Sunday, August 12, 2012

To help a feral cat


On August 1st we decided to take one of the stray outside cats, Benjamin, to the local shelter to have him tested for cat diseases, get shots, de-wormed, de-flead, and lastly, neutered.  A big day was planned for him. 

This was the same shelter where we got the house chicken, Penny.  Penny is doing great living her new life as a chicken, by the way.

We have gotten so many stray cats outside and Benjamin was fighting with them all as he wasn't fixed.  Benji, as I call him, was a sweet boy.  He would let us pet him if it meant he was going to get food.  But other than a random pet, he was a wild, feral cat.  We planned on getting this work done to him and then releasing him back outside.  Unless we could find a home for him, of course.

So Randy teased him with canned cat food on that fateful Tuesday morning, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and ran him inside the house to the waiting cat carrier in the hallway.  If we took the cat carrier outside there's no way Benji would have come near us, with something odd like a cat carrier sitting outside.

But of course, Benji escape from the carrier before we could close the door.  He ran around the front of the house, crashing into windows at full force trying to get out.  Finally he was captured, thrown into the carrier, and toted off to the shelter.

We learned that he had no diseases, and he was quite young, still was a teenage cat.  Somehow they said he had no fleas nor signs of worms, but was treated for both anyway.  He got his shots and neutering.  Randy picked him up about 3pm and was told he would be groggy but awake.  Randy dropped off the carrier into the bathroom that I setup as a temporary home for Benjamin.  I had a litter box, 3 towels folded up the floor into a bed, and food and water dishes ready.  Randy took the door off the cat carrier and set the carrier in the bathroom.  He didn't want to scare the cat more by dumping him out, but decided to let him walk out on his own.  Randy had to leave, and I came home about 3 hours later to find the cat still wadded up in the back of the carrier. 

I talked to Benji, but he wouldn't look at me.  Finally I reached into the cat carrier, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, and pulled him out in a heap.  He was all stiff and hot and breathing shallow.  I put his stiff body onto the towels.  He didn't move, didn't acknowledge or even look at me, but started quivering.  I petted him and talked quietly to him.  The quivering turned into full shaking.  It was weird that he wouldn't look at me, he kept his head averted.  As you can see, he would not look at me, so you can't see his beautiful, big, yellow eyes in these photos. 


After a few hours I was concerned about Benji.  He was so stiff, all his muscles were tightened and shaking.  I tried to get him to eat some canned cat food, but he wouldn't open his mouth.  Finally, by 9pm, I was downright worried.  I put some canned cat food on a teaspoon and forced the spoon into his mouth.  He ate it without a fight.  I fed him two more teaspoons of food.  At least he had some food in his stomach. 


The vet have us 4 oral syringes of Tramadol 50mg (pain medicine) for Benjamin, with instructions to give him one orally every 12 hours.  I thought maybe he was in terrible pain after his surgery.  Maybe that's why he was shaking?  I quickly gave him one of the syringes, he didn't fight at all and drank the medicine.  He was still in the stiff quivering state.  However, then he started foaming at the mouth terribly!  I grabbed a new roll of paper towels and started wiping foam from his mouth.  After about 10 min I had used about a third of the paper towel roll to wipe foam from Benji's face.  I have never seen a cat foam from the mouth so badly.  I was holding him in my lap, he was shaking violently and was stiff as a board, foam pouring from his mouth.  I was soaked from the foam, as was Benji.  I was talking to him, trying to sooth him, petting him.  I force-fed him another teaspoon of canned cat food to maybe stop the foaming.  Then I gave him an oral syringe of plain water to rinse out his mouth.  He started choking violently on the water.  I rubbed his throat and held him, hoping he wouldn't throw up the medicine, thinking maybe the medicine was too strong anyway.

And then, suddenly, Benjamin's body went limp.  I felt all his muscles loosen and he passed out in my arms.  I was really concerned that I killed him.  At least he stopped foaming from the mouth.  He was still breathing, but was just knocked out.  I cleaned him up with warm water, checked his surgery site, which looked fine, and put him to bed for the night.  I think 50mg of Tramadol is too much for a little cat.  But at least he was relaxed and able to sleep. 

Stay tuned for the rest of the story about Benjamin!

16 comments:

Chai Chai said...

How can you leave us hanging? What happened?

Carolyn Renee said...

OMG!!! I'm going to go completely NUTS now, and I agree with Chai Chai, how horrible of you to leave us hanging like that! At least give us a little post in the comments saying that everything turned out ok, OK? OK?!

(going to be pacing the floor in front of the laptop now until I find out!)

Oh, BTW, when we took in one of the feral cats back in the 'burbs and had to bring him into the vet, same thing happened, even up to him jumping at the windows again & again trying to get out of the room.

Razzberry Corner said...

Chai Chai, Carolyn Renee - Benji is OK!!! But I'm learning a lot about feral cats. It's kinda sad, eye opening. I'll write more later, this post was getting long, people don't usually read long posts.

~Lynn

Farm Girl said...

Oh my gosh, please tell me he didn't die??? Oh just saw your note, feral cats are different and I have had the ones I have fixed and all of that stuff done but I have never have one react the way you describe. Was he allergic to the medication?
Okay, I will be waiting for the continuation to the story, but I am on pins and needles. Poor, poor kitty.

Dog Trot Farm said...

I pray this story has a happy ending, poor baby. I thank God there are people like you in this world who are willing to give TLC and financial assistance to these helpless animals. Blessings to you, Julie.

Lisa said...

Oh my! I hope all goes well with him. I would have had a coronary when all the foaming would have started!

LindaG said...

Sounds like he may have had a reaction to something they did or gave him at the vet's office.
It's really nice of you to do all this for him.
We tried to help a feral cat at our last house, but he would pee on everything and get all stressed out when we brought him in or put him in the car.

Have a blessed week. ♥

Anonymous said...


You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

What a pretty cat that little Benji is ... I do hope, as all your fans do, this story has a happy ending! What great patience and where-with-all you had in caring for Benji.

Country Girl said...

That's not fair! What happened to Benji?

Knatolee said...

Poor little honey. You are so good to have helped him!!

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