It must be the weekend of lost pets. Saturday the neighbor pointed out an orange tabby kitten, who was wet, but smelled vaguely of shampoo. We assumed it must have a home as it was very friendly, and freshly shampooed. But, we kept an eye out and it stuck around all weekend. By Monday night it was meowing loudly outside my door, so I decided if it did have a home, something had gone wrong.
We have a family of foxes and one of raccoons in the neighborhood, which can pose a threat, plus male cats can get into fights. I wasn't sure if the kitten, which appeared to be 4-6 months in age, was spayed/neutered or not. I decided to at least feed the kitten, and it ate so much it was clear it hadn't eaten in awhile. (It put away more food than any of my adult cats can). It didn't want to be back outside so I decided to let him stay in overnight, hoping he was litterbox trained. He seemed to be leery of the dogs at first and then generally accepting of them. He didn't interact much with the cats but seemed willing to.
I noticed some eye discharge Saturday morning and by Monday night it was a lot worse. Tuesday morning the kitty was having difficulty breathing and the eye discharge was severe, accompanied by sneezing. I was pretty sure it was a respiratory infection, and that left untreated it could lead to severe secondary infection. I decided to take him to the vet as I had an appointment for Simon anyway.
It did prove to be an infection. I made sure the kitten was HIV and feline Leukemia negative. He was neutered and micro-chipped, so I tracked down info on the owner - supposedly he was from Meridian. When I called the owner, she said she'd "loaned" her cats to a friend and she was out of state. She said they (there are supposed to be two) should be in Caldwell. She took my name and number and was going to call me back, but she hasn't. I told her the cat was sick and needed medicine but was okay. I am concerned about her parenting as it appears very poor.
Bad news - the kitten had fleas, so ALL the pets had to take a dose of Frontline. Bummer. And, antibiotics and eye ointment for seven days, and I'm leaving the country in five. I don't want to stick my very patient boyfriend with a sick cat that isn't ours ("Tiger," apparently). But, at the same time, the cat needs medical attention ($300 worth so far). If the owner can't or won't provide it I can't let the cat suffer, and I can't turn it over to the Humane Society ill as they can't take him. I have to segregate him from my cats, so he is in the upstairs guest bedroom. I put out food, toys, a litterbox, water etc. but I am sure he's lonely up there. I hate isolating animals, because you can never tell them why.
Sigh. Why can't people look after their animals? While some do, some just don't, and it's sad. This kitten is really sweet with a great personality. I hope he gets better, and I'll be wondering whether he will still be living here when I get back from Madagascar.