From Outside to Inside

As I had mentioned previously, Cisco had been limping for a few weeks.  The week of Christmas the limp became worse.  When he would arrive, he would hold his paw up not wanting to put weight on it.  I also noticed he was twitching all over at times and trying to bite at his backside or tail.  Since it was always dark when he arrived, it was very hard for me to tell if something was wrong.  Yet one night I discovered the tip of his tail seemed frozen.  It had been in the single digits for night time lows and daytime highs struggled to reach 20.  I knew something was wrong, but I was unsure what.  I kept telling him to come and stay all day and just rest in his heated bed.  Finally on the 23rd, he arrived at 4pm.  His limp was the worst I had seen.  I went out to try and get a good look at him.  I discovered a tail injury.  The tip had been bitten or torn away from getting stuck somewhere.  Most likely it had abscessed, burst and then frozen the fur at the end.  I knew he needed medical attention.

I called my vet and was able to secure an appointment for the 26th if I could catch him.  I figured my best approach was a medium sized dog carrier and not a trap.  I was worried he would not show up for breakfast on the 26th.  I had a very hard time sleeping that night.  I was awake from 3 am until it was time for the morning feeding.  I checked the camera and there he was waiting for breakfast.  I first went outside and took the carrier and opened the door.  All 4 outside boys scattered.  I then came back out with food and they all reappeared.  I was able to coax Cisco into one of the feeding stations.  As he started to eat, I picked him up and carried him to the carrier and inside he went.  He struggled just a bit at the end as I was closing the door.  I didn’t receive any bites or scratches!!  I placed him in the laundry room and covered the carrier.  He had to wait 4 hours before the appointment.  He yowled a bit at first, but calmed down when I turned on some soft music and turned on the light.

The vet appointment went very well.  My vet was incredible with him.  She took the appointment very slowly.  The limp seems to be from an old injury of the elbow joint that he has reinjured.  He was given some pain medication and told he needed complete rest.  The tail was definitely bitten or stuck under a door or possibly a trap.  The vet cleaned the wound, but said it looked in decent shape.  It still had blood flow.  I am to clean the wound 2x a day and he has a 10 day course of antibiotics.  When Cisco returns to the vet in 10 days, the tail will be x-rayed to see if any of the bones were crushed.  She will access how he is doing.  A simple amputation of the tip of the tail may be necessary depending on how it heals.  The tail does not seem to bother him, yet I still see him twitching and trying to bite at it occasionally.  At his next visit, we will do vaccines and viral testing.  During the vet appointment it became clear that Cisco would strictly be an inside kitty!

During the vet appointment my wonderful husband and son, cleaned out the guest room. The bed was picked up off the floor, the areas behind the bookcase was blocked, the blinds were pulled up and cords securely hidden, some furniture was removed and a cat tree, scratching post and toys were added. I also placed a feliway plug in, my ipod to play soft music and a surveillance camera to keep an eye on him.  The room was almost completely ready when we got home.

Once I let him out, he came out of the carrier very slowly.  He yowled a bit, but calmed quickly.  He got up onto the lowest level of the cat tree and looked outside.  Yet he did not throw himself against the window to try and escape as some of my other cats have done.  After a few minutes I allowed him some time alone to settle and explore.

When I returned later, I brought his K&H tent house  as well as a chair pad and blanket he liked from outside.  He then went and hid under the dresser.  This space is tall enough that I can still reach under and retrieve him if necessary.  He stayed there for hours.  I checked on him every hour or two.  He was not at all interested in the food.  When I went to visit around 8pm, he was very happy to see me.  He purred and purred.  I brought out his favorite plain cooked chicken and he ate and ate.  I then opened a 3 oz can of cat food and he ate all of it.  This allowed me to give him the pain medication and antibiotic.  The pain medication was easy to give, but the liquid antibiotic was hard.  I will have to find a new technique.  I left a nightlight on and also the music and left him to sleep for the night.

Overnight seemed peaceful until around 6:15 am.  My two inside boys (Jake and Marvin) like to run up and down the hallway and up and down the stairs to get my attention that it is time to get up.  Cisco heard them and started yowling.  I had placed a gate keeping Jake and Marvin away from the door, but Jake and Marvin made lots of noise right beside the gate.  I went to Cisco’s room and he calmed down quickly with me there.  I turned on the light for him and that helped too.  I later brought him some breakfast.  He did not want to eat at all, yet he was quiet and calm.  He went into the tent house and stayed there for quite awhile.

Later I returned with more chicken, but he refused it.  I then resorted to tuna and the water from the tuna can.  He liked the tuna, but not the water.  He then also ate more canned cat food.  Once again, I gave him his medicines.  He does not like the Clavamox antibiotic at all.  Not sure how I will get this down him.  He does not like when I mix odd ingredients into his food either.  Hopefully as he becomes calmer, he will allow me to give the medicine easier.  I also allowed my husband and son to come inside for a quick visit with Cisco.  Both of them were able to pet him.  He is resting now and very quiet.

It is clear that he has been inside a house before.  I do believe it has been quite some time, but he seems to be ok with being inside.  I did see him move around a bit this morning and the limp was not as horrible, yet he was still holding the paw up.  He also had a twitching episode where he tried to bite back towards his tail.  I am hopeful the transition continues to go smoothly.

Here are a few pictures of Cisco in his room.


Cisco in his new room on the cat tree.


Hiding under the dresser.


Inside his tent house.


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2 Responses to From Outside to Inside

  1. Trish K says:

    I’m sorry for what must have happened to Cisco…to re-injure him. He is very lucky to have you watching out for his well being! My vet has given me an antibiotic that is easily dissolved in soft food, with a little water added. It smells like beef bullion and I’ve had good luck giving it to our ferals.


  2. Pingback: I Forget to Mention | Feral Cat Tails

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