As I was working in my study this morning, Dan came in from his walk with Raven and called up to me that we had a visitor. I went downstairs to discover a little orange and white cat prowling around the kitchen. Raven had found him in one of the fields at the back end of our property. Dan picked him up and brought him back.
The poor thing is nothing but skin and bones and a ravenous appetite. He attacks the kibble like he’s afraid it’s going to jump out of the bowl and get away. It’s hard to guess how long he’s been out there fending for himself, but he wasn’t doing so well at it. Perhaps he’d been surviving on grasshoppers and dragonflies, which are all mostly gone now. I might have given him another week out there on his own, at most. If starvation didn’t do him in, then coyotes or foxes or hawks or fishers surely would have.
He’s extremely friendly, currently sitting on my lap as I type this. He doesn’t seem afraid of Raven, rubbing up against her and walking underneath her belly like they grew up together. It’s hard to say how long he’s been out on his own, or whether he’d had an owner at some point, although generally cats that have been wild for a long time become very scared of humans, and it takes a long while to earn their trust back.
We took him to the vet this afternoon, primarily because he had a wheeze and a runny nose and we were concerned about letting him be around our other animals, but also just to get him checked out. He weighed in at just 3.8 lb (1.7 kg), and has to be the tiniest cat I’ve ever met. He makes our other cats look huge. From his size, I figured he was a three to four month old kitten. We asked the vet how old he thought the little guy was, and he guessed about a year, based on the fact that he has all of his adult teeth, and some of the back molars are starting to get some tartar buildup.
The poor little guy, such hardship in only his first year of life! But things are looking up for him now. We’re not sure if we’ll keep him or find a good home for him, but either way his days spent out in the cold scrounging for food are over.
I can’t believe how much he reminds me of Jackie, another young cat who came to my family by similar means when I was in my early teens.
He seems really happy to be here.