Saturday, July 30, 2011
Meet the Freak
AKA, Freakenstein, Freak is a rescued critter. We did not want another cat; my budget sure did not need another cat. Aside from our expenditures for cat food and litter going up by a third, the veterinarian costs for the tests, shots, and neutering will have cost me a bit over $500 for this rescue.
Freak is recovering nicely; this photo is one taken after only a week and a half in our “cat recovery room” where we keep him isolated from our two other cats. During the eviction, Freak was found inside of a cage in the endless clutter of our eastside next-door neighbor’s house. The poor guy is an 8-year-old unneutered male who was suffering from malnutrition, dehydration, and social isolation. With his skin-and-bones frame covered with filth and the edges of his ears as brittle as burnt potato chips, he appeared to be (and acted like) some sort of psychotic Zombie Cat, hence his new name. He was in such poor condition that my wife figured that most of the overcrowded local shelters would euthanize him at a glance. My guess is that Freak was given food and water whenever the owners thought to do so, which was probably not very often. His nose was raw from poking it into the cage door and from scrounging for that last hint of food and water; it is now healing nicely. Freak screams like a demon when we bring him food and he eats insatiably. Freak will eat himself to death if we let him; we feed him twice as much as we do a normal cat and he screams for more. A couple of times we overfed him and he puked it all back up. For now, he is on a fixed eating-schedule when he gets a good portion of food but never as much as he desires. After we cleaned him up and fed him for just over a couple of weeks, we took him to the veterinarian for an evaluation, likely the first in his lifetime. The vet says that the trauma of chronic starvation created an eating disorder from which Freak may never recover. Freak’s liver enzymes were a little unbalanced due to malnutrition but should be back to normal soon; his other organs checked out okay. The tests for contagious (and fatal) feline viruses all were negative and Freak had no fleas, which was strange considering his previous owner’s house was infested with mice. If his previous owner had just let Freak roam inside the house, the cat may have been nutritionally self-sufficient by keeping the rodents under control.
Since he has had proper nutrition for a while now, Freak has rediscovered that he is a male cat and wants to get laid so badly that he is getting a cranky. Last week we got his shots completed; on Thursday of this next week, Freak will go in for a surgical attitude adjustment that will put an end to his lust for sex. It will be a long road for physical and social recovery for this cat. His only interaction with other cats was when he was a kitten and his lifetime of dealings with humans have not been fulfilling. We will give Freak every chance that we can to adjust to life here. If he cannot adjust to us and the other cats, we will have no choice but to put him in local shelter. Wish us all luck.