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Bedraggled

The universe has been making noises for some time that a cat was coming my way. Henry came. I figured that was it. This morning, a new critter entered my life. I haven't had any new critters since 2006 and now the universe has opened back up.

I leave at the same time as a fellow in the old Bartlett house. About 6:10am. This morning, he was passing just as I got to the bottom of my driveway. He took the first left up Minnetonka. I usually always go straight to Cherokee (the third left) without thinking. This morning I considered taking Minnetonka and considered taking Sequonia (the second left), but said forget it, I prefer Cherokee because it isn't freaking vertical. I rarely give it much thought but this morning it was a deliberate decision.

I turned onto Cherokee, which is a street about two houses long. I quickly saw a cat walking slowly up the street. It didn't run even as my car approached. I beeped gently. The cat stopped and turned its head vaguely in the directly of my headlights and then kept walking. Highly unusual because typically the neighborhood cats run. I rarely see stray cats.

I inched forward behind the cat. I started noticed that it was walking unsteadily. Oh boy, I said. I put the car in park, pulled the emergency brake and got out. The cat was walking slowly enough that I was able to catch up to it. I called out and it stopped. I very gently approached (her) and she voluntarily rubbed her head on my hand. I was able to stroke her back. Very thin, skin and bones, rough coat, soaked. Then I lifted her up and put her onto the grass. She immediately got back into the road and came back over to me.

I petted her some more. Then my heart melted. I picked her up and brought her to the car and put her in the back seat. She was unhappy about that and tried to get out immediately. So, I picked up her again and brought her to a different patch of grass and stepped away. She got off the grass and came back to me. Very unsteady on her feet. I picked her up again and put her into the car more firmly. I shut the door and drove home.

I set up her on the ground floor. Brought a litter box and food/water for her downstairs. While she was eating, I took one of mom's new jersey dresses that I won't ever wear and laid it on the floor for her to sleep on. Then I went off to work.

I called Dad and warned him about the creature downstairs. I made a vet appointment for Saturday morning.

Dad later reported that she had followed him into the back of the basement and when he started making noise, she promptly left the back of the basement and went and settled down on the dress I'd laid out for her.

Stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get supplies. When I got home, I was happy to see that she was still alive. I underestimated how weak she was and put stuff too far apart. She used the litter box but also had accidents. I saw that with Wooby who was too weak to make it to the litter box. I threw out the soiled dress and laid out a new dress for her to sleep on. I set out the new and lower-to-the-floor litter box and she got in it and laid down. I set out food and she got out of the box and ate. While she was eating, I washed the floor and then arranged everything close together so that she wouldn't have to walk more than a foot in any direction.

She is drinking water. She's keeping food down. She ate both soft food and crunchies. She actively used both litter boxes. I also checked under her tail, she has no problems with me touching her (unlike Henry) and I think she's a girl.

I left her alone for about an hour and when I came back downstairs she was fast asleep. Crashed on the new dress, head face down into the cloth. I arranged a blanket around her, too. It won't be all that warm, but she'll be a lot more comfortable there than outdoors. And she'll be dry.

She's keeping her food down, which is a good sign. She appears to have some kind of hip dysplasia, but it could be weak muscle tone. She weighs no more than five or six pounds but judging by her frame she should weigh closer to twelve. She looks to be quite senior given the appearance of the claws in her back paws and the white around her muzzle. She also purrs quite loudly and is fairly vocal.

I managed to get a picture when I came home this afternoon:

2014 October 24 bedraggled