I had a 9:30 a.m. appointment at the vet to bring Waldo in to treat his ear infection.
At 8:30 a.m., a woman I hadn't met before, Kelly, came over to the house as prearranged to catch Waldo for me and put him in the carrier. She's the person I referred to before as "the cat wrangler," and I had been put in touch with her by a volunteer at the shelter where I adopted Waldo.
I had corralled Waldo into a small spare bedroom upstairs with very little furniture in it earlier. He was already freaked about that, but there was no avoiding it.
Kelly went up there, closed the door and I waited nervously downstairs in the kitchen. There was a lot of commotion and bumping around and I heard Waldo's plaintive, distraught meow, as if to say, "WHY are you doing this to me?"
She got him in the carrier and brought him downstairs. I thanked her profusely and offered her some homegrown tomatoes, which she refused. She had taken time off from work to do this for me and I was very grateful becus I HAD NO OTHER OPTIONS.
She said he looked very healthy and did not think he was underweight; she said he was all muscle. (She works with a lot of very sickly, unhealthy wild cats who live outdoors.)
It was too early to leave for the vet appointment, so i figured Waldo would have 30 minutes or so to settle down in the carrier. He was hunkered down and pretty quiet when I looked in there.
I went upstairs and was getting ready to go. I heard some scratching and figured it was Waldo trying in vain to get out. I didn't go to check immediately, but did so perhaps 5 minutes later.
The door to the carrier was off its hinges and Waldo was gone.
I couldn't believe it. I decided to try to get Waldo back in the that spare bedroom. I first called the cat wrangler back and got her machine, so i left a message and said if there's any way you'd be willing to come back and do it again, that would be great.
Waldo was hiding in the basement. I got him out of the basement, but this time, Waldo wouldn't go upstairs to the 2nd floor becus he knew i had all the doors closed except the one to the room he'd been trapped in before, and he didn't want to go up there. I kept chasing him around downstairs in a circle, from living room to dining room to kitchen, hoping that as he rounded the front, he'd go up the stairs, but he wouldn't go up any more.
Finally, i got him up there and closed the door. He was panting and totally scared.
The cat wrangler called me back and said she didn't like to try catching a feral cat more than once in a day cus it was too traumatizing to the cat. She ended up calling the vet's for me and explaining the cat could not be caught and the vet's office agreed to give me the meds for his ear infection so i went down there and picked it up.
I have serious misgivings about whether I'll be able to administer the ointment, but I have to try. It will probably be a few days before Waldo even trusts me again to let me touch hm. I feel terrible for him, but what else could I do?
If I had thought through how difficult it would be to get him to a vet when needed, I probably wouldn't have ever adopted him. I just hoped and assumed at the time that I wouldn't need to get him to the vet for a while and that, in the meantime, I'd be able to get him used to me and unafraid.
He has made great progress. He often sleeps in bed with me, curling up behind my legs, and he loves to be petted and sometimes brushed. But if you move the wrong way, or too quickly, he leaps away.
He's still a very, very timid cat and I can't pick him up. I've been in a real quandary about this ear infection. I used to know a few vets who made house calls, but 1 stopped doing it cus i'm guessing it wasn't profitable enough for the trouble you go to, the other won't come out to my town (too far) and another one would, but wanted to charge me exorbitantly to do so, and being jobless for so long i have to be careful about expenses.
So you can imagine how relieved I was to have the cat wrangler come over to help me, only to feel incredibly at a loss when the cat escaped after she left.
Waldo never made it to the vet
August 25th, 2010 at 08:14 am