A Kitty-Cat Update

In the last week, we’ve been making frantic improvements to the outdoor enclosure Gypsy is living in. Gypsy was a completely feral cat that some fellow rescuer dumped on our doorstep — we suspect the same person who dumped the two black brothers, Lucky and Liberty, on us last December. Gypsy may have started out feral but has turned into one great big 13 1/2 pound love-bug. He is a true gentle giant and one of the very rare male calico cats (99% of all calicos are female).

While Gypsy is not a fighter, there is a vicious cat in the neighbourhood that is FIV positive and he beat our Gypsy up pretty badly last year. Sure enough, Gypsy now has FIV and so needs to be in an enclosure and not loose in the backyard for his own protection and that of any other cat that decided to mess with him. Earlier this summer, we expanded his enclosure but, in doing so, left a critical flaw. The original enclosure was fully screened to keep out mosquitoes. The new portion of it had the strong plastic wire mesh (with the quarter-inch or so holes) to keep him in and raccoons and other beasties out but we were out of window-screening when it was expanded. We didn’t know that he is deathly allergic to mosquito bites.

In the last few weeks, the mosquitoes have been seriously numerous and more vicious than usual. I’ve spent my days covered in Cutter and bites the skeeters managed to make on me anyway. Last week, I went out to give him his breakfast and was horrified to find his little nose just dripping blood from numerous bites and a very enlarged lymph node in his neck (we are talking bigger than a golf ball). It was an immediate vet trip. He’s on a strong course of antibiotics. We had to take him back to the vet this Saturday, and he had a steroid shot to bring down the inflammation because the gland on the other side of his face had begun swelling as well. He also got his yearly rabies shot.

So last week we had to leap into action and get his enclosure fully screened as quickly as possible. I’ve still got to get some screen (we ran out again) and put a double layer over one portion of the original screened-in area because I found a number of small, but mosquito penetrable, holes. I’ll be doing that next Sunday. Thankfully, the fix we got up seems to be keeping them out so far.

The mystery chest congestion illness is currently hitting a number of ours hard. Whisper, Nipper, Shyla, Liberty, and Tovi have all been coughing their little heads off. Whisper is especially congested. They are all on prednisilone and Whisper just got a prescription for Orbax on Saturday.

Our other little guys are all doing well. Batya seems right as rain. Smokey Eyn Echad is doing well on her daily blood pressure medicine and just loving her nightly wet food meal. The Twisted Sisters are just as amusingly twisted and all the other little ones are doing fine.

LOL, Ema just stepped out the door and said that she was looking for Whisper to give her the Orbax dose and grabbed up who she thought was Whisper: Tovi let out her foghorn bleat of surprise and is now hiding under the bed! It is passingly hard to tell those two black beauties apart!


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