail to his regular vet she turned off the lights and had a good look-see in his eyes. Retinal hemorrhaging says high blood pressure. And apparently what I took as slowing down due to age was just that he wasn't feeling right - within two days of starting the medication he was sailing up on the kitchen counter and stomping through the dish strainer just because he could. And his appetite has returned with a vengeance so I imagine his next appointment will show that his weight loss has reversed. So there has been relief there.
Come cold weather, I put a shelter out on my front porch for one of the local wanderers. I've never been completely convinced that Pretty Boy doesn't have a home up the mountain - he always looks very sleek and healthy. But he's a handsome, pleasant fellow who has no bad habits and so I leave some food and water out for him and come cold weather put I put a shelter out for him. He doesn't know I've been discussing relieving him of his maleness with the local trap and neuter folks, but that's for the future. I figure that even if he does have a home they have been letting a full male roam without a collar or tags and that makes him a stray when it comes to the neighborhood preventing litters of feral kittens.
But a few days ago, just as it turned cold, a cat I didn't recognize showed up in the shelter. Couldn't see well except to see it is a tortie and from the condition of its fur I assumed it was a feral. We have a problem with that up here. It also seemed that it might be ill. Trouble was, I wasn't going to stick my hand in to a strange cat to see if I could tell. Did that once. The cat didn't care for it. My first mistake was grabbing the cat. It bit the fool out of me. My second mistake was letting go of the cat. It escaped and I had to go through the rabies shots thing. Which was bloody nuisance because it confuses the heck out of insurance - you have to get the (very expensive) vaccine from the state (at least you did then) and the bureaucracy that deals with meds doesn't deal well with stuff that doesn't come from the pharmacy.
So I fretted and worried because the cat didn't seem to move or eat or drink. I thought it might be dying. And then finally it came out yesterday morning and I was horrified. Emaciated, covered in feces, a large lump on its spine. Worse than I've ever seen any of our ferals. And obviously not feral - it came to me, meowing. I had to leave for an appointment right then, and I did see it go down the street. But all day long I debated whether or not I should try to get it into a carrier and take it to be destroyed. I was miserable and weepy all day both from the upset at the condition of a cat that obviously was accustomed to being around humans and from the idea of having to kill it just after it had decided to trust me. But I also remembered that she had headed down the street, and that I almost hit a kitten there a week ago and I was worried that a litter might be involved.
Then today I spotted her in a neighbor's yard with another cat that I had also thought was feral because of its poor condition. So I walked up the driveway. They came right to me. I knocked on the door. Are these your cats? It went downhill from there. I didn't cuss him, despite a strong desire to do so. Well, right about the upteenth "I work 80 hours a week" I did say that I didn't give a rat's ass how many hours he worked - he needed to take care of his animals. And oh, yes, the kitten that I almost hit belongs there, too. Another future neglect case for his kiddies to play with.
So I got ordered off his property. And at the top of my to-do list is contacting animal control and seeing if at a bare minimum a neglect case can be pursued for the one. If I could I'd have the police on his doorstep but I doubt they'd be interested. I imagine neighbor will keep the cats in for a little bit now. If not and the tortie shows up on my porch again, photos at least will be taken and given to whomever I can find to give them to. If animal control does respond and take her she will be destroyed. But I am maxed out on the number of animals I can afford vet care for - my own three are rescues that need a variety of medications twice daily. Trouble is, it needs to be made clear to these people that if you are going to have pets you need to care for them, not leave them to suffer or for your neighbors to suffer over and care for.