14 November, 2015

The Skinny, The Not-So Skinny, and The Missing

Here's what happened:
Back in March, when I trapped Patty (who had an abscess) and Sweetie (because I went for a two-for-one approach), the vet said that Sweetie's teeth were 'bad'.  The vet was unable to examine her further, because she fought like the feral cat she is!  That word 'bad' has been rattling 'round my head all of these months, plus the fact that Sammy had a such a infected mouth that we helped him over the Rainbow Bridge to end his suffering.

So, I put a plan in place.  We set up the drop trap over the feeding station, and fed Sweetie and Patty there until Wednesday night.  That's when I dropped the trap around them both, and we put them in humane traps.
Patty and Sweetie getting used to the drop trap
Keeping warm in the tent!
Overnight, I put the two trapped cats inside a tent, then covered them with sheets and blankets, to conserve their body heat.

Thursday morning, I drove to All About Animals in Warren, Michigan, so they each could receive a dental cleaning, and Sweetie got a microchip too; Patty was microchipped when he was neutered in 2011.

I waited by the phone all day Thursday, as I had asked the staff to call me if they found anything in either cat that they felt would deserve a trip to a full veterinarian's office.  About 2:30 pm, the phone rang.  The news: Patty came through the procedure just fine, but she wanted me to know that they consider him TOO FAT!  Sweetie, however, was a different story, and my heart jumped in my chest.  Sweetie came through everything just fine with no tooth extractions, because she's missing 19 teeth.  Let me say that again...NINETEEN teeth are missing!  They pretty much did root canal work on her, in six areas where the teeth were gone but the root still there.  My poor Sweetie!

Cats have 30 teeth; I looked it up on the internet.  She is missing most of her teeth!

Cat teeth are fragile, the veterinarian said.  They cannot chew on thick or dense material, like dogs chew on a rawhide, because their teeth will crack. Sweetie was living pretty rough until she joined our family, I guess!  Patty is missing seven teeth, which isn't a good record either.  
Sweetie's dental notes
Patty's dental notes
Thursday night was one of the loneliest of my life.  I had to restrain myself from looking out the windows, because although my brain knew Patty and Sweetie were being held overnight at All About Animals, my habit of searching for them outside is deeply engrained!

Friday morning, I drove in the dark to pick up my feral friends.  While waiting for the staff to assist, I met Mush, the office cat:
Mush knew a cat-lover, and he was all over me to the delight of the other patient parents who waited with me.  Mush kept staring at a puppy, which made the dog paralyzed with fright!  After a very short time, Patty and Sweetie were brought out for me to take away.

Now, you'd think I was a nervous wreck from all of this, and you'd be correct!  But not as nervous as I was when I let them out of their cages on the deck.  A fierce wind was blowing...a bit rainy...and the two of them had been trapped, manhandled, poked, prodded, and taken from familiar ground for days!  Unsurprising though, Patty stepped out of his trap and came over to head butt me.  My Patty!  I almost cried with joy.  Sweetie was very skittish, and would not accept any pets.  I put the traps away in the barn, and put out a half-a-can of food for each.  Patty ate like nothing had happened, but Sweetie seemed a bit uncomfortable and she shied away after a few mouthfuls.  Understandable!

Later on, I put out some home-cooked turkey, made with love by The Hubby, and nutritional yeast sprinkled over the top, and voila!

The moral of the story:
Much less kibble for Patty and Sweetie!  Only wet food from now on, at least until it gets too cold when wet food freezes.  Patty needs to lose weight, and both of them should chew on soft foods.  In the back of my mind, I am thinking that Sweetie's coughing/sneezing fits could have been caused by her bad mouth, and the veterinarian agreed with me, although she really didn't know if the fits could be caused by other issues (lungworm, heartworm, etc.)  Will wait and see.  

It's amazing that I've now trapped each of them multiple times using my 'drop trap as feeding station' bit, and yet they still love me!  Guess they can feel my love for them...?

P.S. All About Animals is a fantastic resource for the TNR (trap-neuter-return) community in Metro Detroit, plus they offer low-cost health exams, tests and vaccines for pet dogs and cats.  Without their resources, I would not be able to help my outside cat friends.  Please consider a donation to aid their cause.  Go here for more information: http://www.allaboutanimalsrescue.org/.  In gratitude, I've volunteered multiple times at TNR classes, feral cat building classes, donated items for auction, and even washed walls and floors when they moved to their current location!  I carry their cards in my purse and car, to hand out to anyone who has a pet.

P.S.S. My heart goes out to the people of France.  If we can learn to love our animal friends, we can surely learn to love our fellow humans.  Let us all work toward love and peace, for every single living thing on our planet.  


  1. We're very glad they have you to look after them. They may not be house cats, but at this point they aren't ferals either.

  2. We're glad these sweeties had their dental work. My vet once told me cats can eat pate canned food just fine with no teeth. Sounds like Patty is doing some hunting on the side ;-)

  3. Poor Sweetie, but she is lucky to have you to get her the care she needed. That is amazing they let you trap them more than once, I am sure they know how much you love them.

  4. Wow, that's a lot of teeth to be missing. Glad you were able to have her taken care of without a trip to a full-service vet and all the expense that would entail. Patty does look rather plump in the last photo. Being overweight isn't healthy, but for an outdoor cat it's probably better than being too thin. Hopefully you can adjust his food portions and help him trim down a bit.

  5. We're so glad you were able to get both Patty and Sweetie into see the vet. Poor Sweetie, though! We're hoping that she'll do better now that she's had her teefs tended to.

  6. Your care is just amazing! We're sorry about the dental problems; we don't like them either!

    Anyway, It's hard enough to control our weight when we're strictly inside cats. And with Patty sneaking the occasional mouse or nine, you may not have a lot of luck with that! I personally think it's better to have a little extra than being too skinny, which can bring on its own set of health problems. And if it's any consolation, the vet told my bro Izzy that *he* should shed some weight! (He is the tubbiest of us now.)

  7. guys.....hooray fora prettee grate check up.....sorree tho bout havin ta eat......BURD ~~~~~

    ~~~~ waves two mush....nice ta meet cha ♥♥♥

  8. Thank you for caring for these cats. All my ferals are now inside since we moved but I know how worried you can get wondering if they wills tick around after trapping. Thanks for checking in on Georgie.


Thanks for your comments; we LURV them! Purrr....