Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mad Max Kitty

Oh, how I wish we hadn't left our camera at Josh's Dad's house over Thanksgiving.

Kitty got an abscess on the side of his jaw. It was because he got into a fight with another cat. We try to get him to resolve his conflicts in more constructive ways (Use your words!) but he won't listen.

If we know he has tangled with another cat, he gets the full-body pat down as we try to see if he has any injuries. He doesn't enjoy this at all. His hair is so long and fluffy that it is really hard to tell if he has been hurt.

There was a cut on the side of his jaw that we missed. It turned into an abscess that burst. We brought him to the vet and got it all cleaned out and antibiotics to give him. The vet shaved the side of his head in order to treat the abscess.

Kitty now looks like some freaky, post-apocalyptic Mad Max character with one side of his head fluffy and full of fur, and the other side shaved down so that you see the shape of his skull. Poor Kitty. Josh and I laugh at him. I'll try to get a picture with my cell phone.

And, yes there is a more serious side to this story. There are many, many good reasons to keep cats indoors all the time. The Humane Society of US recommends it for all cats. We might be thought of as terrible pet owners to expose our cat to this danger, especially since we KNOW that he fights with other cats. But we really struggled with this decision.

Kitty was the neighborhood cat at our old place in La Jolla. He lived outdoors and no one knew who he belonged to. He started to come around our house. We started to feed him. He kept coming around and would even come inside and sit on our laps. After a while, we decided he was ours and we had to be responsible for his care. We took him to the vet to make sure he was healthy AND neutered.

It seems like he grew up outdoors. We have had to keep him inside for up to a week after some vet procedures and he HATES IT. We think it would be cruel to try to turn him into an indoor cat. We know that it is dangerous out there and there is the possibility that someday he might not come home. We just think he's much happier living out his cat life indoors and out.

No comments: