Kama’s off to his foster home as of a couple of hours ago. Well, it’s a foster home now. Whether it will stay a “foster” home, I’m not so sure – he’s such an easy cat to love! He’s going to be happy there, whether it’s forever or for now.
Earlier today, well, he had his vet visit. Apparently he has a heat murmur (II out of VI in severity), but that’s not so bad, really. Overall, doing surprisingly well after his ordeal, and nearly ten pounds despite being underweight! Treated for fleas and worms, got his shots, and getting fixed can be looked at in a week or so once he’s had more time to recover and settle in.
Then he came back here for a few hours, to wait for his trip to his foster home. While I was in with him, we were playing, and at one point, while he was chasing a long prysma-toy, he decided he needed a break and sprawled where he was… but he had one paw over the body of the toy, and any time I tried to twitch it away, he recaptured it.
A little later, he was on the couch with me (Jackie’s futon, folded into couch-shape) and climbed onto my lap by invitation (ie, I patted my leg while my legs were crossed). He stayed there for over 90 minutes, sleeping so soundly that at one point he was dream-twitching. He had his head pillowed on my left forearm for part of it, and slipped into the space between it and my body for part of it but kept his paws wrapped around my arm. I didn’t have the heart to move him! I don’t believe he knew that he was going to be leaving, or that it was good-bye, but I do feel very much like it was a thank-you.
What I could see when I looked down:
What has all this cost me? Some intense anxiety and lost sleep, maybe $40 all told, a cat carrier stolen from the parking lot, less than 72 hours of annoyance from my own purrkids, Jackie patiently sleeping in the living room so we could isolate Kama in her room. And a bit more of whatever faith I have in humanity, because so appallingly many people locally knew about him (“Oh, the grey cat from the parking lot?”) and did absolutely nothing. (On the other hand, I’ve also had a powerful reminder that there are people who care, not enough, never enough, but they are out there, and I’m lucky enough to be friends with some of them.) And to save a life like Kama’s, none of this was really all that much to pay.
People keep telling me I’m a good person. What it comes down to is this: if I’d ignored him Friday night when I saw him in the parking lot, if I hadn’t done everything I could to help him, I would never again have been able to sleep without thinking of him and wondering what happened to him and imagining him dying, hungry and cold and, if a stray and not a feral, never understanding how he got to that instead of being in a safe home. I would never have been able to look at my own purrkids again without knowing that while I love them and would do anything for them, I’d abandoned to his fate a cat in straits similar to theirs long ago. My fosters that KHS “euthanised” and the rest of my ghastly experience working there, that still haunts me because I couldn’t do anything to help them. Kama, I could help – but not alone, not even close. Without everyone else who got involved at every stage, Kama would not have been caught, or would not be in a safe and loving foster home right now. And, really, if reacting when a cat in need is dropped in front of one makes one a good person, what does that make the people who go looking for the ones who need help?
Our own cats have been not very pleased with the situation: Trick’s been aggressive towards Freya, Freya’s been lurking in high places, Cory’s been increasingly pulling out fur, none are eating their wet food properly… everything’s out of kilter. They’re going to be deeply relieved to have Kama gone from their territory. They’ve already been in that room sniffing around suspiciously, although we’ve cleaned up. Life around here can resume normal rhythms.
Spay Neuter Kingston Initiative was originally supposed to just be about getting Kingston a low-cost high-volume spay-neuter clinic, but it has expanded to cover a TNVR program. (If you don’t know what that is, there’s good info on their site, among other places.) Kama is technically not a feral but they’re taking him on anyway. SNKI is 100% volunteer operated and 100% donations (except the city has recently started chipping in on the TNVR program, yay!). If you have a few dollars to spare towards Kama’s expenses, having already had one vet visit and with another coming for neutering, that would be wonderful – every little bit helps. You can donate here. If you can’t, no worries. I’m grateful to everyone who’s cheered and oohed and melted and sent good wishes and love through the last few days while we yoinked Kama’s messed-up life onto a different path. Love you guys!!!