Piggy Peggy


I finally caught up with her. She isn’t doing well.

She is so skinny.

Really, really skinny. I could feel all of her ribs, and her hip bones were protruding. Her still-nice fur covers up a lot. 

These are mites, and I expect they are the ones that cause mange. I cannot tell you how horrified I was, last Thursday, to see that she is crawling with them – especially as I saw them as I was cuddling her to my chest and giving her kisses. She seemed very tired at the time, but still happy to see me. I wasn’t so happy and scrubbed myself down with alcohol wipes afterwards. And had a major case of the “fleabee jeebies” for hours.

We got Advocate for her on Saturday, but despite looking for her about every hour and a half every day, she didn’t show up until today. And she is not herself at all – not playful, not energetic, and despite her thinness? Not very hungry, slow walking, and very lethargic. 

Bits of cheese from my lunch scattered in front of her. She used to enjoy digging every tiny bit out of the gravel if a morsel went astray. Not today.

I did get the Advocate on her, all of it, but I don’t know what else might be wrong. Worms? No sign of a respiratory illness. But now I’m afraid to touch her as I don’t want to bring anything home to my boys.

I don’t know what to do. She is nearly impossible to find, and when she shows up to see me, she arrives out of nowhere. I don’t want to put a cat covered in bugs into my car, either. I kept hoping someone was caring for her as she tamed so easily…but this is not proper care. I do think she had five kittens, as of last Thursday, but have seen them not at all. I no longer think she is nursing – maybe because she has nothing left to give. And there is a big wild tom hanging around again…

42 responses »

  1. I am so sorry. I know that fleas can make a cat sick like you say. A friend was telling me her cat was not eating, no energy, not grooming. I told her to get the cat to the vet asap. Turned out it was fleas. They have a pill if you can get the cat to take will kill everything in hours. We have used it on our biggest as he will take the pill. Our oldest wont take a pill no matter what. Anyway you can now have a rescue society come out and get her? Let me know, this hurts, it is heartbreaking. Hugs

    • I haven’t seen fleas, but those mites are everywhere. I did give her Advocate – kills mange mites, fleas, ear mites. As rarely as I see her these days, I can hope she is perked up by the next time she comes around. Animal welfare here usually doesn’t have the resources to come out and catch a cat. Ferals are legally vermin and can be killed like rats. Sickening.

      • Wow that is so backward. Here we can call and they come out and catch them, treat them right. We have whole groups that do the catch, spayed and treat, then release. Sometimes I forget we have things that are really good in my state. Hugs

  2. If you put her in a carrier and put a tarp in the car where you set it, thinking that ought to avoid cross contamination. I mean a big fucking sheet of plastic, ought to be possible to obtain one. Ask for help anywhere it might be available. Are there people who will loan traps anywhere near you? Would it help with logistics if some of us sent money via Paypal? She needs spaying clearly.

    • Plastic I can get (warehouse!), I’d need to get a decent carrier as the one we have wouldn’t stand up to a scared little cat. Also we have a MINI so not a lot of room to spread out in.
      I was thinking of doing a whip around at work, see if anyone will donate a few euros. I honestly don’t know how PayPal works, how once money goes in there I could use it at the veterinarian’s.

      • I have a Paypal and I gather I can send money to anyone if I use their e mail address, then you get a mail notice and can enter an account number where the money is to be deposited. Let me try it.

        • Just did it. Look at the heretherebespiders mail account. You should get a message telling you how to get the money — I just shot a nominal amount for trial purposes.

            • OK! So… make a plan… start by asking your vet if anyone will knock off some cost for spaying a feral so she doesn’t keep having kittens (maybe fixing the kittens too if you can catch them when they’re old enough)… add on some for likely medication she might need and routine vaccination… see if someone will loan you a trap free or if you have to rent one… add it all up and let us know. So many people come here who care about you and Peggy, and your work friends might come through too, if everyone gives a little it can become possible, it helps if we know the goal.

              Can you locate any rescue groups for advice and support? RSPCA? I am of course blurry on what might be possible in your area, writing from the US.

            • On it – hubby going to the vet’s now to get cat food, so have given him the task of asking pricing and see if they have a carrier to spare. I think they do, I recall seeing a couple when I was in the back with Spot last year. I’ve never had a female cat to spay so not sure if she has to spend the night or not. They likely will work with me around my awkward working hours, too.

            • Yes, they usually have to be looked after for a night or two. All the vets I’ve used keep disposable corrugated cardboard carriers to hand out which are good for a few uses. Some vets can now do a laparoscopic spay or side spay that allows for a much faster recovery. A rescuer who used to be my client had it done to her local feral and the cat clawed out the storm window in the night time to escape, so she felt pretty lively. But it’s best if they get a few days to chill, it IS surgery. I’m guessing most vets are familiar with the way to do trap-neuter-release where you can’t do as complete a follow up.

  3. I’m wondering if something went wrong when she had the kittens, and it’s dragged her down. Once she’s weakened, the pests move in and that makes it worse. Can you get the RSPCA interested in coming to pick her up?

  4. Thankfully you are doing something for her….and it seems to be working. Kitties in the wild, or left to live like they are in the wild, have a very short life. She is lucky to have found you!

  5. I think your treatment may have saved her. Kittens do drag down immune systems and energy. Fleas and mites can be the last straw. (We have used pillow cases in a pinch instead of a crate. Just have something to tie up up with quickly and maybe place it in an open box/plastic bin to carry captured cat more easily so it won’t be so scary for the cat.
    Feral populations are treated differently depending on the local people and their attitudes. Here and in our last location, it was trap, neuter, notch ear after health check up and vacs, then release to the feral colony. That keeps the numbers down – and some of us know the cats earn their keep by keeping the rats/mice population in check. The local colony is celebrated – some play around the small hospital lights at night which the nurses/employees like – they say if the cats are lounging and playing, it’s safe to walk to your car. The cats scram/hide if something unusual is happening or there’s strangers . Hard to change local opinion, but feral cats have a job that benefits.
    SO glad to see you’re keeping up with her and she’s eaten. I’ve been wondering about her

    • She did seem much better today. I saw her again at lunchtime and fed her most of my chicken and a huge piece of cheese. Didn’t take any pictures because it was rainy and she looked dreadful with the wet fur! But it was nice to see her belly was full (and I could see it, she is so thin).

  6. Skinny kitties make me sad. Well, can you maybe get a topical bug treatment to put on her? EVen if you can’t take her home, one application could help her out for a month, even if you don’t see her for a while.

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