Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Wounded Kitty Prayer Request
Does it seem silly to ask for prayer for one of my cats? Maybe, but not to me - in fact I prayed all night long last night that God would help me find her because she was missing, and I'm convinced He helped me!
I had a lovely idea for a TeaTime Tuesday post today - all ready to go with pictures and everything, but I'm going to save it for next week. Right now, I'm going to ask you to pray for my beloved Tiger.
Tiger, our shop cat, was only about 10 weeks old when we discovered her and her litter mates out the back of my husband's automotive repair shop. Her mother was absolutely wild and would not come near us, but it was the most horribly cold snowy December when we discovered they were our "guests" so we began to put food out for them daily, to make sure they would survive.
Originally there were 3 kittens. One disappeared shortly after we discovered them. The two that remained grew up from little kitten-hood to semi-adult kitten-hood and seemed to be quite healthy. We fed them daily but they still would not let us near them. One day, when they were about 4 months old, their mother was killed on the highway in front of our shop. Shortly after that, the male kitten was killed in almost the exact spot. Tiger was left on her own, but still she wouldn't let me touch her. The great thing was that she would never go near the road, even from the time she was a wee little kitten. So at least I didn't have to worry about her meeting the same fate as her mother and brother.
Then, when she was about 6 or 7 months old, she started to go into heat for the first time. There were male cats everywhere! Howling, mewling, snarling, male cats appeared from every direction! I was actually caught between two of them fighting one day and got quite scared because they looked so mean! And yes, Tiger got "knocked up." But the good news was that with the help of all those hormonal swings going on in her body, she finally let me pet her for the first time. And soon, she would even let me pick her up and put her in my lap and hold her. She still had never been inside of a building, but at least we were making progress.
When her kittens (all 5 of them!) were born inside of a scrap tire behind our shop, I got to see them briefly before she whisked them away and hid them on me. But after moving them a few times, Tiger finally decided she would trust me with them, so by the time they were about 4 days old, I was able to start playing with them and petting them. When they were 8 weeks old, I took them away from her, brought them to our home and got them litter-trained, vet-checked, and found homes for them. The reason I took them away so soon is because a female cat will go into heat again about 8 weeks after a litter is born and I really didn't want her to get pregnant again! Now that she was so tame, I took her to the vet right away and got her spayed. Even though she seemed tame to me at this point, she still had never been inside of a building and was so frantic in the kennel at the vets that she tore the skin of her face trying to escape through the bars.
But when I brought her home from the vet's, I decided to take her right into the shop and from that moment on, she made it her home. She would go out side during the day and then come in for the night. Gradually she became more and more tame and pretty soon she would go for days without going outside. That was several years ago and she now feels that she owns our shop! She is a little leery around strangers but surprises us from time-to-time by befriending one of our customers that she has arbitrarily decided she will trust. Every afternoon at around 4 o'clock, Tiger knows it's her "bed time" so she usually goes over to the stock room door and waits for me to put her in there for the night. The reason we close her in there, is so that she won't set off the motion sensors for our alarm system. It's a decent sized room and she has her own shelf with her cat bed on it and her litterbox, water dish, and food dish. It also has a big window for her to gaze out of, and a small window that looks into my husband's office, so she can look in there if she'd rather have an "interior" view.
Over the last 6 years since we've tamed her, I have debated back and forth about letting her outside. Our house cats are strictly indoor cats because we live on a very busy highway, about one block from our shop. But because Tiger was so wild before, I decided that she would never be happy if I didn't let her go outside during the day. Also, during the summer months, my husband works with the shop doors all open to let a breeze through the building, so short of keeping her enclosed in that little shop room day and night, she would be able to get out whether I wanted her to or not. So far, it is has worked out very well because she doesn't go very far during the day and usually only goes outside for an hour or so at a time. And she seems to stay well away from the highway.
Last night, however, she escaped. My husband was working late and needed a part in the stock room. He went in shutting the door behind him, but his customer didn't realize there was a cat there and yanked the door open. Tiger scooted out of the stock room and out of the big garage door like a blur. I have no idea why she wanted out of there so bad, but the bottom line is she darted out and was gone like a flash.
My husband called me to let me know, so I went over to the shop and called her and called her, but she wouldn't come. We stayed until midnight trying to find her, wandering around all over our property and the neighbour's field trying to find her. Finally, we came home, sick at heart and very worried. I couldn't sleep all night and prayed and prayed asking God to help me find her. At 5 this morning, it started to get light out side, so I told my husband I was going back to the shop to try and find her.
I found her up a tree, severely wounded, but alive. It's a miracle that I found her and another miracle that she trusted me enough to back down the tree into my arms even though she was in intense pain and extremely frightened. The reason I was able to find her, is that she was in a tree up against the chain link fence between our property and our neighbour's and their large dog was barking furiously at the tree only about two feet away from it! You can imagine how frightened Tiger was! If she had fallen the wrong way coming down the tree, she would have ended up on the side of the fence with the dog!
We don't know if she was attacked by that dog or by a coyote, but there are bite marks all over her back and one of her legs has been dislocated. We rushed her to an emergency vet clinic this morning where she was medicated and assessed and then we rushed her to Guelph University Veterinary College where she is having surgery right now. The good news is that none of her injuries are life-threatening. The bites are being cleaned and drained and her leg is being surgically fixed - basically they are taking the ball part of her hip joint right out, which sounds awful but apparently is the best thing under the circumstances and she will able to walk normally once it heals. She has some nerve damage to her left leg as well, but the surgeon who examined her feels quite confident that it is caused by temporary swelling and in a few days should be better.
So please pray for my little Tiger, or if you don't pray, send warm fuzzy feelings in her direction. She's just one little cat, but she is such a special little one, as they all are, and is very well-loved by my husband and I. I know that God helped me find her, and it is amazing she survived being attacked, so I'm believing God will help her to recover as well.