After a false start on Wednesday, I managed to trap Little Black and get her to the vet on Thursday. She had a full exam, blood and urine, fecal test and even a nail trim (because she likes to swat at me and those daggers of her tear my hands to pieces).
Waiting at the vet, growling.
But let’s back up a bit. Wednesday I gave the girls a tiny breakfast so Little Black would be hungry when it was time for trapping. I started work nice and late, which meant I had plenty of time to try and trap her. I set the newspaper up, put a plate of food in the trap and waited. Both Mamma Kitty and Little Black circled the trap, trying to get the food. I had to go out a few times to smoosh down the newspaper that kept blowing in the wind. Since I was outside, she was much more interested in flirting with me.
We spent a good five minutes with her rubbing back and forth along my side, meowing at me. I crouched down and she continued to rub and yell. I got severely reprimanded when I tried to touch her. I was only to touch with my eyes, not my hands. She rubs on the trap a few times, making the door fall shut and scaring herself in the process. I finally gave up on her and went back inside. I made sure to stay away from the windows so she wouldn’t come look at me through the windows.
As I was about to give up my mom looks out the window and says “Is she in the trap?” I look out and the first thing I see is the trap door wide open. I start to say no, then realize she is indeed in the trap. All the way in. Eating the food at the back of the trap. And not stepping on the trip plate. She finishes eating, backs herself out of the trap, and walks away. Damn cat. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, she didn’t survive ten years outside by being pretty.
I tried again Thursday, simply because the schedule at work was super light. I had a half hour window in which to trap her. I tried again, not really expecting to catch her. I go out, get the trap set then come back inside to get myself ready for work. In the time it took me to brush my teeth, she trapped herself. I look out the window and was shocked to see her calmly trying to get herself out of the trap. If she could talk she would have been saying “Umm, excuse me!? A little help here, you can let me out now!” Instead I tossed the towel over her all the way, picked her up and put her in the car. Poor Mommy was running around the deck, torn between trying to help her friend and running in terror so I didn’t do the same to her.
After I popped Little Black in the car, I ran inside and grabbed everything I would need for a super long day of work. I felt a bit like I was on a 90’s game show-grab as much as you can, as quick as you can. I raced out of the house and in to work. By this point Little Black is NOT a happy camper. She meowed and yowled the whole way in.
Once at the vet she got a complete work up from the best team around. They sedated her to do a full exam. She got several different topical anti-parasite and anti-flea treatments. Surprisingly my little girl did not have any obvious fleas! She was super skinny- only 5lbs!-and has some severe diarrhea, but otherwise nothing was obviously wrong with her.
“Satellite Dish” to make sure she didn’t try to bite if she woke up from anesthesia early.
I spent all day yesterday worrying about her, and all morning today fretting about her lab results. Thankfully everything came back really quickly and I was able to get a diagnosis. Hyperthyroidism.
My feral cat is hyperthyroid. This is a completely treatable disease, I treated Crash for over 5 years. Unfortunately, the most common medication is a twice daily pill. Also unfortunately, it requires regular blood work. There is also I-131, or radioactive iodine treatment (the only known cure for the disease). I would take a cure over a treatment any day. Unfortunately, I can’t justify spending the 15k and keeping her locked up in a cage for two weeks. I just can’t justify it when she lives outside-she would hate, hate, HATE being in a cage for that long. Mamma Kitty would be lost without her buddy.
So, for now, we go the tablet route. I figured it wouldn’t be an issue giving her a treat with a pill in it. She is super food motivated. She laughed in my face, eating the treat and flicking the pill out the side of her mouth. I was able to give it to her later in her food, but making sure she gets the right plate of food is going to be tricky.
I have answers. And I have options. And Little Black is happy to be home, prancing around her yard and snuggling with Mamma Kitty. I am going to do my best to not worry about the future, instead focusing on the day to day treatments. I have so many questions though. There are so many variables and so much I don’t have control over for her. And it scares me.