Cory came to the college with me today. Yesterday, after my class at the Humane Society, I spent some time talking to one of the techs, and she agreed that what I was describing wasn’t normal for a kitten of his age. She suggested that I get one of my vet teachers to look at him, and assured me that if necessary, Cory can be classified as a Special Needs adoption, not just sent off to take his chances.
So, since Sean was busy for a fair bit of today and Cory would have been alone, and since both my classes today were taught by veterinarians, Cory came with me today. He was extremely well-behaved, and extremely popular with my classmates!
I went early to catch Vet#1 and ask her for her opinion. Her exam of him wasn’t a full formal physical, but she thinks he may have some visual impairment. That would explain quite a lot — the reluctance to explore, the overwhelming preference for noisy toys, the lack of learning by watching the other cats, and a variety of other little things. She found his response when she tested him, by moving a finger quickly towards his eyes (not touching) minimal.
Otherwise, he seems to be healthy enough — no signs of neurological difficulties, no visible symptoms of his mother leaving him anything nasty (although only a blood test could confirm that). She suggested I take him with me for my next class at the Humane Society and give him a full physical. That won’t be for almost two weeks, since my class is Mondays, and this coming Monday is Victoria Day, but she thinks that’s not a problem. Her advice is to get him off the suckling fixation, even if I have to finger-feed him canned kitten food, but otherwise, give him time and love and see what happens. He was a bit distressed by the end; as soon as she handed him back to me, though, he snuggled under my chin and relaxed instantly; she smiled and said I might end up having to keep him.
Well, my first class, with her, went fine. Cory woke up once and I fed him some babycat kibbles while listening to the lecture, then he played quietly in his carrier and finally went back to sleep. At lunchtime I found a babysitter for long enough that I could grab food.
The class after lunch was also just fine, even though it was three hours. He woke up during the break halfway and was quite playful, which charmed a couple of my classmates to no end. But no matter who held him, cuddled him, played with him, cooed over him, he still inevitably wanted back to me before long, especially if he couldn’t hear me talking to him.
What’s going to happen? I have no idea. I want very much to keep Cory, he’s a very special little guy. I’m not sure that’s what’s best for him ultimately, though, or practical given that we already have three adult cats and it’s uncertain what’s going to happen jobwise in my future. Rescue doesn’t tend to lead to a high income, and while I’m very serious about feline behaviour (trying to help people understand their cats better and solve behavioural problems — there aren’t exactly job postings for it, or a single diploma you can wave to say you’re qualified, it’s sort of a self-created sort of thing), it’s uncertain whether I can create an actual job out of that. I have responsibilities to Loki, Trick, and Angel, who are counting on me for a home, healthy food, health care. But man, Cory’s special. *sigh*