Thursday, January 19, 2017

Barn Cats - Don't Get Attached

I adore cats, but I truly try not to get attached to barn cats.  They don't belong to me; they don't belong to anybody.  They are their own cats, and they will just break your heart.  They come, they go, they disappear and they even die.  

I decided to allow myself to enjoy Princess.  She is the tyrant barn cat that is actually owned by one of the boarders, so I know that she will not leave and if something happened to her, at least she would get the best of care.  I call Princess and she comes running like a dog.  All was well until Blackster, the formally feral barn cat decided Princess was his name, too.

I have mentioned Blackster before.  The little guy follows me all over, and is tormented by Princess because she thinks I should pay attention to her.  I tried not to get too attached to him, and I thought I was successful...

On Monday, he came up to me and showed me his eye.  He must have gotten into a fight, and his eyelid was slashed and infected.  I just cried when I saw him.  He sat on my lap, followed me around and I saw him eating and drinking, so I knew the infection was currently just in his eyelid.  It was so swollen, a piece of it looked like it was barely attached and there was pus all over it.  Every time he shook his head, (and he shook it a lot,) pus would go flying!

What to do?  What to do?

There is a woman who used to have a horse at our barn.  She works as a vet tech, and she would help with the barn cats.  Her horse died a couple years ago, and we have been on our own, since.

I called her that evening and told her all about Blackster.  She remembered him, and seemed surprised that he is now such a friendly cat--at least with Ellen and me.  She said she would leave some drops on my stall early in the morning, and see if she could get some antibiotic pills.

Ellen was at the barn in the morning and was horrified to see his eye.  She put the stuff on it.

The next day, I found the antibiotics on my stall.  I put it into a hunk of  canned food, and that wonderful little cat vacuumed it right up--never having a clue there was a pill in it.  I put the drops on the wound, too.  It didn't appear quite as infected,  but it still looked horrible.

The following day, (today,) I got to the barn in the early afternoon--not my normal time.  He was nowhere to be seen, but that didn't surprise me since he usually is only around in the morning and evening.  Kevin and I went for our ride, and he was still missing when we got back.  I did the stalls, and waited and waited.  I was afraid that I would have to wait until his usual time, or worse, he was feeling so poorly that he didn't feel like coming out.

I went from barn to barn, calling for Princess.  Silly guy thinks that is his name because he has learned to come to me when I call for Princess.  No luck.  I started Ranger on his walk, and then a woman in the barn called me.  He had heard me calling and was looking for me.

I was able to feed him his pill in canned food, again, and I put the drop on when he was sitting on my lap.  It upset him, but I held him gently until he calmed down and we sat together for a while.

I am glad to report that his eye is starting to improve.  It is nearly swollen shut, but there was very little pus.  Things are looking up.

I wasn't supposed to get attached...

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