So this past winter an orange and white cat showed up on my front porch wanting in my house. He was fat and insistent. Since I already had 8 foster cats and my own rescues in residence I resisted his charms, thinking perhaps he’d just gotten out for the day and his guardians would be searching for him. WRONG.
My 92 year old father lives 600 miles away and was injured last February, and I spent weeks at a time out of town. When I returned, I realized that the orange and white cat was suffering. As I keep a bowl of cat food and water on my front porch year round he wasn’t starving, but his sleek beauty was gone. Neighborhood cats had apparently taken umbrage at his appearance in their territory, and when I saw him again I cried. I was certain he would lose his left eye; he was scruffy and thin, but still purred when I picked him up to hold him. What to do? I was having to go out of town every few weeks and my beleaguered house-sitter had enough to do with my zoo. I kept food out for him and doctored his bites, cuts and wounds as best I could.
Then he disappeared. I returned from NC to the news he hadn’t been seen for a while. I regretted not just bringing him inside, and sent my apologies to what I was sure was his spirit. In my neighborhood, there are a lot of cats left behind, born feral, or dumped, and I knew he was another casualty.
And then–a miracle! My grandson Justin said he’d seen him at the food bowls late at night. So I ambushed him about 3 one morning, picked him up and he just tucked his battered face into the crook of my arm and purred. Oh yeah.
The above is Rocky before Cindy of Kitty City assisted me with his vetting. Oak Tree Vets in Olive Branch MS treated him, neutered him and gave him his shots, and now he is fat and sassy again. Below is Rocky stretched out waiting to be petted.
His left eye, while looking awful, was treatable and he lost no vision at all. He’s about a year and a half old, still bears the scars of his months long ordeal–hence the name Rocky for Rocky Balboa–but other than a slight squint his only lasting health issue is that he’s FIV positive. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it’s similar to an auto-immune disorder in cats, and is transmitted by bites. According to my information, Rocky will live a long and normal life but his immune system is compromised now, and he shouldn’t roam free to infect other cats that have not been inoculated against it. Cindy and I are still searching for him that perfect forever home. Meanwhile, he plays with my female cats quite nicely, is still a bit wary of my dogs, and everyone who comes in my house falls in love with him. He’s a boisterous boy and full of himself. He’s also a flight risk, and I have to guard the front door against visitors or he’ll bolt outside. He likes to do that and wait for me in the front flower bed, gleeful at his escape. So I put a bell on him. We’re at a stand-off now.