So last night I found a cat. What with me being the Good Samaritan, I took the cat in for the night. It was really sweet, and exceptionally well-behaved--even though it didn't like Gucci very much.
I made a post on craigslist, and by the morning I had about 20 e-mails from people thanking me for taking the cat in and wishing me luck in finding the owners. I even got a couple of e-mails from people who said they'd be willing to adopt it if the owners don't show up.
Now, I had found the cat in the street by a car and when I approached it I noticed it had a broken tail. That was my main impetus for taking the cat. Since it was injured, I couldn't in good conscious leave it there. Seriously y'all, for about three years of my life I was convinced I was going to be a veterinarian. Animals hit my soft-spot like you would not believe, which is why I could never be a vet. I like seeing animals be happy and healthy, and they are neither of those things when they are at the clinic and it destroys me. I had an apprenticeship for awhile, and after a few declawings and witnessing an old cat being euthanized, I realized I couldn't do it.
This morning, while I was reading the e-mails I was petting the cat and I happened to touch its leg when it hissed and batted my hand away. This cat had been nothing but cuddles and purrs until that moment, and I knew the cat was in pain. That's when I solidified my hypothesis that the cat had been hit by a car (instead of just having its tail slammed in a screen door while it snuck out, or the victim of pet-violence, or something) and decided to take it in to a vet, if only to have it screened for a microchip.
The cat had been jumping and walking, so I didn't think it was really very pressing until I noticed its gate was a little lopsided and when it arched it's back it wasn't a straight arch like on all the other cats I'd seen. So I got in the car and took the cat straight to Banfield in Petsmart, because it's the only vet I really know of and trust. They have a lot of rescue cats there, and they told me they'd do a microchip scan for free.
When we got there, the cat got really scared and started burying itself in my armpit. I felt really guilty for bringing it there. A really deep, stomach-guilt.
I didn't think there would be a microchip. A lot of cats are abandoned every year, especially in June when leases change and you have apathetic pet owners who assume their cat will be fine in the city streets. The first micro-chip sweep turned up negative, but the batteries were dying so the assistant grabbed another wand. On the second sweep, we found it.
I was so happy. I felt validated that this sweet cat had loving owners that cared enough to microchip their pet, and I was convinced they would be relieved and overjoyed to have it back. Within minutes I found out that the kitteh's name was Beetle. I thought that was funny, because it rhymes with "beagle" and that's typically what we call Gucci.
There were two phone numbers encoded on the chip too. I was hoping to take the cat back home and call the numbers myself, but the assistant informed me that legally, they can't do that in case the "finder" decides to become a "keeper" without giving the real owners a shout. They have to hold the cat for seven days and call the owners. If no one claims him, then I get first preference. I told them I'd gladly take the cat. After all, there were a few readers who had expressed interest in the cat and I certainly wanted to make sure it at least went to a no-kill shelter.
We called both numbers. One was a disconnected cell phone, and the other was a house phone and we left a message. I really hope they call and claim their cat.
But I just got a call from the veterinarian. The cat was in a lot of pain so they gave it some sedatives and took an X-Ray. The tail is broken and interfering with the blood-flow, and needs to be amputated. There's no other option, and it must be done soon so they're going to cut it off tomorrow. Furthermore, the cat has a broken pelvis and will need no less than 8 weeks of kennel-rest. The cat is also very bruised on its left side, so he was almost definitely hit by a car.
What I'm worried about is that the owners won't be willing to take their cat back with its current injuries. I mean, I've seen other craigslist postings where a kitten was hit by car, broke all four legs, and was taken back by its master but not all people are so caring and compassionate. It's kitteh season, and they could just get a new one. I'm worried that they'll forsake Beetle, in his tail-less, injured state.
If they do, and I pray they don't, the cat could fall into my possession. Unfortunately, if I were to adopt the cat I would also have to adopt all of the bills, which I simply cannot do right now. At that point, I'm sure they'd want to take the cat to either the humane society or the gas chamber.
I'm feeling rather bleak about the whole thing. While I know the cat would've died if I hadn't taken it in and brought it to the vet, I wish I would've waited one more day. I wish I would've taken him somewhere else.
I hope his owners come get him. I really, really do.