Last week in the midst of another deep freeze here in Chicago I was checking on my outdoor cat colonies and found this TNR’d cat from the Mother Colony just sitting in the middle of the sidewalk, trying to warm himself in the sun.
When I got closer he ran up the sidewalk to his feeder’s house. He was shivering and looked much thinner. He has not looked like himself within the last month or so, but he never let me get too close to him. This time was different. He meowed at me repeatedly, and then started winding around my legs, rubbing and purring. I saw blood on his back. I put down a can of wet cat food and he scarfed it down. There was another plate of dry food still there, and a cardboard box with a towel in it. The feeder poked her head out the window and said she had not noticed anything different about him, but that he was trying to get into her house the past few weeks. She never let him indoors, and said he is now always on her stoop. He used to leave after eating, so I wonder if he lost his shelter, or perhaps it was just much too cold to matter. I explained he looked injured and sick, and she said her landlord doesn’t allow pets in the building. This is government housing, and she has limited means to care for cats. With her blessing, I came back with a trap for him, which was hardly needed. He was all over me to get more food, so I just placed him in the trap with a full plate.
The vet clinic said the wounds on his back were bite wounds that were so old and infected that the skin and hair just peeled off. They cleaned up the area and gave him antibiotics. He was also dehydrated, weighed only five pounds, had a fever and tested FIV+. When I first TNR’d him in March of 2011 he was a lot sleeker, cleaner and healthier at 7.5 pounds. I actually trapped him in my yard, but he didn’t return after his surgery. Instead I found him feeding at the Mother Colony two blocks away from me and kept tabs on him these past few years.
Here he is during the summer, while his feeder explains to me that she only feeds him, no other cats. She also did not realize he had an ear tip or anything else like that.
I don’t know what happened to him recently, but he is indoors with me for now. I took him to North Center Animal Hospital for another look. They gave him more antibiotics, and he is also now being treated for roundworms. His blood work showed that he had low red/white blood cells and low protein levels, but these were due to the infection and malnutrition.
Once indoors he seems fairly content to sleep a lot. Seriously, look at those monkey paws! The funny thing is that he also seems to prefer to sleep on a hard surface. I’ve tried every configuration of a cat bed, towel and blanket, and he has shunned them all. He scrunches his body to get away from them.When I removed everything, he finally spread out and seemed comfortable. It’s like he wants to sleep on a tatami mat. Maybe this cat is Japanese? So I named this little five pound Japanese monkey cat Munkimo.
Munkimo is also named in honor of my Polish monkey pet cat, Mowpa, that I had to euthanize last year the same day I took Munkimo to the vet this year.
Please keep your fingers crossed that he continues to heal.