Jean’s colony is now down to 13 outdoor cats, and seven indoor cats. All are spayed and neutered.
Jean is probably in her mid-eighties and walks with a cane. She still navigates all three floors of her home, and cares for the cats as best as she can all day by herself on a limited income. She is sharp and fun to talk to. She loves the cats dearly and cares for them as best as she can, but obviously twenty cats takes a lot of time, upkeep and money. Her house is clearly dedicated to the cats – they have pretty much taken over. When Kim and I visited with a donation of cat food and supplies the other week, we saw that some of the cats were sick, even ones that Jean had taken to a vet on her own. Jean was humbled by the donation, even though we kept telling her that this amount of work would be difficult for anyone to handle.
I remembered Crystal from when I posted about her TNR along with the other cats. This is what she looked like then, and the post also even contains video of her return back to the colony. She’s the last cat returned at the end of it. Jean said Crystal’s ear had been slowly deteriorating but was overwhelmed with vet bills already. Kim and I offered immediately to trap Crystal and take her to our vet, Elmhurst Animal Care Center. Remarkably Jean said she could try to trap her herself and needed to think about the best way to do it. Caregivers know their colony the best, so this is ideal, but at the same time we didn’t really want Jean to try because of her physical condition. The traps are heavy!
Well, last Friday, Jean trapped Crystal on her own! She knew where Crystal usually slept, and placed the trap against the only exit. After awhile Crystal had to go in and she did!
Up close, Crystal’s appearance was even more alarming. We are so grateful to Jean to have trapped her when she did. Joann immediately took Crystal to Elmhurst that night, where she has stayed ever since. When Joann went to pick her up, Jean came out of her house carrying the trap by herself while walking with her cane as well. Seriously, kudos to Jean for her tenacity and passion for these cats. We are in awe, and want to help her any way we can.
Joann said the smell from Crystal was so bad that she thought she defecated in the trap, but it was from her ear.
The vets said the condition of her ear was from necrosis, either from frostbite or cancer. They ruled out bite wounds. We will know the biopsy results soon.
Her ear was cleaned and she was given Convenia (antibiotic) for the infection. Her blood pressure was so low that they might not have gotten enough blood for a blood sample. She had a fever of 103.5 degrees and was given an injection to lower that. She is also on pain medication so that she can rest comfortably there. She tested FIV+. They told us she had no teeth left, but her gums look good regardless. She is estimated to be about nine years old.
We are so grateful to Jean for trapping Crystal when she did. Crystal would not last that much longer on her own in the cold outside without medical care. At the same time, Jean told me she is embarrassed and doesn’t want anyone to think she is neglectful of her colony. We do not think that at all, and I really hope Jean understands that when I tell her. Joann and I have talked to her as best as we can about this.
THANK YOU to Joann and Kim for all of their help this past week with this colony! And thanks to the Elmhurst vets for their expert and compassionate care, as always, so far.
THANK YOU to all who have donated so far, and for all of your healing thoughts and prayers sent her way!