We'd had a cat showing up outside periodically for the past few weeks: she was incredibly skinny and her ears were badly mosquito-bitten, but she seemed otherwise pretty healthy and very friendly. She had a collar on when she first started hanging around here, so we called the number a few times to see if she was missing and the number was disconnected. When the cat showed up a bit later without a collar, we were almost certain she had been abandoned, so we continued to leave food and water out for her and she continued to hang around periodically.
Fast forward to Labor Day weekend and the cat showed up with an incredibly screwed up left eye. Like, it was bad. The third eye was covering her entire eye and it was incredibly red and very infected. Not good.
Figuring that this was a stray who wouldn't get medical attention otherwise, I grabbed her, wrangled her into our carrier and rushed her to the vet, which was luckily open on a Sunday. They determined her third eyelid had been sliced somehow (a fight, an accident, or she scratched it) and she was at risk of losing her eye. After some quick discussion, Chris and I determined we'd care for her upstairs (and away from Grizabella) and adopt her if need be (or adopt her out to someone else), so we footed the bill, got antibiotic eye drops, had a bunch of tests run and got her vaccinated.
We kept her upstairs for the rest of the week and I put her eyedrops in religiously, which, let me tell you, is no walk in the park. No cat is going to gladly tolerate someone putting something in her eye, let alone a stranger, in a strange house, in an eye that is badly injured. Oh yeah, and it was EIGHT TIMES A DAY. Fun!
Anyway, the cat made a quick recovery and her eye was looking MUCH better by Wednesday. Then, Thursday night we got a phone call from the cat's owner! Who knew?!?! I verified that this was indeed the owner and we agreed to meet at the vet for the follow-up visit on Friday afternoon. That's where things got weird.
She gladly reimbursed us for the cost of the vet bills and was generally very appreciative, but she was definitely flaky. Like, who goes to pick up a cat from the vet and forgets to bring a cat carrier??? Anyway, after the visit, she asked me if we'd like to keep the cat. Shit.
Enter much deliberation. Pro: The cat was sweet and we'd be more responsible owners than the current owner. Con: Personality-wise, it looked doubtful that she'd get along with Grizabella and she was significantly older than we had previously thought (13), making her harder to adopt out to someone more trustworthy.
Ultimately, we realized that although we'd be better owners than her current owner, she is not a stray and she has an owner that does care about her. She's not being abused, she's being fed, and she's safe. We ended up deciding to let her stay with her current owner. Less stress for her and less stress for Grizabella. If we see her around, we'll certainly look after her and feed her and give her lots of affection, but ultimately, I think it's best for her to stay where she is. It was not exactly an easy decision to reach however and many tears were shed in this whole process. Saturday, quite frankly, sucked.
The good thing was the vet said we had done a remarkable job taking care of her and that we'd managed to save her eye. She was definitely at risk of losing it and I feel good knowing that we stopped that from happening.
Here are some pictures of her below.
As you can see, this kitty was all angles; completely different from our all-round cat: