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!